Post-election fever reactions |28 October 2020
Yesterday, Tuesday October 27, was the first back-to-work day since the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa’s historic victory in the general elections during the weekend, swiftly followed by President Wavel Ramkalawan’s inauguration on Monday.
As people went back to their normal daily grind, Seychelles NATION sought out the post-election fever reactions.
Elvis Jean, 43 years old
“Everything was done peacefully and went well. The day, 25/10, is a big victory for Seychelles. The younger generation will be inspired by this. I believe that Seychelles will continue as it is and areas where there are deficiencies will be improved. It will take a while to get everything in order; it’s not an overnight job.
“As an opposition supporter, I was happy when I watched the swearing-in ceremony. In fact, it was an incredible emotion for a lot of opposition supporters because we witnessed history being made.”
Marie-Celine Mathiot, 52 years
“The election was undertaken in a calm atmosphere and most people were happy with the results, I think many were waiting for change. Even though the president has changed everyone has to continue on with their work and everything goes back to normal. I do not see anything wrong in changing presidents and we will see how this one does, if he does not work well it would be up to the people again to vote him out.
“I was a bit emotional when I saw Mr Ramkalawan take his oath and when I looked at Mr Faure I saw that he seemed sad and disappointed, but he was strong nonetheless. I honestly thought this election would have been a tight battle but the results showed otherwise.”
Jude Bibi, 42 years old
“Personally, I found that it was a peaceful election. The people of Seychelles made their decision and chose a new person to lead them, and I believe Seychellois have accepted this. I did not witness any violence and the supporters enjoyed themselves.
“I do not expect anything much in the coming weeks given the Covid-19 situation but I think that by next year we will be able to see some concrete changes.”
Selby, 61 years
“I am satisfied with the election that was done in peace and order. What I would like to see with this transition is for everyone to pay their fair share of taxes, all businesses should contribute to society.”
Lita Marguerite, 56 years old
“At first I was shocked at the results but the election went very well because Seychellois had lived in fear for far too long. The moment we spoke out, they would say we are boycotting them but now we can speak freely. Even if this new president does something wrong, we will be able to say so without fear because we are free!
“I hope that this new administration works on changing the laissez-faire attitudes and bureaucracies in government offices. I think the youths especially will be able to blossom; I strongly believe this president is going to work hard.”
Joanna Pouponneau, 27 years old
“This year's election was truly remarkable. Very well organised in my district Beau Vallon. I went early at 6am in hopes of not queueing for long hours. It started with a few glitches but overall went smoothly and was fast all through. The lines should have been separate entirely for elders as it caused minor traffic. And while waiting sales of food snacks, water would have been helpful. The Red Cross was present and did an amazing job of ensuring social distancing, hand sanitiser was used. They even provided masks on site to those who forgot it. Privacy during voting should have been better observed, and locations to keep personal items that were not allowed into the voting rooms.
“As a voter my other concern was the ballot paper running out, truly this to me is the big elephant in a room that needs to be properly investigated and looked into.
“The swearing-in was a historical moment. Both leaders showed tremendous political maturity. The speech from this inaugural ceremony touched on all the timelines that started the movement and till today when they won. Truly it's a beautiful thing to see positive leadership and strong powerful motivational words that ask for the people to respect one another, to respect their environment and to respect the transition. That a country cannot be built in one day was stressed upon, going further today that all Seychelles needs to come together and we are a people to the country first. We are One Seychelles, one family moving forward. These words are what guide a country to become stronger. Africa is watching and we are leading by example thanks to how our two leaders chose to interact with one another. Grace, decorum, respect, conviction from both leaders ‒ this is how I'm hoping to see the transition of power progress. We cannot expect change to come immediately, it will take time and patience but a lot of cooperation from both sides for the betterment of the whole of Seychelles. If we want change we as a people need to change and be that change, a president alone does not make a country. It's up to the whole of Seychelles to work as one family moving forward.”
Benjamin Hoareau, 38 years old
“I am happy and grateful that everybody has shown good sportsmanship, because just like in sports there are always a winner and a loser. Everyone win ultimately because the losing team can always learn from their mistakes. Congratulations to the winning party, Linyon Demokratik Seselwa, and we are looking forward to what comes next.
“Even if this is a historic transition, we are familiar with the fact that a new president comes in with new blood and ideas. My greatest wish as a citizen is that, although we should acknowledge all the past frustrations and such, we should let go of these past feelings to work together peacefully.”
Benny Gertrude, 25 years old
“I personally feel that the election went well and was fair and square. The inaugural ceremony was well organised and it was an emotional and touching ceremony in which I personally feel it had something for each and every one in our beautiful country. I expect the transition to be smooth because it is we the people that has spoken so the best thing is that the one leaving power hands over everything that needs to be handed over so that we can continue with work ahead.”
Sylvie Norah, 32 years old
“It went really well. The only issue I had was with the way they did the voting by alphabetical order, it could use some work there. I mean I understand the logic, but they could have had people doing two queues at the very beginning, not while waiting two hours in the line, an official would come and shout ‘A-E you can go vote in room so and so’ where people at the end of the line got to vote before those who got there first. And barely any privacy while voting (I personally don't care if they saw #tickanler).
As for the inauguration, it was an emotional and powerful moment for many people of Seychelles. For me when they sang the national anthem, for the first time in my life I truly acknowledged the words and meanings. His inauguration is a symbol of hope and to never, never give up!
Molly, 38 years old
“Even though some people attempted to spread fear and all, I love the fact that the election period was peaceful. Regardless of the difference in opinions, Seychellois have been able to keep calm; we went out to vote peacefully, people celebrated peacefully. This is a great example for the world and makes one proud to be a Seychellois. “The speeches given by both our new and former presidents really set the tone for what’s coming ahead. People were super pessimistic at first and thought the new president would come in with vengeance in mind and discard the ex-president, but he did the opposite. I am happy that he is giving us new inspiration, guidance and hope which a lot of us had lost over the years.”
JE, 26 years old
“I felt overwhelming joy and relief. When the president was sworn and the anthem played I stood up at home with my hand on my chest. And for the first time in a long time I could say that I was proud of my country and people. The fact that our votes finally made a difference after 43 years was powerful and surreal. Within the last year alone the amount of information that was uncovered in regards to the crimes committed against the Seychellois people, the corruption was mind boggling. We have family members who would fight each other just because they have different political beliefs.
“So to see the people who fought the good fight against all finally win was so heart-warming. It brought me to tears. It is the first step in the long process of healing us as country and bring us together. But I also could not take my eyes off President Faure; I admired his courage and how well he seemed to handle the situation. But he also looked unwell and that was concerning to me. At the end of the day ‘Sesel i pour tou son zanfan’ and I will always stand by those words. I would also like to mention how I was happy mainly for my parents. They have also suffered under the previous government and seeing how happy they were made me even more emotional.”
Marie-Alice Joaneau, 48 years old
“I think the election went well, everyone exercised their right to vote and the people made a good choice. It is still early for the new administration which is starting to sort out how it is going to work but we expect good things to come from it.
“The inauguration ceremony also went well. The new president seems to have good intentions for the country and I am happy with the new change.”
“I think back to the interview Mr (Alain) St Ange gave about people wanting change but not really knowing the kind of change they really wanted. People were more focused on removing the government in power and replacing it with a party that kept the government on their toes when it had the majority in the parliament. Which was good as it created check and balances but people should also know that change does not happen overnight and the government in power may or may not be able to implement changes unless they come up with policies to instigate effective change.
“One last thing which I feel should be pointed out is the fact that the government in power also has the majority in the parliament, one thing I know a large majority of the Seychellois were against as it did not bring about accountability and transparency.
“As for the swearing-in speech, a lot of points were raised such as help from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), government of national unity, good educational structure which were points the present government campaigned against.”
Andrew Pouponneau, 33 years old
“To be honest I am not really into politics. The way I see it is you have to give everyone a chance. But this time things were different because in this country people were not given chances. So this year it was one of the most emotional inaugurations Seychelles has ever seen. We have made history. It shows you if you don’t give up you’ll get what you want. I feel like when I was walking through town Tuesday 27 people in general seemed happier. Of course, at the end of the day it was the majority that wanted that change. The new president has attempted to be elected five times before so I am pretty sure his transition will run as smoothly as he hopes. Well I hope so.
“For me in my family I felt this change is dedicated more so to all whom we lost, who disappeared, who were shot and whose families till today feel that pain. All who suffered are rejoicing right now in heaven!! For the Pouponneau family who still feels that pain, this win is more so for my father David Pouponneau who lost his brother, this win is in memory of Andrew Pouponneau.”
A. Pillay, 35 years old
“The election was badly undertaken, it was not a good one. Anyways, Seychellois made their decision but I do not think the election ran smoothly. Those who have helped put him there will start working hopefully because we have been working for the country for a long time. We do not know what this change will bring for us.”
C. Delorie, 62 years old
“It was a long time coming. We knew that the opposition, LDS, was going to win because it had worked hard to campaign for this election and seemed more superior to US. I am very happy because I had been waiting for a house for over 30 years with the US government and only recently did they tell me that I would get one at Pascal Village. They said my name was on the list and everything, but then the day we saw people from elsewhere getting the house. How did they expect people to vote for them? They did not look after our welfare. Life continues and we will see what this new president will bring. My dad who was a staunch democratic party supporter would have been proud of this moment and I am sure he is looking down on us with a smile.”
JM, 27 years old
“It was surely a historic moment that was very well complimented with a simple speech. A speech for all to understand. A speech that presented the newly elected president as simple and all for the progress of the people. A speech that speaks of togetherness and collective progress which in some manner resembles the initial visions of late France Albert Rene. It is a simple and effective speech that easily sways the public in a time when we all want change just like back when Seychelles wanted independence and growth. The speech calls for a more objective and hard working nation, something I think the new President realises will be a big challenge. Change comes with big responsibility and the people need to share that responsibility by being more responsible for ourselves and the Seychelles as a whole. I believe more than ever Seychellois needs to be more politically, economically savvy and most importantly respectful towards one another. Let's be able to work together for the good and be able to stamp our feet and say no when it's wrong not blind ourselves to say it's ok because we love this party (because we have blinded ourselves before). I think if we do this, it will be our true political growth. Best of luck to the new President!”
Compiled by Elsie Pointe