Victoria (Seychelles) – Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan, the new president of the Seychelles, took office Monday to become the country’s first head of state to come from the opposition.
The President-Elect took the Oath of Allegiance and Presidential Oath, before the Acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Honourable Justice Melchior Vidot, in the presence of the outgoing President, Mr. Danny Antoine Rollen Faure and other distinguished guests.
Addressing the people of Seychelles for the first time as President, Ramkalawan, 59, called on all citizens on the 115-island Indian Ocean archipelago to remember that they are all Seychellois no matter which party they support and urged everyone to unite as a people to build a better future for Seychelles.
“For the five years that you have elected me in this office, I encourage every Seychellois to play their part in making a contribution for the further development of our nation. I believe no Seychellois should be left behind, so I call on everyone in whichever capacity that you are serving the country today, to remember you are not only working for yourself but also for your beloved country,” he said.
The Anglican priest was credited with 54.9 percent of the vote in the first round of a presidential election held last week, defeating incumbent Danny Faure.
It was the new president’s sixth attempt to win election.
Since the Seychelles became independent from Britain four decades ago, all of its presidents had come from the United Seychelles party, with Ramkalawan losing the 2015 race by just 200 votes.
Ramkalawan has since underlined the need for national unity in Seychelles and reinforcement of democracy. He has called on everyone to put aside any feelings of bitterness, vengeance and anger.