The Republic of the Seychelles has a new President, His Excellency, Wavel Ramkalawan, who won 54.9% of the vote in elections held from 22nd to 24th October 2020 and in which the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had virtual engagements with electoral stakeholders.
In a smooth transfer of power which demonstrates maturity of democracy in the SADC Region, H.E Ramkalawan was sworn into office on 26th October 2020 following his victory, becoming the fifth President of Seychelles. His Vice President Ahmed Afif took the oath of office a day later.
In June, another SADC Member State, the Republic of Malawi, witnessed a smooth transfer of power when H.E. Dr. Lazarus Chakwera won the presidential elections with 58.57 percent of the vote.
The Republic of Seychelles officially became a member of SADC following the approval of its application by the 1997 SADC Summit held in Malawi. It was agreed that the Seychelles had tremendous potential to benefit the Southern Africa region through its active participation in the SADC Programme of Action.
In his victory speech, H.E Ramkalawan was conciliatory towards former President H.E. Danny Faure, saying there were no losers or winners.
In his first comments since winning, H.E Ramkalawan said: "Mr Faure and I are good friends. And an election does not mean the end of one's contribution to one's motherland. In this election, there were no losers, there were no winners - our country was given the opportunity as the ultimate winner."
H.E. Faure was sitting close by, and nodded in approval as the incoming President spoke, Reuters news agency reports.
According to media reports in Seychelles, H.E Ramkalawan is an Anglican priest and one of the most distinguished individuals who has contributed many years of his career to making a difference in Seychelles.
Born on March 15, 1961, H.E Ramkalawan is the youngest in a family of three children. His father, Bathew Ramkalawan, was a tinsmith and his mother, Eva Ramkalawan, a head teacher.
H.E Ramkalawan is married to Linda Ramkalawan and they have three children – Samuel, Caleb and Amos.
“I did my primary, secondary and A-Level education at the Seychelles College, the elite boys’ school of the country at that time. My childhood was filled with joy and happiness. I got the opportunity to live with my parents, who made me become the man I am today,” he says.
With proper guidance from his parents, HE. Ramkalawan managed to have a wonderful childhood.
“I was raised at St Louis by my parents; my mother was a head teacher of the Anglican School on Praslin and most of my vacation I went to Praslin with my mother. I had so many friends; it was a very happy childhood full of good memories. Growing up, my parents were devoted Christians, it was God before everything.”
H.E Ramkalawan was ordained priest in 1985 following theological studies at St Paul’s Theological College in Mauritius, and thereafter further studies in theology at Birmingham University in England. Returning to Seychelles, he worked in several parishes, rising to become priest-in-charge of the parish of Holy Saviour.
H.E Ramkalawan has been a priest for the past 32 years and he is still preaching at St Luke’s Anglican Church at Bel Ombre, sharing the words of God and being a messenger of God.
SADC has commended the people of the Republic of Seychelles for upholding democratic principles.