Seychelles presidential candidate Patrick Pillay votes at Port Glaud saying the process is 'calm and peaceful' so far
'Lalyans Seselwa' leader, Patrick Pillay casting his vote at Port Glaud this morning. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Patrick Pillay, one of the three newest candidates contesting a presidential election in Seychelles this year has described the atmosphere as "peaceful" saying he is "satisfied with the voting process" so far.
Pillay who formed his 'Lalyans Seselwa’ party in May was speaking to journalists early this morning after he had cast his vote at Port Glaud.
The western coast district on the main island of Mahé is the smallest electoral area with only 1,910 registered voters.
Pillay was at the voting station at around 8.30 am, around one and a half hours after voting had started.
“All was pretty quiet when I was coming down from home. Those who had already voted are going home and those coming to the polling station are doing so calmly,” said Pillay.
“What is most important is that all is quiet and the process is a peaceful one. I think that this is what all of us as candidates were asking for. It is good for Seychelles that we all perform our civic duties and we do it well and in peace,” said Pillay.
Similarly to the other candidates, Pillay has been spending the day going round and visiting the other polling stations on Mahé.
He has noted several "complaints of irregularities" being reported to his party members including reports of "people being given money in certain districts" adding that these matters have been reported to the relevant authorities, including the police and the electoral commissioner.
“We’ve heard a lot of rumours, I cannot say that everything is in order until the day ends and we get a report from our representatives in all the districts…until we can verify them and obtain concrete and tangible evidence, these will remain rumours.”
Pillay, a former high-ranking figure within the ruling ‘Parti Lepep’ served in various ministerial and ambassadorial posts for over 20 years including as the island’s Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2010 and Seychelles High Commissioner to the UK until 2012, when he retired.
He announced the formation of his own party in April with the help of several former government ministers. The party was launched officially in May.
“I have always accepted whatever life brings me, the good and the bad. When it’s bad there is a lesson to be learned and I have always said that I will accept the results, come what may," said Pillay.
The main polling day on this Saturday December 5 is a public holiday and some 70,943 eligible Seychellois voters are being called to the polls this year, spread across 25 electoral districts on the three main inhabited islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
Thursday and Friday were the first two days of voting for people living and working on some of the more remote islands as well as in several special stations catering for example for people who work in essential services and are on duty today as well as detained persons, either in holding cells or prisoners awaiting trial.
A record number of six candidates are contesting this Presidential Elections. This includes incumbent President James Michel the leader of the ruling 'Parti Lepep' who is seeking a third and final mandate.
Pillay is also facing another two first timers; David Pierre and Alexia Amesbury also the first female presidential candidate in a Seychelles presidential election.
The two other contenders who have presented their candidacy are Wavel Ramkalawan who is standing for the fifth time in a presidential election and the sole independent candidate Philippe Boullé.