Seychelles electoral commission outlines changes to second round of presidential vote
( Rassin Vannier, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychellois voters who cast ballots in the second round of the presidential vote next week may see more electoral workers at their polling station.
The country’s electoral commission said Friday that it has discussed concerns after the first-round ballots were cast earlier this month. Election observers noted in their reports that some voters had to wait several hours in line before casting their ballots.
The commission’s chief registration officer, Lorna Lepathy, said there would not be more polling stations for the second-round vote next week, but that more electoral officers would be placed at stations with a large number of voters.
Some polling stations had to stay open past the scheduled 7 p.m. closing time because of the long queues. That led to a delay in the counting of ballots.
The first round of the presidential elections in Seychelles, a group of islands in the western Indian Ocean, took place December 3-5. Six candidates contested the first round but none won more than 50 percent.
The top two vote-getters now face off December 16-18. Incumbent President James Michel of the Parti Lepep won 28,911 votes or 47.76 percent in the first round. Former parliamentarian Wavel Ramkalawan of Seychelles National Party received 21,391 votes, or 35.33 percent.
Michel and Ramkalawan have restarted their campaign efforts in advance of next week’s vote. By law the campaigning is to end 24 hours before the second-round vote begins.
Another change for the second round will be the calling out of names of voters from special voting stations.
“Presiding officers at the voting stations will call out names from special voting stations before the official opening of the station at 7 a.m.,” added Lepathy. This was another concern as it had been done previously while voters stood in line.
The electoral commission says it has set standards to ensure consistency in the procedures at all voting stations.