, VICTORIA, Seychelles, Dec 6 – The Seychelles’ incumbent President James Michel won a strong lead in the remote archipelago’s poll but came short of securing an outright majority, and must now face opposition leader Wavel Ramkalawan in an unprecedented runoff.
Facing his first serious challenge after two five-year terms in office, Michel won 47.8 percent of the votes while Ramkalawan took 33.9 percent, according to official results released by the electoral commission.
Patrick Pillay, a former minister under Michel, came third with 14.9 percent. He has pledged to support Ramkalawan in the next round.
Turnout was high at 87.4 percent, the commission said, adding that the runoff would be held from December 16 to 18.
Balloting on more remote islands began on Thursday but the main vote took place Saturday on the main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, home to most of the Seychelles’ estimated 91,000 citizens.