The Seychelles elected an opposition candidate as president for the first time since 1977, authorities announced on Sunday, and winner Wavel Ramkalawan reaffirmed a pledge to hike the minimum wage after COVID-19 stifled the tourism-dependent economy, reports Reuters.
Ramkalawan, a former Anglican priest, defeated President Danny Faure after three decades of unsuccessful runs for the presidency of the East African nation, an Indian Ocean archipelago famed for its natural beauty and rare wildlife.
Ramkalawan captured 54.9 per cent of the vote while Faure got 43.5 per cent in the vote held from Thursday through Saturday, the electoral commission announced.
Ramkalawan promised to continue working with Faure - an unusually good-natured transfer of power for the nearby African continent where many rulers are eliminating term limits and cracking down on political opposition.
"Mr Faure and I are good friends. And an election does not mean the end of one's contribution to one's motherland," Ramkalawan said in his victory speech. "In this election, there were no losers, there were no winners. Our country was given the opportunity as the ultimate winner."
As he spoke, Faure sat close by, nodding his head.