General elections 2020 |23 October 2020
Longer waiting time on Praslin
The special voting station at Baie Ste Anne Praslin started welcoming voters at exactly 7.02am at the district’s primary school.
A total of 674 voters had registered to vote in the special station which catered for voters from other islands who are currently residing on the inner islands, as well as staff of the essential services and voters who are expected to be travelling within the election period.
Among the voters were staff of the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services (SFRSA), the Seychelles Police Force (SPF), Public Utilities Company (PUC), various tourism establishments on Praslin and La Digue, among several others.
Steve Thelermont, the electoral officer in charge of the station, expressed his appreciation of the high turnout of voters. However, he noted that due to a high influx of people who came at the same time, the process has taken a slow toll. In the past this special station would usually close at 4pm but this time the closure is at 12pm and that left voters with a limited time frame to cast their votes.
A few voters who were not listed to vote in the special station had also turned up. “This might have been due to miscommunication but extra ballot papers have been made available to ensure that maximum registered voters are able to vote,” Mr Thelermont shared.
Voting were conducted in two rows. Half of the total districts in each row with four calling polling staff.
The station closed its doors at 12pm but a long queue was still visible. However those voters who were already in the queue before closing time were allowed to cast their votes.
Several of the voters expressed their disappointment at the long waiting time to cast their votes, with some waiting for over 4 hours in the queue.
Members of the Seychelles Police Force were present to ensure the peaceful running of the station while observers from the Association for Rights Information & Democracy (Arid) and Citizens Democracy Watch Seychelles (CDWS) were also present.
Text: Nadia Bedier
Photo: Romano Laurence