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Elections 2020

Good turnout of voters on Praslin   |25 October 2020

Ten minutes before the closing of the Grand Anse Praslin voting station, there were no queues. Within the last hour the station had occasional voters almost every 5-10 minutes.

Stephen Rousseau, presiding officer for the station, shared with us his general impression of the election day.

“As per our last statistics recorded at 5pm, 2,305 voters out of the 2,810 registered voters had cast their votes. Including the additional votes until closure; this represents almost 85% of voters for the district. This depicts a very good turnout. We are satisfied with the general running of the day. Most people came in the morning. Actually, when we opened the station there was a long queue, but once the station was open and voters where split in alphabetical order, all ran smoothly and at a good pace. By mid-day the majority of voters had already turned up and the afternoon was less busy. Approximately 156 voters had voted in special stations over the past two days. As per feedback received from voters and other partners on the premises, everyone was generally satisfied with the voting process and running of the station; and I am very pleased by that!”

Mr Rousseau also highlighted that the ballot papers were adequate for the number of voters in Grand Anse Praslin but the station had nonetheless received additional ballot papers in the late afternoon from the electoral secretariat. A total of six ballot boxes were filled; three for the presidential ballot papers and three for the legislative ballot papers.

By 7pm the station closed its doors and the electoral staff’s jobs intensified as they got down to the counting phase of the day.

On the other hand, the Baie Ste Anne Praslin station closed its doors at 7.30pm due to the late opening in the morning.

Lucianna Lagrenade spared us a few minutes from her very busy schedule, just after 7pm, to share her impression of the election day, in this third most populated district in terms of registered voters.

“It is my first time working in the Baie Ste Anne voting station and the turnout was good. Similarly to other stations I have worked in, in the past, early morning is always very busy and some voters were frustrated as we opened a bit late and some had been waiting since very early morning. Today was a very hot day and some people had stood for a long time, so we understand that several were dissatisfied. But eventually as voters separated in alphabetical order, things fell in place and queues were moving nicely. A total of 3,444 voters were eligible to vote at this station and so far a total of 2,775 have cast their votes since this morning. The station staff were also satisfied with the pace of work and voters generally cooperated with us. I must also commend the station’s polling staff for being very accommodating, especially bearing in mind the sudden change of presiding officer.”

“Usually, based on my experience, a station will not have a number of ballot papers that matches the number of eligible voters, it is rather a high percentage of the number of voters. However, this time we needed extra ballot papers and that was duly delivered by the electoral secretariat in the late afternoon and voting continued as should be,” Mrs Lagrenade shared.

As the station closed its doors, the counting of votes started.

Meanwhile Praslinois voters quietly awaited the results of the general election in the comfort of their homes.

The only Arid representative on the island, Farida Camille, had her hands full for the day moving between both stations. She also shared with us her impression of the election day on Praslin.

“Generally the day went well at both stations. Voting at the Grand Anse station flowed smoothly throughout the day however, in Baie Ste Anne, at one point during the day there were quite a bit of voters queuing up and some were dissatisfied with the alphabetical order system, as some voters felt disadvantaged since their queues were always long while others moved at a much faster pace. But both polling stations were well organised and the voting process itself went generally well.”

When asked about reports of misconduct, Miss Camille shared that they received minimum reports and that was the same in past elections. “Usually Praslin is quiet without major reports during election time, and this was the case this time round as well.”

We met with Kisnan Tamatave, a CDWS representative to give us his brief expression of the morning of the election day on Praslin. “At the Grand Anse station the day started with queues moving at a good pace this morning. However, a large crowd was visibly queuing at the Baie Ste Anne station and that caused some congestion at the gate. But so far, the voting process itself is running smoothly in both stations. As an observer, I’m representing the citizens of Seychelles and whatever findings we deduct, will appear in our preliminary report,” Mr Tamatave shared.

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