Seychelles polls close in presidential election

AP News
Posted: May 21, 2011 12:27 PM
Seychelles polls close in presidential election

The island nation of the Seychelles closed polls on Saturday after holding a three-day long presidential election, an official said.

The polls passed without incident and results were expected within hours, said presidential spokeswoman Srdjana Janosevic.

Incumbent President James Michel faces three challengers but only one is considered a serious contender. He said on Saturday that he was confident of winning a five-year term and praised the people of the Seychelles for the peaceful and mature way they had behaved during the elections.

"The campaign has gone very smoothly," he said in a video clip released by Janosevic.

Michel came to power two years ago after the former president, who took power in 1977 in a bloodless coup, stood down due to ill health. Since then he has instituted a program of economic reforms.

The twin pillars of the country's economy, tourism and fishing, have been hit by the global economic downturn and by Somali pirates operating off the East African coast.

The island chain is a top tourist destination. Prince William and his bride just finished a 10-day honeymoon there.