Wavel Ramkalawan

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Wavel Ramkalawan
Wavel Ramkalawan, August 2015.jpg
Personal details
Born (1961-03-15) 15 March 1961 (age 57)
Mahé, Seychelles
Political party National Party
Alma mater St Paul's Theological College
University of Birmingham

Wavel Ramkalawan (born March 15, 1961) is a politician of the Seychelles.

Seychelles Island country to the East of Africa

Seychelles, officially the Republic of Seychelles, is an archipelago country in the Indian Ocean. The capital of the 115-island country, Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland East Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius to the south; as well as the Maldives and British Indian Ocean Territory to the east. With a population of roughly 94,228, it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country.

Early life

Wavel Ramkalawan was born in Mahé, the principal island of Seychelles. He was born into a modest family, the youngest of three children. His grand father was from Gopalganj, Bihar. His father was a metalworker and his mother a teacher. Ramkalawan's primary and secondary education were at Seychelles College, the elite boys' school of the country. Ramkalawan was ordained priest in 1985 following theological studies at St Paul's Theological College in Mauritius, and thereafter followed further studies in theology at Birmingham University. Returning to Seychelles, he worked in several parishes in Seychelles, rising to become priest-in-charge of the parish of Holy Saviour.

Mahé, Seychelles island

Mahé is the largest island (157.3 km²) of Seychelles, lying in the northeast of the nation in the Indian Ocean. The population of Mahé was 77,000, as of the 2010 census. It contains the capital city of Victoria and accommodates 86% of the country's total population. The island was named after Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais, a French governor of Isle de France.

Gopalganj, Bihar Town in Bihar, India

Gopalganj is a town, municipality and headquarters of Gopalganj district in the Indian state of Bihar.

Teacher person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values

A teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Entry into politics

It was his work as a priest that led Ramkalawan to politics. Through his pastoral work, he came into contact with many people who had been the subject of repression and abuses of human and civil liberties by the government[ citation needed ]. At that time, the church was the only institution which could speak out on these issues[ citation needed ].

Political repression is the persecution of an individual or group within society for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take part in the political life of a society thereby reducing their standing among their fellow citizens.

In 1990, Ramkalawan preached a landmark[ according to whom? ] sermon, broadcast to the nation on the national radio station, in which he questioned the practices of the one-party government and gave voice to the desire of the people for greater freedom, respect for human rights and observance of the rule of law in the country. The sermon was an inspiration for the movement for political liberty and democracy in Seychelles[ according to whom? ]. It drew Ramkalawan closer into politics. In 1991, still a priest, he joined others who had been active in opposing the government, such as Roger Mancienne and Jean-François Ferrari, to form Parti Seselwa, initially an underground organization, and became its leader.

Sermon oration by a member of the clergy

A sermon is an oration or lecture by a preacher. Sermons address a scriptural, theological, religious, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law, or behavior within both past and present contexts. Elements of the sermon often include exposition, exhortation, and practical application. The act of delivering a sermon is known as preaching.

Broadcasting distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio or visual mass communications medium

Broadcasting is the distribution of audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum, in a one-to-many model. Broadcasting began with AM radio, which came into popular use around 1920 with the spread of vacuum tube radio transmitters and receivers. Before this, all forms of electronic communication were one-to-one, with the message intended for a single recipient. The term broadcasting evolved from its use as the agricultural method of sowing seeds in a field by casting them broadly about. It was later adopted for describing the widespread distribution of information by printed materials or by telegraph. Examples applying it to "one-to-many" radio transmissions of an individual station to multiple listeners appeared as early as 1898.

A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of state in which one political party has the right to form the government, usually based on the existing constitution. All other parties are either outlawed or allowed to take only a limited and controlled participation in elections. Sometimes the term de facto one-party state is used to describe a dominant-party system that, unlike the one-party state, allows democratic multiparty elections, but the existing practices or balance of political power effectively prevent the opposition from winning the elections.

Opposition leader

When the government, under pressure both internally and from abroad, returned the country to multi-party democracy in 1992, Parti Seselwa was the first political party to register and join the ranks of others in opposition to the government. It immediately set to work and participated in elections for representation on the 1992 constitutional commission, polling only 4% of the national vote and not qualifying for representation on the commission. Subsequently to the coming into force of the new constitution in 1993, two other opposition parties joined Parti Seselwa to form The United Opposition (UO) and to contest the 1993 general elections. The party won 9% of the vote, enabling it to appoint one member (Ramkalawan) to the National Assembly.

Democracy system of government in which citizens vote directly in or elect representatives to form a governing body, sometimes called "rule of the majority"

Democracy is a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting. In a direct democracy, the citizens as a whole form a governing body and vote directly on each issue. In a representative democracy the citizens elect representatives from among themselves. These representatives meet to form a governing body, such as a legislature. In a constitutional democracy the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority, usually through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech, or freedom of association.

The United Opposition was a group formed in the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) in early 1926, when the Left Opposition led by Leon Trotsky, merged with the New Opposition led by Grigory Zinoviev and his close ally Lev Kamenev, in order to strengthen opposition against the Joseph Stalin led Centre. The United Opposition demanded, among other things, greater freedom of expression within the Communist Party and less bureaucracy.

In 1998, Ramkalawan led his party into the second multi-party general elections. The party polled 27% of the national vote and increased its National Assembly representation to three, beating the Democratic Party of former President James Mancham into third place. Ramkalawan became the first directly elected member of the party in the Assembly, winning his home constituency of St Louis, which he has represented continuously since. In addition, he was elected Leader of the Opposition, a post he continues to hold.

In the 2001 presidential elections, Ramkalawan polled 45% of the vote, thus losing to the 54% vote won by President René. The next year, Ramkalawan led his party, now renamed the Seychelles National Party (SNP), into the National Assembly elections. The party increased its parliamentary representation from one directly elected member to seven and from two proportionally elected members to four.

Since 1998, Ramkalawan has been Leader of the Opposition. In 2005, Ramkalawan took a sabbatical from his clerical duties in order to consecrate himself fully to his political life at a crucial and important point in the country's affairs. In the 2006 presidential elections, however, Ramkalawan lost to James Michel.

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