Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > Africa > Seychelles

Seychelles Politics

State and politics

The Seychelles became independent from the United Kingdom in 1976 and a member of the Commonwealth. 1979–93 one-party system prevailed. Even after the reintroduction of democracy, the previously only legal party of Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF; since 2009 Party Lepep) has been dominant.

Political System of Seychelles

GOVERNMENT

A new, democratic constitution was adopted in 1993 following a referendum. The president is elected by universal suffrage for five years; after a constitutional change in 2016, the number of terms of office is limited to two. The president is the head of state, head of government and commander-in-chief and also appoints the members of the government and appoints certain senior officials and judges. In 2017, a constitutional amendment was introduced that makes it mandatory for new elections in the event a sitting president dies, resigns or is dismissed from office. The rule was added since it happened twice during the 2000s that a president resigned and surrendered power to the vice president. All four presidents since independence have been men.

The Parliament (National Assembly) has up to 35 members. Of these, 25 are elected in majority elections in one-man constituencies and the others are distributed according to a proportional system between parties that received at least 10 percent of the votes in the last elections. After the 2016 election, Parliament had 33 members, seven (21 percent) of whom were women. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how SC can stand for Seychelles.

Policy

After a coup d'état in 1977, Prime Minister France-Albert René was appointed President. Two years later, a new constitution was adopted by which the Seychelles were transformed into a one-party state with socialist forks. The only legal party until December 1991 was the Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF), which in 2009 changed its name to Party Lepep (PL, the 'People's Party').

SPPF/PL retained while their dominance and got a majority in parliament in elections in 2002 and 2007. The Democratic Party (DP, since 2009, the New Democratic Party, NDP), which ruled the Seychelles until 1977, lost their seats in parliament in the 2002 election, then The Seychelles National Party (SNP) took over the position of leading opposition party.

After almost 27 years in power, René resigned in February 2004 and handed over the presidential post to James Michel. He won the presidential elections in 2006 and 2011 with 54 percent and 55 percent of the votes, respectively. In 2011, the SNP accused the government of electoral fraud and refused to participate in parliamentary work. The parliamentary elections scheduled for 2012 were premiered and held in the fall of 2011, but SNP and NDP boycotted the election and PL received 89 percent of the vote. The newly formed Party Popular Democratic Front (PDM), before the election, received 11 percent of the vote but nevertheless not a single mandate, which is why PL completely lacked opposition in Parliament.

Michel ran for another term in the 2015 elections. He clearly got the most votes in the first round of elections, but in the second it was extremely even between him and the SNP candidate Wavel Ramkalawan. The official result showed that Michel won with 50.15 percent of the vote, which corresponded to only 193 votes. The following year, Parliament approved a constitutional amendment proposed by Michel, which means that the President may only sit for two terms. In October 2016, Michel resigned and was succeeded by his Vice President, Danny Faure. The month before, Parti Lepep lost a parliamentary election for the first time. Coalition Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS, 'Seychelles Democratic Alliance'), formed before the election of the SNP and four smaller parties, received 19 out of 33 seats while the PL had to settle for 14.

Judiciary

The Seychelles legal system is based on a mixture of French and English legal traditions. When the Seychelles transitioned from French to British supremacy, French law was applied to the islands, including the Napoleonic Civil Code (Code Civil). English law gradually gained more influence, and in 1975 a domestic English-speaking civil law was issued, which, however, largely still follows the principles, structure and style of the French civil law. The judiciary consists of the Magistrates' Courts, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. The death penalty was abolished in 1993.

Heads of State

Presidents

1976-77 James R. Mancham
1977-2004 France-Albert René
2004-16 James Michel
2016- Danny Faure
Other Countries in Africa

Politics eZine Copyright 1999 - 2020 All Rights Reserved