4 top political parties in Seychelles back proposed Oct 22-24 election
The last presidential election which ran into a historic run-off was held at the end of December 2015. (Patrick Joubert)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The four main political parties in Seychelles have accepted the October dates proposed by the Electoral Commission for the presidential election.
The mandate of the incumbent, President Danny Faure, will expire at the end of October and the Commission has set provisional dates of October 22, 23 and 24 for the election.
The ruling party, United Seychelles, said on Saturday that it welcomes the tentative dates and that elections are crucial to the quality of a country's governance and setting the direction for a nation's democratic development.
"We are calling on all citizens to verify that their names are on the voters' list. Remember voting gives each citizen the power to choose the right leader for Seychelles," said United Seychelles.
Roger Mancienne, the leader of the majority party in the National Assembly, Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS), which is also the main opposition party in Seychelles also welcomed the announcement.
"We agree with the dates proposed as they fall well within the period of time during which the Electoral has to hold the election. Also, it gives us ample time to not only fine-tune our own preparations but equally for us to be able to monitor the preparations which the EC itself has to make ahead of said election," he said.
Mancienne added there are the two election-related laws which are pending; the Political Parties Act and the Elections Act, both have to do with the holding of votes.
"Both this legislation are up for review and amendment by the National Assembly, following the electoral reform exercise which has been ongoing for quite a while now. So both these laws need to be debated and enacted by the National Assembly and as such an October election gives ample time for this," said Mancienne.
He pointed out that there are other matters which come into play such as the delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in election procedures such as the registering of first-time voters.
"We need to monitor how these issues are being handled and push for the best practices always. There is the matter of whether to have ballot papers printed locally or overseas and all that comes with either decision. In the vent that they are printed abroad, we have to take into account that travelling will most probably entail quarantine time both on the outward and incoming trips. Locally we have to carefully analyse the challenges to ensure a smooth valid and credible election process," he said.
Lalyans Seselwa, the party which garnered almost 15 percent of the total votes in the last presidential elections in 2015 has also stated that it has no issue with the proposed dates.
Party Leader and Lalyans Seselwa's candidate, Patrick Pillay, told SNA his party is ready to contest the election and is confident he will win this time around.
"The announcement of the dates is a relief. There have been too many speculations as to when and even whether this election will take place, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now we know for sure. It is a positive move and Lalyans Seselwa is ready. Lalyans Seselwa will form the next government," said Pillay.
On his part the new political party, One Seychelles' leader Alain St. Ange, also has no problems with the dates, saying that it is really up to the Electoral Commission to call the shots.
"We are the outsiders in this race, but we have already established ourselves on the country's political scenery. Whenever the Electoral Commission says go, we are ready," said St. Ange.
He added that One Seychelles is confident of making a difference in the election.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, had its last presidential election which ran into a historic run-off end of 2015. The leader of Parti Lepep now United Seychelles, James Michel, was declared the winner with 50.15 percent of the votes against the SNP leader Wavel Ramkalawan who won 49.85 percent. Only 193 votes separated the two candidates.