2 independent candidates submit nominating documents for National Assembly election
Holbert Jean was the first independent candidate to submit his nomination documents. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
Two independent candidates submitted their nomination documents on Friday to contest the Seychelles' National Assembly elections in October.
Holbert Jean of the St. Louis district and Keith Andre of Beau Vallon presented their documents to the Electoral Commission of Seychelles.
Both candidates are participating for the first time in an election in the group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
Among the documents that the independent candidates submitted were a certificate from the Electoral Commission certifying that they have deposited the sum of SCR1,500, a list of 50 supporters who are registered voters of the electoral area of which the candidate wishes to contest with copies of ID cards of all supporters who have signed.
Jean, who was the first independent candidate to submit his nomination, told reporters that the reason he is contesting this upcoming legislative election is to "simply bring the St. Louis family together irrespective of their religious beliefs or political colours because I feel we can accomplish many things for our district."
He confirmed that all his nominations were verified and double checked by the electoral officers.
On the question of how he sees his chances of winning for the St. Louis district, Jean said, "I am very positive and my people are ready for a change."
Jean, 51, is a teacher by profession who taught in state and private schools before moving into full-time preschool business in 2008.
Meanwhile, Andre said he is standing for his home district because "I want to sow a seed in the political scene of Seychelles which has always been based on partisan politics. I am sowing this seed so that in five years we can see many more independent candidates to show our political maturity as Seychellois."
|Andre was the second independent candidate who submitted a nomination for the legislative election. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
He added that when there is partisan politics "we leave our choices aside and let others decide for us and this is not how it should be."
On the question of whether he can win, Andre said, "Definitely. I have not come here to lose. I am confident that if people living in Beau Vallon listen to the message I am giving they will see that my campaign style is completely different."
Andre, a fishing boat owner, is the chairperson of the local Fishermen and Boatowners Association -- a registered non-governmental organisation working with Seychelles' traditional and semi-industrial fisheries sectors.
Like for the presidential candidates, upon submission of the nomination documents, the proposed candidates, if certified, will be issued with a document by the Electoral Commission certifying that they are a candidate for the 2020 National Assembly election.
Legislative and presidential elections in Seychelles will take place October 22-24.