Seychelles' National Assembly to be sworn in, with former opposition in firm control
The National Assembly building at Ile du Port. (Joena Meme)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles' seventh National Assembly will be sworn in this week with the party once known as the opposition now in firm control of both the legislative body and the presidency.
In the presidential and National Assembly elections October 22-24, the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) won 20 out of 26 constituencies. In addition to its elected members, LDS also won five seats for proportional members, bringing the party's total to 25 seats out of the 35-member body.
The United Party (US) was elected in six districts and secured four proportional seats.
In his inauguration speech as the president-elect of Seychelles on Monday, Wavel Ramkalawan said that LDS has now an absolute majority in the National Assembly, but gave his assurance of support to the opposition.
“I will create a platform to allow regular meetings between the leader of opposition and statehouse, so that we can discuss and so that we bring solutions,” said Ramkalawan.
The date for swearing in of the members of the seventh National Assembly has not been set yet.
The head of state said that aside from their traditional roles of the members’ assembly which is oversight and accountability to eliminate corruption, he expects them to be the pillar in the reconstruction of Seychelles.
Ramkalawan said he expects the LDS candidates to go back to the people who had voted for them. “Do not abandon this nation who have given you their confidence,” the head of state urged all members of the assembly, adding that the members should give the people the best of their abilities.
LDS won seats in Au Cap, Anse Boileau, Baie Lazare, Takamaka, Grand Anse Mahe, Grand Anse Praslin, Plaisance, Mont Fleuri, Bel Air, St. Louis, Mont Buxton, English River, Anse Etoile, Perseverance, Glacis, Beauvallon, Belombre, Les Mamelles, Cascade and Anse Aux, Pins.
Out of the 65,976 votes cast, the LDS candidates won 35,202 votes, or 55 percent of the valid votes. Candidates from the US won 27,185 votes or 43 percent.
In September 2016 the newly created opposition coalition LDS won a majority in 15 of the 25 constituencies contested, while the ruling party, the then Parti Lepep – now US - took the remaining 10.
It was the first time since the return of multiparty democracy in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean - in 1993 that the ruling party lost its majority in parliament.
The 2016 elections results show that 30,444 people representing 48.4 percent voted for LDS while Parti Lepep received the support of 30,218 - 48.01 percent – of voters.