The Seychelles ruling ‘Parti Lepep’ approves James Michel’s candidacy and 25 MP candidates for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections
Parti Lepep approved its candidates for the upcoming presidential and vice-presidential candidates at the party's 29th congress held on Friday. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles ruling ‘Parti Lepep’ [People’s party] has approved the candidacy of the island nation’s president, also President of Parti Lepep, as their candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, scheduled for 2016.
The date for the elections have not been announced but according to the country’s constitutional requirements, the next presidential election should be organized within 90 days after January 2016.
Michel’s candidacy was confirmed at the 29th Congress of Parti Lepep held at ‘Maison du Peuple’ in the island nation’s capital of Victoria on Friday afternoon.
This was merely a formality as Michel had already announced in an interview with SNA in February that he intends to run in the 2016 elections.
For the nearly 70 year old President, this will be his third and final bid for the presidency, as stipulated by the Constitution of Seychelles.
James Michel took the opportunity of the congress to designate Danny Faure, who is the current Seychelles Vice President as his running mate.
|James Michel (right) Parti Lepep's presidential candidate with Danny Faure (left) his running mate for the next presidential elections. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Their candidacies received the unanimous endorsement of party delegates gathered for the congress.
Other political parties in the Indian Ocean archipelago of 115 islands with a population of around 90,000 people have also announced their intention to nominate a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections, but so far, only the Parti Lepep has unveiled its candidates.
Philippe Boulé, who has also declared his intention to present himself as an Independent presidential candidate in the next elections does not need the backing of a political party.
The Seychellois Head of State also received the support of former President France Albert René, also the ruling party’s founder, through a video message broadcast at the conference.
"It is important to choose a ‘Parti Lepep’ candidate and that’s President Michel, we must give him our support and commitment because he will be running for the last time and he has to finish a job," said former President Rene.
Since the establishment of the Third Republic, which saw the return of multi-party system in 1993, the ruling party has won every single presidential election in the first round obtaining more than 54 percent of the votes.
"Our party is stronger than ever. What is it that makes Parti Lepep so strong? Why is it that we have had victory after victory? Parti Lepep is the only solution for Seychelles. This is a party that strongly defends the rights of workers," said President Michel when addressing party activists last night.
|Parti Lepep supporters gathered for the congress on Friday. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
The upcoming presidential elections will however be different from past elections.
This time round, no less than 7 political parties will be contesting, which will be a record participation in such an election since the return of multiparty democracy in Seychelles in 1993.
For the first time in its history, the ruling party has also experienced a break-away with the formation of a new political party ‘Lalyans Seselwa’ [Seychellois Alliance].
The party is led by Patrick Pillay, a former government minister with the support of other former ministers and former government officials.
For the first time during yesterday’s congress, President Michel spoke about the formation of the new party.
"This is not the first time in our history ... we have to face a conspiracy, but we were left intact .... They melted and we have come out stronger," said Michel.
"Some wanted to remain minister for life, according to them it was their right. There are even those who wanted to be president without even knowing how to speak Creole [native language of the Seychellois people]. Others say they have resigned because of corruption. They want to follow what is happening in other countries. But this will not happen in Seychelles," said Michel.
Member's of Parti Lepep's Central Committee during the session that approved resolutions pertaining to the party's presidential and parliamentary candidates for the next elections. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
‘Parti Lepep’ also chose the settings of the 29th Congress to officially present its candidates for the next parliamentary elections.
The delegates approved the nomination of the 25 Parti Lepep candidates who will stand in the next parliamentary polls.
14 of them are new candidates.
The Seychelles National Assembly consists of 32 members, of which 25 are directly elected representing the 25 electoral districts in the country, and 7 are proportionately elected.
The parliamentary elections which takes place every 5 years, is scheduled before September 2016 as the last elections took place in September 2011.
There have been speculations that both the presidential and national assembly elections would be held together, but for so far this has not been confirmed by the head of state.
In the last National Assembly elections held in May 2011, all 25 directly elected seats were won by the ruling party ‘Parti Lepep’ which also hold 6 of the 7 proportionately elected seats.
The Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly currently holds the 7th proportional seat in the house.