Opposition coalition -- Seychellois Democratic Alliance -- presents line-up for September parliamentary elections
LDS candidates including that of Ile Perseverance presented to the party's supporters during a convention held on Sunday. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)
LDS announced its official line-up of four women and 21 men who will be contesting the polls in the 25 electoral districts of the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
The opposition coalition also presented its candidate for Ile Perseverance – a reclaimed island where the largest social housing project is being built. The island is set to become the 26th electoral district in Seychelles, but only upon the dissolution of the current National Assembly.
‘Fer li ou lasanble’ [Make it your assembly] was also unveiled as the campaign theme chosen by the party.
LDS was formed by members of four existing opposition parties -- the Seychelles National Party (SNP), Lalyans Seselwa (Seychellois Alliance), the Seychelles Party for Social Justice and Democracy (SPSD) and the Seychelles United Party (SUP) as a common bloc against the ruling Parti Lepep.
|Photo 1: Lalyans Seselwa leader, Patrick Pillay is the candidate of LDS for Anse Boileau. Photo 2: The Seychelles National Party leader, Wavel Ramkalawan is the candidate for English River. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
It was confirmed during Sunday’s convention that Patrick Pillay, the leader of Lalyans Seselwa, is the candidate of LDS for Anse Boileau, a district in the western region of the main island, Mahe. Wavel Ramkalawan, leader of the Seychelles National Party, was confirmed as the candidate for English River, a central district located on the outskirts of the capital, Victoria.
"We need to have our point of views taken into consideration in the next assembly,” said Ramkalawan, leader of the LDS council.
"The team which has been presented to you is serious and wants to see our country move forward," he added.
Ramkalawan also said that should his party wins the upcoming parliamentary elections members of the National Assembly will have to work three days a week.
Currently, the National Assembly meets on Tuesdays, except during the presentation of the budget or State of the Nation Address where debates are extended over several days.
In announcing its candidates, LDS also presented its manifesto for the elections highlighting eight key issues including national unity, democracy, the preservation of the Seychelles heritage, and the environment.
|LDS supporters who attended the convention on Sunday. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
LDS is the second party to officially present its line-up after the ruling Parti Lepep earlier in July.
Other opposition parties have also expressed their intentions to take part in the elections and should be presenting their set of candidates in the coming days.
On announcing September 8-10 as the election dates on Friday, the Electoral Commission also announced August 17 as nomination day when candidates will have to officially submit their applications.
Seychellois voters will be casting ballots for the second time in less than a year following a presidential election at the end of 2015.
The ruling party has always won a majority in the assembly since the establishment of the Third Republic, which saw the return of a multi-party system in 1993.
In the last elections, all 25 directly elected seats were won by Parti Lepep which also holds six of the seven proportionately elected seats.
The leader of the opposition in the National Assembly from the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) currently holds the 7th proportional seat in the house.
PDM was the only contender alongside Parti Lepep in 2011 as the main opposition parties boycotted the elections.
Parliamentary polls in Seychelles are held every five years. The last elections took place between September 29 and October 1, 2011.
LDS candidates announced on Sunday:
Clifford Andre : Anse aux Pins
Patrick Pillay : Anse Boileau
Ahmed Afif : Anse Etoile
Flory Larue : Anse Royale
Stephen Pillay : Au Cap
Francois Adelaide : Baie Lazare
Archille Savy : Baie Ste Anne
John Hoareau : Beau Vallon
Norbert Loiseaux : Bel Air
Nicholas Prea : Bel Ombre
Francois Rose : Cascade
Wavel Ramkalawan : English River
Regina Alcindor Esparon : Glacis
Doyace Poris : Grand Anse Mahe
Wavel Woodcock : Grand Anse Praslin
Louncy Micock: La Digue and Inner Islands
Bernard Georges : Les Mamelles
Gevais Henrie : Mont Buxton
Jean Francois Ferrari : Mont Fleuri
Clive Roucou : Plaisance
Paul Riaze : Pointe Larue
Godfray Hermitte : Port Glaud
Jany Deletourdie : Roche Caiman
Sandy Arrisol : Saint Louis
Terrence Mondon : Takamaka