No political party can use name ‘Linyon Sanzman,’ Seychelles' court rules
The Seychelles' courts building 'Palais de Justice' at Ile du Port. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The name Linyon Sanzman [Union for Change] should not be used by any political party ‘unless and until all the contentious issues as to the use of the name has been objectively resolved and settled,’ the Seychelles’ Supreme Court has ruled.
The Electoral Commission had registered Linyon Sanzman -- a political party led by Martin Aglae -- in April this year. The same name was used by an opposition coalition to campaign for a presidential run-off in December 2015.
The coalition was formed by members of four opposition parties who had planned to register the name Linyon Sanzman as the banner under which they would contest the upcoming national assembly elections. They submitted a petition before the Supreme Court to contest the registration of their planned name by another political group.
In his ruling delivered on Monday, Judge Bernadin Renaud said that the Electoral Commission has to listen to the two political parties involved in the matter with the objective of resolving the contentious issues.
The chairman of the Electoral Commission, Hendrick Gappy, told SNA on Wednesday that “for now he awaits the official court documents, after which members of the commission will convene to decide on a course of action.”
The verdict delivered on Monday comes only two weeks ahead of the official registration of candidates for the September 8-10 legislative polls and a day after Linyon Sanzman had officially presented its line-up of 25 candidates for elections.
In a press conference on Tuesday, the leader of the registered Linyon Sanzman, Martin Aglae, insisted that his party is the legitimate Linyon Sanzman and that he will seek all avenues to keep the name.
“We are the true Linyon Sanzman for this country and no one, I repeat no one, will stop us from participating in this election as Linyon Sanzman,” said Aglae.
|Martin Aglae showing the certificate received from the Electoral Commission to confirm the registration of his political party as Linyon Sanzman. (Rassin Vannier, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Aglae went on to explain that his party had already spent money on organizing party conventions and to print campaign materials.
Giving its reaction on the court decision, the opposition coalition – Linyon Demokratik Seselwa -- said in a press statement on Tuesday that it does not wish to change its name back to Linyon Sanzman but strongly object to another party using the name.
“The use of that name by another party other than the group that united under the name in the second round of the presidential election would be malicious and only intend to deceive the public,” reads the statement.
Some five weeks remain before the parliamentary elections in the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean with a population of around 93,000.
So far three political parties have officially presented their line-up and according to the Electoral Commission four parties and two aspiring independent candidates have collected nomination forms.
August 17 has been set as the nomination day when candidates contesting the September polls will have to submit their registration documents.