Four political parties register candidates for September parliamentary elections in Seychelles
Four political parties the majority presenting candidates for all 25 electoral districts submitted nomination documents to the Electoral Commission on Wednesday. (Electoral Commission)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Candidates from four political parties in Seychelles on Wednesday registered for upcoming parliamentary elections set for September 8-10.
The ruling Parti Lepep, Lalyans Demokratik Seselwa (LDS), Lafors Sosyal Demokratik (LSD) and the Seychelles Patriotic Movement (SPM) arrived at the Electoral Commission’s office before the 1 p.m. deadline.
Chief Electoral Officer Joseph Athanasius told SNA that the process had gone rather quickly for the first two parties – Parti Lepep and LDS -- as “all their documents were in order,” while the registration process for LSD and SPM had to be delayed. Athanasius said those two parties needed to submit missing documents by mid-afternoon to complete the process.
Candidates coming forward to register for the September polls had to submit their nomination papers, a list of 50 supporters from the electoral district where they are planning to stand, as well as a receipt confirming that they had paid a sum of 1.500 Seychelles rupees (about $114) as legal tender to support their nomination.
Parti Lepep confident of retaining majority
The ruling party has always won a majority in National Assembly elections, since the establishment of the Third Republic, which saw the return of a multi-party system in 1993. In the 2011 election Parti Lepep won all 25 directly elected seats.
Speaking to the media after all Parti Lepep candidates had gone through their formalities, a representative of the party, Simon Gill, said Lepep is confident of retaining its majority.
“The people of Seychelles know what we have done as a party that has been here for many years, that has worked for the people and have listened to the people and have done everything to respect their views and what they want,” said Gill.
“Taking all these into consideration I do not see any other choice for the Seychellois people than to give Parti Lepep a majority to continue with its programme,” he added.
In 2011, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), which currently holds the 7th proportional seat in the house, was the only contender alongside Parti Lepep, as the main opposition parties boycotted the elections.
The September vote is setting out to be one of the most contested legislative elections in Seychelles since the return of multiparty democracy with three opposition groups having come forward to register candidates.
|The ruling Parti Lepep is confident of retaining majority. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Lalyans Demokratik Seselwa confident of good performance
Lalyans Demokratik Seselwa is a coalition of four opposition parties: the Seychelles National Party (SNP), Lalyans Seselwa (Seychellois Alliance), the Seychelles Party for Social Justice and Democracy (SPSD) and the Seselwa United Party (SUP). They came together as a common bloc against the ruling Parti Lepep for a historic run-off presidential election in December.
The Chairman and Leader of LDS, Roger Mancienne, told journalists that his party is confident of having a large majority of support in the country.
“I think that the people of Seychelles is behind us. There’s no doubt that we will perform really well in the National Assembly election,” said Mancienne.
“There isn't any strategy except for working hard to communicate with the voters, to put our manifesto out there for them and to ask for their support,” he added.
|The Chairman and Leader of LDS, Roger Mancienne, says his party is confident of having a large majority of support in the country. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Lafors Sosyal Demokratik teams up with Linyon Sanzman
Lafors Sosyal Demokratik (LSD) -- a newly registered political party announced by the Electoral Commission on Wednesday -- has teamed up with another party, Linyon Sanzman, to also present 25 candidates for the polls.
The leader of Linyon Sanzman, Martin Aglae, told SNA that the decision was taken following a court ruling which said that no party can use the name on ballots. The ruling asked the Electoral Commission to meet up with the two political parties involved to resolve the issue.
“We received a letter from the Electoral Commission at 2 p.m. yesterday [Tuesday] to say that Linyon Sanzman is legitimate. It's ours but we already had a back-up plan and our candidates are going under the banner of LSD,” said Aglae.
|The leader of Linyon Sanzman, Martin Aglae says his party has teamed up with the newly registered Lafors Sosyal Demokratik to contest the elections. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Seychelles Patriotic Movement aiming for two proportional seats
Another newly formed political party, the Seychelles Patriotic Movement (SPM), has candidates for 23 out of the 25 electoral districts.
The party leader, Regis Francourt, is conscious of the fact that things will not be easy for the party formed less than two months ago but is confident of “doing quite well.”
“Our target is reasonable enough. If we win two proportional seats in the assembly then we will be happy,” Francourt said to SNA, adding that SPM believes it can possibly come out victorious in some of the districts.
|The Seychelles Patriotic Movement is aiming for two proportional seats. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Peace and unity is a message the parties have all echoed ahead of the start of official campaigning for the September polls.
The Electoral Commission will be informing all candidates whether their nominations have been successful later on Wednesday.
The Chief Electoral Officer Joseph Athanasius says they will also be holding the draw to determine the order in which the candidates will appear on the ballot paper and party political broadcasts on national radio and television.
The race for the September polls will intensify later this evening as the official campaign period will start from 6 p.m., which is likely to see candidates placing their billboards across the country.
Parliamentary elections in Seychelles are held every five years.