Electoral Commission to audit political parties in Seychelles to monitor use of funds
The logo of the Electoral Commission (Electoral Commission)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles’ Electoral Commission plans to audit the expenses of political parties receiving funds for their activities, a top official says.
The interim electoral commissioner, Bernard Elisabeth, said that political parties receive money every quarter depending on the number of seats they have in the National Assembly.
“The money is disbursed every three months in a year to ensure that a follow up is done by the Commission. Some political parties are even receiving 800,000 rupees every three months,” added Elisabeth.
There are 11 parties registered with the Electoral Commission. Some of them are not active but are still receiving funds and they need to be accountable for their expenses, Elisabeth said.
One example "is the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), which gained 600,000 rupees in the last legislative election but did not even participate in the election. You cannot just get away with this amount of money and not be accountable,” said Elisabeth.
He added that as of now “all political parties receiving funds from the Commission need to submit an auditor’s report with details of all their expanses including a list of their executive members each year.”
According to the Electoral Commission, SCR 6.5 million is budgeted under the consolidated fund to share between political parties based on the number of valid votes gained in the previous election.
A representative of Parti Lepep, Sebastien Pillay, said that this new approach by the commission is a good initiative and it is the responsibility of all political parties to ensure accountability in the way they spend their money.
Pillay said that “whereas for Parti Lepep we have a good framework in place and our financial documents are well kept.”
He added that this new approach will further give credibility to political parties in the future.
The party leader of Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS), Roger Mancienne, said that although the commission is starting this now it is in their mandate to do so.
“In actual fact it should be an imperative within each political party to submit a financial report in their annual general meeting,” said Mancienne.
SNA spoke to two Seychellois citizens to find out their views on this new approach.
Merna Sifflore said it was about time that political parties become more accountable. “After all it is tax payers’ money that we are talking about.”
Andrew Jeanne said that this practice should have come a long time ago “but unfortunately we previously had a Commission that couldn’t care less about accountability after each election ended.”
According to the current voter’s register, around 63,000 people are eligible to vote out of the 93,000 people residing in Seychelles.
Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Seychelles are held every five years.
In the last Presidential election in December 2015 -- the candidate of the ruling Parti Lepep – James Michel -- obtained 31,512 or 50.15 percent.
The opposition coalition -- Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) -- won a majority votes including 15 out of the 25 constituencies contested in the legislative election in September 2016.