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» 06.05.2011 - "No electoral violence in Seychelles"
» 02.02.2010 - Seychelles appoints ambassadors to boost tourism
» 17.12.2009 - Seychelles appeals for small islands' right to exist
» 11.11.2009 - Somali pirates seize SA bound cargo ship
» 09.11.2009 - W/B helps Seychelles out of economic deep end
» 23.10.2009 - Seychelles takes additional measures against piracy
» 28.07.2008 - Opposition leader wins Seychelles by-elections
» 02.06.2006 - Opposition loses Seychelles early election bid

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Political instability mounts in Seychelles

afrol News, 14 July - Seychelles main opposition party, Seychelles National Party (SNP), has announced that national assembly member, Jean-Francois Ferrari, has resigned as member for Mont Fleuri, after he was denied right to address national assembly on public officers’ ethics Bill.

Mr Ferrari had referred to national assembly standing Order 37 (7), which states "a member shall be entitled to speak to any question in the Assembly for not more than 30 minutes."

Opposition leader Wavel Ramkalawan said, "resignation of Mr Ferrari will necessitate a by-election in which people of Mont Fleuri will be asked to decide between right of their national assembly member to speak for them and Speaker Patrick Herminie's control of assembly. This election will be a referendum on right to free expression in assembly. We will be calling on people of district to decide for people of Seychelles."

Mr Ramkalawan is said to have also submitted a motion for removal of Herminie, as speaker on these grounds.

Mr Herminie is ruling party’s (People's Progressive Front) - PPF - central committee member for Port Glaud, a role seen by opposition as a contradiction to his position as speaker.

By-election called to fill vacancy in Seychelles national assembly comes at worst possible time for ruling party because of economic situation facing the island, with high cost of living made worse because of devaluation of country's currency.

The by-election is also going to be seen as a referendum on government's ability to manage economy, control cost of living and to curb corruption and a referendum on suitability of national Speaker.

PPF, which has been in power since 1977 military coup d'état, fearing worst, has abruptly withdrew from Mont Fleuri by-election.

Party leader Albert Rene personally announced PPF's position on national television and went as far as telling people not to vote on election day.

By-elections, set for July 19, will now see two opposition parties contest for a seat, incumbent Jean Francois Ferrari from SNP and lawyer Frank Elizabeth from Democratic Party.

Ruling party, fearing a repeat of by-elections as a way to test people's feeling, has moved to make it impossible for a sitting member to resign and then re-contest by-election brought about because of resignation.

A motion brought about by proportionally elected ruling party member, Marie Antoinette Rose, has asked government to consider bringing legislation to bar members who resign to re-stand as candidates.

The motion seen against constitution and is unlikely to be taken up by government because every Seychellois national is entitled to contest any election unless he or she is a convict or has lost his or her citizenship.

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