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Opposition leader wins Seychelles by-elections
afrol News, 28 July - Incumbent Seychelles' opposition candidate, Jean-Francois Ferrari, won the Mont Fleuri constituency by-election when he was re-elected with more than 86 percent votes from brave supporters who could not be intimidated. The ruling party had urged voters to boycott the poll.
Rival Democratic Party candidate Frank Elizabeth - also from an opposition party - only managed 12 percent of votes, according to the official results from the Seychellois election commission.
The former Seychelles National Party (SNP) candidate was a member of the country's National Assembly until he resigned after he was denied the right to address the assembly on a government bill. The ruling party, Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF) of former President Albert Rene, did not field any candidate for election, calling the by-election a "farce and a waste of time".
Mr Rene had previously asked voters from Mont Fleuri constituency not to vote at the by-election and had instead said they should use the election day for shopping. This was the first time since the return of multi-party politics in Seychelles, that the ruling party in power since mercenaries styled a coup d'état in 1977, allowed opposition to run away with election.
Analysts believe that the ruling party could not afford to have an election that could be seen as a 'vote of confidence' on state of Seychelles economy and its high cost of living, thus pulling out of the poll.
It is believed that ex-President Rene feared the worst and thus opted to boycott elections, appealing to the electorate not to vote in the year declared as "Year of the Constitution" by current president, James Alix Michel. The orders spelled out by Mr Rene was seen as a slap in face for the sitting President's call for the country's Constitution to be guiding document for everyone.
Even with pressure exerted by the former President, over a third of eligible voters, exercised their right to vote. The opposition party and its candidate, Mr Ferrari, had made it clear during their campaign that civil servants and embers of business community - who are dependent on the state machinery for a trading license - feared reprisal from the ruling party should not come out to vote.
A motion brought about by proportionally elected ruling party member, Marie Antoinette Rose, had asked government to consider bringing legislation to bar members who resign to re-stand as candidates. The motion seen as unconstitutional and 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.
By staff writers
© afrol News
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