National Assembly elections in the Third Republic | 12 September 2016
A trip down memory lane
Seychellois voted over three days – September 8, 9 and 10 – to elect their representatives for the sixth National Assembly of the Third Republic.
The first National Assembly of the Third Republic was voted in in 1993, followed by the second in 1998, the third in 2002, the fourth in 2007, the fifth in 2011 and the sixth in 2016.
This is in fact the 14th parliament since Seychellois received the right to vote in 1967. The first parliament was made up of only eight members representing eight districts and this increased to 15 in 1970. There were 25 parliamentarians in 1976, 33 in 1993 and 34 since 2002.
We take you on a trip down memory lane for a recount of the first five National Assembly elections of the Third Republic.
SPPF wins landslide victory in 1993
On Friday July 23, 1993, was held the first multi-party presidential and parliamentary elections of the Third Republic and the Seychelles People’s Progressive Party (SPPF) won landslide victories.
Albert Rene was elected for a first five-year term with 59.50% of the votes (25,627 out of over 43,500 voters) and he was sworn in as the first President in the Third Republic on Monday July 26, 1993.
SPPF got 27 members in the new 33-seat parliament after the party scored the highest number of votes in 21 out of the 22 constituencies. The party was allocated six additional seats under the proportional system.
The SPPF candidates who were directly elected were: Walter Confait (Anse Aux Pins), Andre Pool (Anse Boileau), Roger Toussaint (Anse Etoile), Barry Faure (Anse Royale), Ange Morel (Baie Lazare), Mitcy Larue (Baie Ste Anne), Marie-Louise Potter (Beau Vallon), Michael Rene (Bel Air), Charles de Commarmond (Cascade), Patrick Herminie (English River), Gilbert Barbier (Glacis), Waven William (Grand Anse Mahé), Michel Gardette (Grand Anse Praslin), Monica Figaro (Inner Islands), Simon Gill (Mont Buxton), Florence Benstrong (Mont Fleuri), Joevana Charles (Plaisance), Dick Esparon (Pointe Larue), Ginette Gamatis (Port Glaud), Bella Henderson (St Louis) and Theresa Marie-Jeanne (Takamaka).
The party’s six proportionate members were Danny Faure, Francis McGregor, Shelton Jolicoeur, Hugh Payet, Louis Gopal and Marie-Nella Azemia.
The polling closed the transition from the one-party democracy to political pluralism and for the first time in the history of Seychelles that three parties feature in the country’s parliament.
James Mancham of the Democratic Party won 15,815 votes (36.72%) in the Presidential election but in the legislative election his party won only one electoral area – Bel Ombre. Christopher Gill won the seat for the Bel Ombre district.
DP thus qualified for four additional seats under the proportional system and those went to James Mancham, Paul Chow, Daniel Belle and Georges Bibi.
United Opposition’s presidential candidate Philippe Boulle won 1,631 votes (3.79%) but his party did better in the legislative election, winning a total of 4,163 votes (9.71%) of the votes cast.
Wavel Ramkalawan took the National Assembly seat won by the United Opposition on a proportional basis. A party needed at least 9% of the total votes to qualify for a proportional seat.
Francis MacGregor was the Speaker and Shelton Jolicoeur the Deputy Speaker, while Danny Faure was the leader of government business. James Mancham was the leader of the opposition of the first National Assembly.
SPPF gets 24 direct seats in 1998
For the 1998 parliamentary elections held on March 21, 22 and 23, 25 directly elected seats were up for the taking – three more than at the last election in 1993. With the increase in the number of directly elected seats in the National Assembly the Constitution now catered for “not more than 10 members elected on the basis of the scheme of proportional representation”.
The SPPF took 24 of the 25 seats leaving only one for the United Opposition at St Louis.
The SPPF candidates who were directly elected were: Walter Confait (Anse Aux Pins), Andre Pool (Anse Boileau), Roger Toussaint (Anse Etoile), Barry Faure (Anse Royale), Bernard Valentin (Au Cap), Ange Morel (Baie Lazare), Mitcy Larue (Baie Ste Anne), Marie-Louise Potter (Beau Vallon), Georgie Nicette (Bel Air), Danny Loizeau (Bel Ombre), Charles de Commarmond (Cascade), Patrick Herminie (English River) Gilbert Barbier (Glacis), Waven William (Grand Anse Mahé), Karl Tamatave (Grand Anse Praslin), Monica Jawhary, formerly Figaro (Inner Islands), Brassel Adeline (Les Mamelles), Linda William (Mont Buxton), Louis Gopal (Mont Fleuri), Vincent Meriton (Plaisance), Dick Esparon (Pointe Larue), Ginette Gamatis (Port Glaud), Joevana Charles (Roche Caïman) and Bernie Marie (Takamaka).
The SPPF scores were over 50% in all districts except St Louis where it lost to the United Opposition’s candidate Wavel Ramkalawan.
The United Opposition overtook the Democratic Party in all districts except Baie Lazare and Glacis.
The National Assembly was now made up of 34 members, one more than the last session.
Together with the proportionally elected members, the SPPF got 30 seats (6 proportional for the 61.71% of the votes), three for the United Opposition (2 proportional for the 26.06% of the votes) and one for the Democratic Party (1 proportional for the 12.10% of the votes).
The proportional elected members for the SPPF were Francis MacGregor, Shelton Jolicoeur, Hugh Payet, Simon Gill, Florence Benstrong, Bella Henderson. Jean-Francois Ferrari and Anthony Derjacques were the members of the United Opposition, while Georges Bibi was the Democratic Party’s nominated MNA.
Francis MacGregor and Shelton Jolicoeur were re-elected Speaker and Deputy Speaker, while Patrick Herminie became the leader of government business and Wavel Ramkalawan the leader of the opposition.
In the presidential election ran simultaneously with the parliamentary election, the voters had to choose between three candidates: France Albert Rene of the SPPF, James Mancham of the Democratic Party and Wavel Ramkalawan of the United Opposition.
The candidature for each nominee included a running mate who was to automatically become the Vice-President when the person on whose tickets he/she was running wins the Presidential election.
Mr Rene’s running mate was James Michel, that for Mr Mancham was Danielle Belle and Mr Ramkalawan’s running mate was Annette Georges.
France Albert Rene was re-elected for another five-year-term with 31,048 votes (66.67%) of the 46,573 valid votes cast. Mr Ramkalawan got 9,098 votes (19.53%) and Mr Mancham 6,427 votes (13.80%) of the votes.
SPPF wins majority in 2002
The SPPF of President France Albert Rene won 18 of the 25 seats contested at the 2002 National Assembly election ran from December 4-6.
The opposition Seychelles National Party (SNP), winner of only one seat at the 1998 election, improved its tally to seven directly elected seats.
The SPPF won Anse aux Pins (Walter Confait), Anse Boileau (Andre Pool), Anse Etoile (Anne Marie Mathiot), Anse Royale (Barry Faure), Baie Lazare (Robert Georges), Au Cap (Daisy Rath), Baie Ste Anne (Mitcy Larue), Cascade (Charles de Commarmond), English River (Patrick Herminie), Grand Anse Mahé (Waven William), Grand Anse Praslin (Norbert Lepathy), Inner Islands (Ansley Constance), Mont Fleuri (Louis Gopal), Plaisance (Ivy Edmond), Port Glaud (Ginette Gamatis), Pointe Larue (Dick Esparon), Roche Caïman (Jeovana Charles) and Takamaka (Terrence Mondon).
The Seychelles National Party (SNP) leader Wavel Ramkalawan retained his St Louis seat while his party won six others – Bel Air (Alain St Ange), Bel Ombre (Nicholas Prea), Beau Vallon (Collin Dyer), Glacis (Regina Alcindor), Les Mamelles (Bernard Georges) and Mont Buxton (Gerald Julie).
The SPPF polled over 54 percent of the votes, meaning it got an additional five members on the proportionally elected basis as one proportionally elected seat is allocated for each 10 percent of votes won. They were Francis MacGregor, Shelton Joliceour, Simon Gill, Isabelle Joubert and Rukaiya Jumaye.
The SNP polled over 40 percent of the votes meaning it got four additional proportionally elected members – Hardy Lucas, Ebrona Brioche, David Pierre and Francis Cupidon.
The new National Assembly for the five years beginning in 2002 were made up of 34 members, 23 for the SPPF and 11 for the SNP.
The other main party contesting the election, the Democratic Party (DP) polled less than 10 percent of the votes and therefore did not qualify for a proportionally elected seat and was absent in the assembly.
The Social Democratic Alliance's sole candidate in the Beau Vallon district was also not elected.
The election was conducted smoothly and 87 percent of the electorate turned up. Both teams of observers from the La Francophonie and the European Parliament described the election as transparent and satisfactory.
The new National Assembly was sworn in on December 17, 2002 and the first item on the agenda was the debate on the 2003 Budget which had to be approved before the end of the year.
Francis MacGregor and Shelton Jolicoeur were re-elected Speaker and Deputy Speaker, while Patrick Herminie stayed as the leader of government business and Wavel Ramkalawan the leader of the opposition.
SPPF retains majority in 2007
The ruling SPPF retained its 23-seat majority in the National Assembly in 2007 after the party won 18 directly elected and five proportionate seats in the May 10-12 election with 56,2% of the 55,827 votes.
The Seychelles National Party (SNP) retained its 11 seats when seven of its candidates were voted in, also earning four proportionate seats. It garnered 43.8% of the votes.
There was a shift in the districts where the two parties’ candidates won, as Michel Marie of SPPF won in the Mont Buxton constituency which was formerly held by an SNP member of the National Assembly (MNA) – Gerald Julie.
SPPF also gained Glacis through MNA-elect David Payet, but the ruling party lost Mont Fleuri to Jean-François Ferrari of SNP and Anse Etoile which went to the opposition party’s leader Wavel Ramkalawan.
Both the parties fielded veteran and new candidates and the winners among SPPF’s newcomers were Joseph François who was the new MNA for Anse aux Pins, Terence Françoise (Anse Royale), Marc Naiken (Au Cap), Wilby Lucas (Baie Lazare), Michel Marie (Mont Buxton), Roy Nibourette (English River), David Payet (Glacis), Jeniffer Vel (Pointe Larue), Bernard Adonis (Plaisance) and Marc Volcère (Grand Anse Praslin).
SNP’s newcomers in the Assembly as elected MNAs were Norbert Loizeau (Bel Air) Jean-François Ferrari (Mont Fleuri) and Sandy Arissol (St Louis).
The 18 directly elected SPPF members were Joseph François (Anse Aux Pins), Andre Pool (Anse Boileau), Terrence Françoise (Anse Royale), Marc Naiken (Au Cap), Wilby Lucas (Baie Lazare), Mitcy Larue (Baie Ste Anne), Charles de Commarmond (Cascade), Roy Nibourette (English River), David Payet (Glacis), Waven William (Grand Anse Mahé), Marc Volcère (Grand Anse Praslin), Ansley Constance (Inner Islands), Michel Marie (Mont Buxton), Bernard Adonis (Plaisance), Jennifer Vel (Pointe Larue), Ginette Gamatis (Port Glaud), Jeovanna Charles (Roche Caïman) and Terrence Mondon (Takamaka).
SPPF’s proportionally elected members were Patrick Herminie, Marie-Louise Potter, Marie-Antoinette Rose, Vicky Thérésine and Clifford André.
The SNP’s elected members were Wavel Ramkalawan (Anse Etoile), Collin Dyer (Beau Vallon), Norbert Loizeau (Bel Air), Nicholas Préa (Bel Ombre), Bernard Georges (Les Mamelles), Jean-François Ferrari (Mont Fleuri) and Sandy Arissol (St Louis).
Its proportionate members were Hardy Lucas, David Pierre, Regina Alcindor and Frank Elizabeth.
Dr Patrick Herminie was elected Speaker of the fourth National Assembly of the Third Republic, while Marie-Louis Potter became the leader of government business and Wavel Ramkalawan was re-elected leader of the opposition.
Parti Lepep gets absolute majority in 2011
After the main opposition party – Seychelles National Party – boycotted the election, all the 25 ruling Parti Lepep’s (formerly SPPF) candidates won National Assembly seats in the September 20 – October 1 election.
Parti Lepep got 31,123 or 88.56% of the 35,145 votes which was 60.3% of the 51,592 votes cast as 16,447 votes were rejected.
The 25 directly elected SPPF members were Dr Jhowla Manoo (Anse Aux Pins), Bernard Arnephy (Anse Boileau), Melval Dugasse (Anse Etoile), Derek Samson (Anse Royale), Murielle Marie (Au Cap), Wilby Lucas (Baie Lazare), Natasha Esther (Baie Ste Anne), Mirena Souris (Beau Vallon), Nichole Barbé (Bel Air), Galen Bresson (Bel Ombre), Charles de Commarmond (Cascade), Kevin Vidot (English River), Dr David Payet (Glacis), Lenny Lebon (Grand Anse Mahé), Marc Volcère (Grand Anse Praslin), Chantal Ghislain (Inner Islands), Emmanuel Fideria (Les Mamelles), Sheryl Vengadasamy (Mont Buxton), Begita Jeannevole (Mont Fleuri), Roma Aglae (Plaisance), Jennifer Vel (Pointe Larue), Sultane Jacqueline (Port Glaud), Jeovanna Charles (Roche Caïman), Herbert Hoareau (St Louis) and Alderic Bristol (Takamaka).
SPPF’s proportionally elected members were Mitcy Larue, Andre Pool, Patrick Herminie, Marie-Louise Potter, Marie-Antoinette Rose and Sebastien Pillay.
Formed in 2011, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), the only party which contested the election, polled 3,828 votes which added up to 10.89% of the 35,145 valid votes cast. But it did not win any seat as according to the Electoral Commission it had won only about 7% of the total votes cast, a decision its leader David Pierre contested and brought before the Constitutional Court.
The sole independent candidate Jacqueline Hoareau scored 194 votes in the Mont Buxton constituency.
On December 15, 2011, Mr Pierre, whose party had won its appeal for the allocation of a proportionally elected seat in the National Assembly in a ruling by the Court of Appeal, nominated and voted himself leader of the opposition after being sworn in as his party’s proportionally elected member in the National Assembly.
Then on May 16, 2016, a new National Assembly opposition leader – Francesca Monnaie – was sworn in after Mr Pierre submitted his resignation a day earlier.
Ms Monnaie took the oath of allegiance before Speaker Patrick Herminie to fill the only seat held by the opposition. She was formerly the Popular Democratic Movement’s secretary general.