Quite high turn-out at parliamentary election


03-October-2011

People waiting for their turn to vote at Cascade

The Parti Lepep, winning all 25 seats on a first-by-the-post system, scored a total 31,123 votes or 88.56% of valid votes.

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), which is only three weeks old, won no district, but polled 3,828 votes or 10.89%.

Though scoring above 10% of valid votes, it obtained no seat, as according to Electoral Commission chairman Hendrick Gappy, the Constitution - as amended - states that seats are allocated based on votes cast, rather than votes polled.  This also means that the number of proportionally elected seats allocated to Parti Lepep is only six, instead of the expected eight (see explanation in lead article).

The Parti Lepep performed extremely well, retaining and even improving the scores in the May 21 presidential election.
In two districts -- Baie Ste Anne and Cascade – newcomer Nathasha Esther won a record 1,925 votes, while veteran Charles De Commarmond scored 1,674 or 94.79% respectively.

These were also the districts where PDM obtained its lowest scores - 4.47% for Baie Ste Anne and 5.21% for Cascade.
In contrast, the PDM’s best score was that of its leader, David Pierre, at Mont Buxton -- 352 or 20.58%, followed by Jane Carpin at Au Cap with 272 votes or 17.2%.

Mont Buxton was also the electoral area where Parti Lepep got its lowest score -- 1,164 or 68.07% won by Sheryl Vangadasamy. She was contesting against the PDM leader and the only independent candidate, Jacqueline Hoareau.

Ms Hoareau scored 194 votes at Mont Buxton, or 11.35% -- a record for an independent candidate since the Third Republic. 

Generally, the number of votes scored by Parti Lepep candidates remained unchanged from the May presidential election, going up or down slightly in some districts -- though in all cases the percentages shot up vis-à-vis the far weaker PDM.

The National Assembly election was historical on several counts. It was the first held since the establishment of the five-member Electoral Commission and also the first monitored by a local watchdog organisation.

It was also the first election where there had been an organised boycott -- consisting of the Seychelles National Party (SNP), the New Democratic Party (NDP) and Philippe Boullé, who was a presidential candidate in the May election.

The lower turn-out however can be attributed only partly to the organised boycott.

The electoral campaign was far less heated, with no rallies and both parties using the radio and television for the campaign broadcasts instead.

Since the presidential election was held barely four months ago, there was also voter fatigue or apathy. With the SNP not in the contest, the election had perhaps too much the semblance of a walk-over for Parti Lepep.

With 31,123 of valid votes cast in favour of Parti Lepep -- more or less the same result as in the May presidential poll (31,966) -- it is obvious that the SNP-led boycott movement, though it can claim most of the 16,447 rejected votes, stood no chance. That would have been the case, even adding the PDM’s 3,828 votes and the small abstention rate of about 10%.

As lawyer/political commentator Frank Ally claimed in an SBC television interview before the results were announced, the opposition’s poor show last May at district level could have been the real motivation behind the organised boycott.
 
At best, it could have won just two districts, plus a few more on proportional basis.

Table showing a summary of results of the 2011 National Assembly election

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