Forum approves roadmap for electoral reform


03-February-2012

The Roadmap, which was first made public by the Electoral Commission late in 2011, has now been reviewed and approved by members of all registered parties who form part of the Forum and who were present at this week’s meeting.

Four of the five registered political parties were represented, namely Ralph Volcère of the New Democratic Party (NDP), Simon Gill of the Parti Lepep, David Pierre of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), and Wavel Ramkalawan of the Seychelles National Party (SNP).

According to a communiqué from the Electoral Commission, all members present gave their commitment to work on the Forum to see appropriate electoral reforms that would give all political parties a fair and equal opportunity to contest in future elections, in the pursuit of a more democratic Seychelles.

The communiqué said there were some concerns expressed that the whole reform exercise would be futile if, once the Forum and the Electoral Commission present their recommendations to the Government as required by the Constitution, the Government decides not to act upon the recommendations or to modify its substance.

The ruling Parti Lepep, through its representative Mr Gill, gave the assurance of their party leader James Michel that reforms which will be proposed to Government as required by the Constitution will be acted upon and also that fresh elections will be called as appropriate once the whole process is completed.

The Forum was also unanimous in agreeing that as a test to the commitment of all parties and bodies involved in the process, the Public Order Act will be addressed as a matter of priority and recommendations for its amendment made to Government, as a pilot exercise to prepare the ground for addressing other matters of relevance.

The Forum was also advised of the developments with regard the recruitment of certain professional staff and in particular experts from the Commonwealth, to assist and facilitate this very important exercise.

It is expected that a first expert will be appointed within the month and at a later stage an expert in legal drafting will be brought in.

The Forum is taking this opportunity to remind members of the public to take part actively in this process and provide their views on electoral reform, be it through direct submissions to the Electoral Commission, through the public meetings being organised this month or through their party representatives.

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