Forum for electoral reform-Fourth meeting discusses Public Order Act


Open to the public and the media, the meeting was attended by members of the Electoral Commission as well as representatives of all five registered political parties and the Citizens Democracy Watch Seychelles (CDWS).

In a press communiqué, the Electoral Commission said the main business of the day was the presentations and deliberations on the Public Order Act. The Seychelles National Party and New Democratic Party had presented in the last meeting a joint submission as to their proposals regarding amendments which they considered necessary in the current Act.

Yesterday’s agenda was to see presentations made by Parti Lepep, Popular Democratic Movement and Seychelles Freedom Party.

Headed by Christopher Gill, the Seychelles Freedom Party (SFP) made its presentation and proposals for review of the current legislation.

The SFP’s presentation centred on the fundamental rights of peaceful assembly which every Seychellois has under the Seychelles Constitution.

The SFP’s proposal shared much common ground with that of the joint SNP and NDP submissions. There was some debate on the two presentations and it was agreed that the essence of the various proposals would be set out in a draft document to be considered in the next meeting.

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) which was due to make a presentation at yesterday’s sitting presented its excuses as the representative who was to make the presentation on their behalf had been unavoidably taken up with some other matters outside of the forum meeting.

The Parti Lepep was also due to make its presentation at yesterday’s sitting, but its three-member delegation comprising Simon Gill, Ralph Agrippine and William Herminie walked out from the meeting over a disagreement on the issue of the previously agreed pre-conditions among the political parties.

To ensure that the work of the forum is taken on board by government and the ruling party, all political parties had agreed right at the start of the forum on certain pre-conditions.

In the last meetings there had been proposals to review the pre-conditions. Parti Lepep’s protest walk-out was on the basis that all the work of the forum should be adjourned pending the reconsideration and new agreement on the pre-conditions.

The Electoral Commission, which chairs the forum meeting, as well as the majority of other members present were of the view that the forum should continue its work for the day to consider the Public Order Act and address the issue of pre-conditions as a separate matter.

The majority of members present were also of the view that the previously agreed pre-conditions should remain until such time as new pre-conditions are discussed and agreed.

Most of the deliberations of yesterday’s sitting were therefore in the absence of Parti Lepep’s representatives.
The next meeting of the forum will take place at the National House on Wednesday March 14 at 9am to which any interested members of the public are free to attend.

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