Commonwealth Election Reports

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Commonwealth Election Reports, the reports of Commonwealth Observer Groups, Missions or Expert Teams, are independently prepared by the team members as a contribution to the democracy and consensus-building in Commonwealth countries.

Elections to the Constitutional Commission in Seychelles, 23–26 July 1992

Elections to the Constitutional Commission in Seychelles, 23–26 July 1992

The Report of the Commonwealth Observer Group You do not have access to this content

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Commonwealth Observer Group
01 Aug 1992
9781848595408 (PDF)
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  • Introduction

    The decision by Heads of Government at their Harare Meeting in October 1991 to place the Commonwealth firmly behind the democratisation process in member states was an important catalyst for change in Seychelles. Within six weeks of his return from Harare, President Albert René made the dramatic announcement on 4 December 1991 that after 15 years of one-party rule, Seychelles would be transformed from a “single-party popular democracy to a pluralistic democratic system”.

  • Recent Political Developments

    Seychelles became independent in June 1976 with Sir James Mancham as its first President and Mr France Albert René as Prime Minister. This arrangement, however, was shortlived. In June 1977 a coup d'état took place when Sir James was in London to attend a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

  • The Electoral Process

    Soon after President René's announcement was made, the People's Assembly duly passed the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles (Preparation and Promulgation) Act, 1992 (Act 2 of 1992) in April 1992.

  • Issues of Concern

    The election threw up a number of issues which by their very nature bore directly on the ultimate freeness and fairness of the entire process. Some were of the sort to be expected in any competitive election; others reflected the peculiarities of Seychelles, the great majority arising from the fact that the election itself was part of a wider process involving a transition from many years of one-party rule to multi-party pluralism. It is also only fair to add that most of these issues seemed to weigh more heavily with the opposition parties who invariably raised them with us in the clear expectation that our intervention with the authorities would help to resolve them.

  • The Campaign

    The arrival of our Group in Seychelles within one week of the commencement of the four-day poll on 23 July, meant that an immediate objective of our wideranging consultations was to assess the campaign and its conduct. We approached this with a sense of urgency, not least because of a ban by the police on public meetings from 12 July. This early ban imposed without the knowledge and authority of the Director of Elections in contravention of the electoral law which had allowed for campaigning up to three days before the beginning of the poll, was unfortunate.

  • The Conduct of the Poll

    Polling began on 23 July and was spread over four days. The first three days covered the Inner and Outer Islands and the last day, 26 July, covered the main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. A copy of a statement issued by our Chairman on the eve of the poll is at Annex VIII.

  • Summary of Conclusions

    The main conclusions emerging from the body of our Report.

  • Acknowledgements and Annexes
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