Seychelles: Presidential, Legislative Election Dates in Seychelles Confirmed - Oct 22-24

Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo).

The Electoral Commission of Seychelles has confirmed October 22 to 24 as the island nation's dates for its presidential and legislative elections.

The chairperson of the Commission, Danny Lucas, told a press conference on Tuesday that with the confirmation of the dates, the voters' register is now closed.

"This will enable us to compile all transactions that have to do with the voters' register we have gathered in the past few months. It will allow us to certify the register," said Lucas.

Voters who have registered after December 31, 2019 are being advised to check their names by texting 9600 on their phones or by visiting the Commission's website which will be updated once the register has been certified.

On the process of conducting the election, the legal representative of the Electoral Commission, Salina Sinon, said that casting of ballots will be done in alphabetical order.

"This means that the register will be split into different sections. The process will take place in different rooms given the number of voters in that particular district. Voters will have to vote in the room containing their names. It will allow the process to run faster," said Sinon.

Last Thursday, the National Assembly -- the country's legislative body -- approved 17 amendments to the Election Act which seek to ensure a fair electoral process in the island nation.

Types of ballots that are to be used during the elections and security measures were also discussed during the press conference.

With regards to incapacitated voters, Sinon said that these people "will be fast-tracked and the person assisting them to the polls will be limited to one only and should not be a polling agent for any candidates."

The Electoral Commission has received a budget of SCR15 million ($841,000) to carry out the election in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. The chairperson said that the budget was approved pre-COVID but since two elections will now be held simultaneously, the budget may be reviewed if deemed necessary.

Sinon said that in order to qualify for the elections, a candidate must be a citizen of Seychelles, and are not disqualified as a voter under the Constitution.

The Commission has not yet set the Nomination Day.

Presidential and National Assembly elections in Seychelles typically are held every five years. This year the National Assembly election was moved up in order to save money during a time of COVID-19.

In the last Presidential election in December 2015 -- the candidate of the ruling Parti Lepep - James Michel -- obtained 31,512 or 50.15 percent.

While the opposition coalition - Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) -- won a majority votes including 15 out of the 25 constituencies contested in the legislative election in September 2016.

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