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Home >> World
UPDATED: 21:01, May 09, 2007
All set for parliamentary election in Seychelles
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Seychellois voters will go to the polls on Thursday in the parliamentary elections originally due in October this year.

The three-day polls comes after President James Michel dissolved the 34-member National Assembly last March in protest against a five-month boycott by opposition lawmakers.

The voting will begin on Thursday first in outlying islands of the 115-island chain and conclude on Saturday on the three main islands -- Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.

Political observers predicted that the election are likely to be one of the most tranquil in the history of political campaigning and polling in the Indian Ocean island country.

Some 65,000 eligible voters out of a population of 82,000 will decide 25 seats of the National Assembly from fifty candidates, 25 from the ruling Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF) and the others from the opposition Seychelles National Party (SNP).

The candidates have thrown their hats into the race for the parliamentary seats, nine of which are proportional according to the constitution.

Michel's ruling SPPF is now fighting to win the 11 seats held by members of the opposition to enable the government to work effectively, while the opposition sees this election as a referendum on the three-decade SPPF rule of this remote Indian Ocean archipelago.

"It's been very quiet this time round because the opposition has not held any public rallies," electoral commissioner Hendrick Gappy told the media.

The 11 opposition lawmakers have been absent from parliament since police dispersed an illegal meeting last October where opposition supporters were protesting a plan to ban political parties and religious groups from owning radio stations.

Michel responded to the boycott by dissolving parliament and the opposition attempts to nullify the decree were rejected by the Supreme Court.

"Let's hold our majority, increase our majority and become stronger. Elect our candidates, so we can make our programs work," Michel said in a televised speech on Sunday, the last day of campaigning.

Michel, wielding the slogan 'Hold on, Don't let go', told voters that giving SNP a majority would "hold the government hostage."

Source: Xinhua

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