It is clear today that Seychelles is gearing up for two elections, although all the hype currently is about the Presidential race. This is because even if the authorities decide to go only for a presidential election initially, as soon as the results are out, the voting for the National Assembly will have to follow suit.
Currently Seychelles finds itself in a situation of dual powers, with the ruling party finding itself in the minority in the National Assembly, where the 2016 legislative elections put the opposition in the majority, thus forcing an uneasy cohabitation which is fast disintegrating. This being the case it is clear that no matter which party comes out as the winner in the race for the presidency, it will have to dissolve the National Assembly almost immediately and call for fresh legislative elections.
Even if it is Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) who wins the presidency, it will have to dissolve the National Assembly as quite a few of its current cohort of MNAs would be taking up senior posts in the executive even if they said the politicians should not become Ministers. This would vacate many seats in the NA thus forcing the holding of at least by-elections in those districts, which would not make sense logistically and therefore bringing about nationwide legislative elections.
If the ruling party (US – United Seychelles) wins the presidency, it will definitely have to do away with a hostile opposition majority in the National Assembly, thus again forcing elections.
A ‘One Seychelles’ win in the Presidential Elections will need to be immediately followed by National Assembly elections because it will be impossible for this party to bring in changes they are advocating as part of their program. The same is for Patrick Pillay’s LS Party if they won the presidential elections.
Given these scenarios it would
make more sense if both elections were held
simultaneously and as the National Assembly’s mandate does not come to an end until 2021, fresh elections would necessitate one of two possibilities- either the current Head of State dissolves the National Assembly, or the MNAs themselves move for and pass a motion of dissolution.
The incumbent President has
been somewhat unable to dissolve the
National Assembly, mainly because of the current political fatigue among the
population and some very serious revelations of abuse by past US (PARTI LEPEP – SPPF) administrations have eroded its support base. LDS also have been o.k. with the status quo in the National Assembly because many people have expressed their dissatisfaction that despite holding a strong majority in parliament, the party has been unable to deliver on its election promise to bring down the cost of living and put money in the pockets of the Seychellois.
It is clear therefore that the country will soon be going to the ballot in two
elections. The only question that remains is when will that be?
Will President Danny Faure continue with the current situation where problems are piling up, where there are cut backs in almost every budget spending area, where civil servants are still awaiting their promised salary increment, where the National Assembly and the state media have become political propaganda and campaigning mediums; or will he be brave enough to take the bull by the horns and call for a General Election now?