Seychelles LDS coalition opposition scores first victory in 40 years | News | DW | 11.09.2016
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Seychelles LDS coalition opposition scores first victory in 40 years

The archipelago off the coast of East Africa is set for its first transition of power between parties since a 1977 coup. The People's Party has ruled the islands since the return to a multi-party system in 1993.

The Seychelles opposition LDS coalition scored a victory in national polls, authorities announced on Sunday. It marked the first time since 1977 that parliament will not be controlled by the People's Party of President James Michel or its previous iterations.

The final tally gave the LDS, a union of the two main opposition parties, 19 seats in the National Assembly. The People's Party garnered 14 in the tiny Indian Ocean nation's 33-seat legislature.

President Michel, who narrowly won his reelection last December by a margin of only 193 votes, promised to work together with the new parliament.

"My hope is that this spirit of consultation continues in the new National Assembly, where we all work together for the common good of our nation," said Michel. "The people have spoken, the people have decided and the people's decision is supreme, and my party respects the people's opinion."

It will mark the first transition of power in the Seychelles since the return of multiparty democracy in 1993.

After gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, the country's first democratically elected leader, James Mancham, was ousted just one year later in a coup led by France-Albert Rene, who had the backing of the Soviet Union. Rene ruled until 2004, when he stepped down in favor of his second in command, current President Michel.

The nation of 118 islands and 92,000 inhabitants voted over three days, beginning on Thursday. Turnout was a very high 87 percent.

es/jm (AFP, dpa)

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