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Thursday, June 16, 2011
Sate House Press Release Ridicules Ramkalawan and Bernard George!!
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
The Cabinet of Ministers has resolved to present the amendments to the Constitution and amendments to the Elections Act to the National Assembly in order to create an Electoral Commission. The amendments will be debated in the National Assembly on 28th June.
The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution gives provisions to Article 115 for the creation of an Electoral Commission of three members, of which one is a Chairman.
The Commission would be appointed in the same manner as the Constitutional Appointments Authority in order to ensure its independence and the fairness in appointment of members.
Therefore one member is appointed by the President of the Republic, one member is appointed by the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, and these two members jointly appoint the third member who becomes the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.
The Cabinet of Ministers consulted the 2009 Constitutional Review Report for the inclusion views from the members of the Constitutional Review Committee, which were;
Mr Francis CHANG-SAM, Attorney-At-Law Chairman
Mrs Marie-Louise POTTER, Leader of Government Business Member
(or designated representative: Mr. Willaim Herminie)
Mr Wavel RAMKALAWAN, Leader of the Opposition Member
(or designated representative: Mr. Bernard Georges)
Mr Gustave DODIN, Ombudsman Member and Chairman of the Human Rights Commission
Mr Albert PAYET, Chairman SCCI Member
Mr Philippe BOULLE, Attorney-At-Law Member
Mr Bernard ELIZABETH, Chairman, Lungos Member
Ms Cheryl VENGADASAMY, Speaker, National Youth Assembly Member
Ms Elizabeth CHARLES, Director International Cooperation, Ministry
of Finance Secretary
The Committee made the following recommendation;
“Article 115(Electoral Commissioner)
The Committee recommends the establishment of an Electoral Commission in place of the present Electoral Commissioner. The Committee proposes that the Commission be composed of three members, appointed on the recommendation of the Constitutional Appointments Authority. As a result throughout articles 115 and 116 Electoral Commissioner should be replaced by electoral Commission.”
The Cabinet noted this recommendation, however it proposed that a more direct system of appointment would be more effective, whereby the views of the President and the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly would be clearly exhibited in endorsing the Electoral Commission, and thereby ensuring political stability in this process.
The Cabinet also noted the Seychelles National Party’s motion to create an Electoral Reform Commission by the National Assembly this week.
The Cabinet is of the view that the Constitutional Review Committee had already discussed the pertinent issues in detail and made their recommendations. Therefore, to create an Electoral Reform Commission as proposed by the SNP would duplicate and unnecessarily delay the development of the democratic process in Seychelles. The 6th Amendment of the Constitution would allow the establishment of an Electoral Commission, whose powers would allow it to address all the issues at stake in an all inclusive manner.
President James Michel has asked members of the National Assembly to work together for the consolidation of democracy, and he reiterated his call for everyone to work in the spirit of national unity.
During his May 24th inaugural address, the President said:
“We need men and women of goodwill to overcomes the challenges that lie ahead. We need to put aside our political and ideological differences so that we can progress as a people. It is time for us to stop mixing politics with everything that we do. It is time for us to consider our brothers and sisters who may not share the same opinions as we do, not as our enemies, but as Seychellois who are also contributing to the future of our country, even if we remain political adversaries. Adversaries where it concerns certain things, but also as colleagues with whom we can work; a brother or sister Seychellois with whom we can share much and who can work with us for the good of our country. We must, all of us, in the spirit of national unity and solidarity, put shoulder to shoulder and work towards one goal: a better future for this New Seychelles.”
Examples of appointments of electoral commissions/committees around the world:
·In India, the world’s largest democracy, the President appoints the 3 members of Electoral Commission (Chief Election Commission and two Election Commissioners).
·In South Africa, the Independent Electoral Commission is made up of 5 members that are appointed by President on recommendation of National Assembly based on nominations by an inter-party committee.
·In Mauritius, the Electoral Supervisory Commission consists of a Chairperson and seven members. The President makes the appointments, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, after the latter has consulted with the Leader of the Opposition.
·In Norway, which is ranked no. 1 in democracy on the world Democracy Index of 2010 by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the 5 members of the National Electoral Committee are appointed by the King.