President Michel ends speculation over next year’s election


(Posted 06th February 2015)

Seychelles’ President James Alix Michel nipped speculation in the bud yesterday when he upstaged the country’s disjointed opposition by announcing his intention to stand for re-election in the 2016 Presidential Election.

This correspondent was invited to monitor the last elections when President Michel was elected with a sound majority and when the opposition candidates showed bad form by staying away from the official announcements of results, when the winner was declared. President Michel also confirmed that the current Vice President Danny Foure will be his running mate, pre-empting further speculation within the ruling party as to who the candidate for VP will be next year.

Since his re-election in 2011 has the President continued on his reform path for the country, advancing the changes which began following the 2008 global financial and economic crisis.

He also aggressively pursued his policy of rallying global support against climate change, leaving out no opportunity to remind the world of the plight of small island nations for which the very survival is stake as ocean levels keep rising. An advocate of both the green and blue economy has the Seychelles embraced the use of renewable energy sources while at the same time still expanding protected areas, on land as well as for the vast ocean territory which falls under Seychelles’ jurisdiction inside the 200 mile economic exclusion zone.

In what many saw as a master stroke did President Michel bring a non Parti Lepep member into cabinet when he appointed Alain St. Ange as his Minister for Tourism and Culture, ceding the tourism ministry he held himself as President to an acknowledged expert in the sector. The move paid off handsomely as tourism arrivals continued to grow year after year and new resorts opened their doors.

The country’s standing in Africa – Seychelles is an active member of the African Union and part of SADC – is at an all-time high and as respected as it has ever been and the same applies to the global arena where the Seychelles play a crucial role in the UN, heading a coalition of small island nations which face the brunt of climate change. A leading member of the naval coalition to fight and eradicate the ocean terror inflicted on shipping by Somali pirates, has the country been host to many foreign navies calling on Port Victoria on official missions and for crew R&R.

Seychelles is one of the few countries around the globe with an open door policy for visitors and requires no advance Visa, granting visitor passes on arrival at no cost to tourists, one of the reasons for the tourism industry’s continued success. Be sure to watch this space for regular updates on a range of topics from the Seychelles, a paradise archipelago regularly visited by this correspondent.

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