Seychelles Government and Politics

Constitution and political system

Seychelles Country Flag

The Seychelles are a unified state republic. The head of state, the president, is elected in the general election for five years and can be re-elected twice. He appoints and heads the government himself and is a military commander. Legislative power has been added to the National Assembly, since 1996 consisting of 34 members; 25 are selected from individual circles and 9 according to a proportional distribution. The National Assembly is elected for five years. The government is dominated by the party SPPF, which has obtained a pure majority in all elections.

There are 23 districts in Seychelles.


There are three courts: the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Magistrate’s Courts. A constitutional court is part of the Supreme Court. There are separate courts for labor and tenancy cases. The judges are appointed by the president.

An uninhabited island

When Arab seafarers first set their feet on the island in the 7th century, they were still uninhabited. At the beginning of the 16th century, Vasco da Gama, a famous seafarer from Portugal, recorded them on the maps.

The location of the islands was still unfavorable for seafaring, so no one had the idea to settle there. The French followed the Portuguese. The main island of Mahé was named after a governor of Mauritius, Bertrand François Mahé de La Bourdonnais, who had the island explored. Further expeditions by the French followed.

Where did the Seychelles get their name from?

It was not until 1770 that the French took possession of the islands and gave them the name Seychelles. The inspiration for this was a French finance minister named Moreau de Séchelles.

A few years later the actual settlement of the islands began. This was done primarily by black slaves, who brought the French from Madagascar to the Seychelles and used them as workers on their plantations, which they had created in the meantime. The first island to be settled was the main island of Mahé. The first people to settle on the island, even if not voluntarily, were African slaves and their French “owners” at the time.

Battle for the Seychelles

In the meantime the favorable position of the islands was better recognized and a battle for supremacy on the islands broke out between Great Britain and France.

The long-standing clashes between these two countries ended in 1814 with the Peace of Paris, in which the Seychelles were awarded to Great Britain. The British used the island as a penal colony for their prisoners. However, the administration took place from Mauritius and the islands were part of the British colony of Mauritius.

Road to the independence of the Seychelles

The Seychelles did not become an independent colony until 1903. After the Second World War, sponsors were founded and efforts were made towards independence for the islands. But it would take a while before political independence.

But the islanders were finally able to enforce self-government in 1970 and independence six years later, in 1976. The Seychelles remained a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The first President of the Seychelles was called James Mancham.

Two parties keep fighting for power

Two parties essentially determined the fate of the country. These were the socialist party Seychelles People’s United Party (SPUP) and the more conservative party Seychelles Democratic Party (SDP). The SDP won the first elections.

There was a coup in 1977. The then president went into exile in London and the socialist party, which had since been renamed Seychelles People’s Progressive Front (SPPF), was given sole power. Other parties were banned.

There is now an opposition again, even if it was the former Unity Party is still in government responsibility.

Seychelles Head of Government

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