The Seychelles takes to the polls this week for its presidential and legislative elections. The elections are running concurrently in order to save money. This is because the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the tourism-based economy since the Seychelles closed its borders in March and only began phased re-opening in June. In accordance with recently developed Southern African Development Community “Guidelines for observation of elections in the region under public health emergencies”, pre-election consultations by observer groups were conducted virtually in August. The post-election analysis will also be virtual. Analysts say away from the limited representation of women and the youth, there is nothing to suggest that the coming elections will not be free and fair. What remains to be seen is how the virtual election observation will play out in upholding the credibility of the process. Nevertheless, even with the above points of contention, analysts say the electoral management body appears to be playing its role fairly well. And the amendments to the electoral laws are an indication that the Seychellois government is intent on upholding the principles of electoral procedure and practice that it has committed to.
SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION