The Republic of Seychelles
Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean about 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) east of Kenya. The nation is an archipelago of 115 tropical islands. With a land area of approximately 455 square kilometers and a population numbering approximately 82,000, Seychelles is one of the smallest nations worldwide.
Nevertheless, since gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, the Republic of Seychelles has developed rapidly and enjoys one of the highest per capita GDP's in the African region.
Seychelles is a multi-party democratic republic which gained its independence from the UK in 1976. The country is ruled by a popularly elected president and has a legislative branch consisting of a unicameral 34-seat National Assembly. Socialist rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. President Albert Rene’s party, the Seychelles People’s Progressive Front (SPPF) has maintained power since taking over in a 1977 coup.
President René was re-elected in 2001. In June 2004, President Albert René stepped down after 27 years in power and peacefully handed power over to his Vice President James Michel. Incumbent President James Michel of the Seychelles People’s Progressive Front won his first elected term in the July 2006 elections. The final vote count was 53.73 percent for Michel to 45.71 percent for opposition alliance candidate and Seychelles National Party (SNP) leader, Wavel Ramkalawan. The electoral process for the 2006 Presidential Elections were determined to be credible by international observers. Parliamentary elections are expected to be held in 2007.