In August 1991, opposition leaders Maxime Ferrari returned from exile. He was leader of the Christian Democratic Assembly Party for Democracy. His son, Jean-Francois, founded the Seychelles Party and requested the speed of parliamentary elections – with international oversight.
The opposition forced President René to accept a multi-party system. The first step was taken in July 1992, when a commission was chosen to draft a new constitution. The SPFF government party received 13 of the 23 seats in the commission. Ex-President Mancham’s party PD got 8 seats.
The government continued its authoritarian practice, which soon led PD to resign from the Constitutional Commission and the first draft of a new constitution was rejected. The process was only resumed in June 1993, after PD re-entered the Commission. A new proposal was drafted that could receive support from both parties, and it was later voted by a referendum of 73.6% of the vote.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Seychelles. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
The new constitution made the country a multi-party state, with a National Assembly of 33 members and presidential elections every 5 years. According to the president, the constitution could last for up to 3 periods. René won the election in July 1993, and his party gained an absolute majority in the National Assembly.
Tourism remained the country’s main source of income. In 1993 and 94, the number of visiting tourists exceeded the country’s total population. Oil products and canned tuna accounted for 80% of exports during the same period. Despite a 22% unemployment rate, per capita income in 1994 was $ 5,480. 99% of the population has access to running water and everyone meets their basic food needs.
In 1995-96, economic growth was moderate. In 1996, international aid totaled $ 13 million, which was used to finance a number of environmental conservation and road improvement projects.
In 1997, only 1.1% of the state budget depended on international aid, although the country still relies on foreign technical assistance.
Although in 1998, Seychelles ranked highest among African countries on the UNDP human development scale, the country ranked only 56th worldwide.
At the South-South Summit in Havana in April 2000, Vice President James Michell succeeded in gaining the Summit’s recognition of the special problems and vulnerabilities facing small island states such as the Seychelles. By 2001, an indicator should be provided for the vulnerability of these states.
With the aim of showing investors that political stability prevailed in the country, René printed elections two years ahead of time. At the September 2001 elections, he was re-elected for the third time since the introduction of multi-party rule. He got 54.2% of the vote, while his counterpart, Wavel Ramkalawan of the Seychelles National Party got 44.9%. Ramkalawan declined to accept the election result and declared that the election had been marked by threats and offers of money to voters who would vote for René.
Global warming is one of the biggest problems Seychelles is facing. Within flora and fauna are among others. parrots, large turtles and coconut trees are already affected by the rising temperatures and the corals around the islands are already dead. The country’s large biodiversity helps to make it a favorite tourist destination, and tourism is therefore also an important source of foreign currency. The government has therefore made the protection of the environment one of its most important goals. The population is raised entirely from small to care for natural resources.
In January 2002, the Constitutional Court refused to overturn the September election results, despite allegations of irregularities.
In April, the Consultative Tourism Council, which since 1999 had advised the government, was transformed. The Minister of Tourism and Transport, Simone de Comarmond assured that the government had committed to supporting the development of tourism. Especially after the terrorist attack on New York on September 11, it was necessary to step up efforts to keep Seychelles’ tourism industry competitive.
The Journalists Without Borders protest against the government because of its campaign against the independent newspaper Regar, which in articles accused Vice President James Michel of being involved in corruption.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Seychelles in 2000 was 80,885, ranking number 200 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.110% yearly, and the population density was 176.0783 people per km2.