Seychelles. According to
Countryaah, President France Albert René, like his party,
the Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF) won big in
the March 20-22 presidential and parliamentary elections.
Rene's share of the vote rose from 59.5% in the last
election in 1993 to 66.7%. At the same time, SPPF received
30 of the 34 seats in Parliament. The elections were judged
to have been largely correct. However, information on voice
purchases and threats from SPPF was available. The fact that
the elections were held four months earlier than expected
meant that the opposition parties were given poor time to
prepare for the election campaign. The largest opposition
party with three seats became the United Opposition (UO),
which in July changed its name to the Seychelles National
Party (SNP). Internal contradictions helped the Democratic
Party (DP) to decline sharply. After the election, many DP
members jumped off to SNP.
Rumors claimed that President René was ill, but there was
no sign that he was about to withdraw from politics.
Responsibility for daily government work had already been
taken over by Vice President James Michel.