International observers monitoring the Seychelles’ sixth National Assembly election have called for the reform of the electoral commission and regular revision of the voter register for a more credible election. Three international observer missions — SADC-Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM), Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC (ECF-SADC) and an all-women mission from the African Union — presented their preliminary reports Monday. “We find that there is a general lack of confidence in the electoral commission by a range of stakeholders, particularly the opposition and civil society,” said Augustine Mahiga, the head of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission. Mahiga said that Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, should consider implementing policy measures to improve confidence in the electoral commission.
One recommendation is the reviewing of the model of the electoral commission and the manner in which members are appointed.
“Unless urgent steps are taken to rebuild trust between the election administrative authority and the electoral stakeholders, the conduct of credible and transparent elections in the near future will be in jeopardy,” said Reverend Bongani Finca of the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC.
The leader of the all-women-mission from the African Union, Fatuma Ndangiza, said that the island nation should consider “revising the process of the appointment of the electoral commission to further strengthen the perception of its independence.”