Wednesday, February 18, 2015


 The Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has published the list of candidates for its coming election to be held during next week's Annual General Meeting (AGM).The SCCI has circulated the final list of 42 nominations for the post of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Treasurer and Councillors. Dolor Ernesta is standing as Mr. Francis deputy whilst Ahmed Afif is deputising for Mr. Andre. The election will be held on Thursday 26th.

The battle for the chairmanship of the SCCI is usually played behind closed doors. Not this time. The contenders have taken their campaigns to the Internet.

Marco Francis

While the country in general is focused on the run-in to the presidential elections which could well be held this year, another election campaign is being contested, to represent the business community this time. And, for the most part, the battle is being fought in cyberspace.

The Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SCCI) is the body which regroups the private sector in Seychelles, although all businesses are members. It acts as an interface between businesses and the State with the aim of promoting economic growth and wealth creation, but its primary concern is of course advancing the agenda of the private sector which drives the economy.

The SCCI Constitution, amended about four years ago, provides for the election of a chairman and councilors who hold office for a period of two years. Currently Marco Francis, who operates mainly in the offshore sector, is heading the chamber and his term will expire at the end of this month.

A candidate can run for election as chairman of the chamber and serve for three consecutive terms. This year, two teams who have confirmed their intention to field candidates for the chairmanship as well as for the posts of councilors.

This includes the incumbent Marco Francis and his group, who are now being challenged by a team led by former Member of National Assembly (MNA) and councilor, Clifford André. Mr André has been councilor for two consecutive terms although he is reported as having being absent for most of the latter one. Another councilor from the current SCCI council, Peter Roselie, also appears to have changed loyalties and now forms part of the team challenging Marco Francis.

Meanwhile Mr Francis has confirmed that Mr André has already submitted his candidacy and that of his team to the SCCI headquarters. The battle to run the SCCI is usually a drama which is played behind the scenes and into which the general public does not get much insight.
Clifford Andre

But not this time as the contenders have taken their campaigns to the internet. While Peter Roselie has himself gone online to criticize the incumbent council, going as far as name calling both the current group running the council, of which he was part until a few weeks ago, it is businessman and former Democratic Party (DP) MNA Christopher Gill who is leading the online assault on the challenging team.

Christopher Gill, who last year won an award during the second edition of the Seychelles Business Awards, is a politician who crossed the floor from the opposition to join forces with the majority party in the National Assembly when he was the DP’s sole representative in Parliament. He then remained fairly quiet for a couple of years before becoming politically active again through a movement which did not fulfill the requirements of the Commissioner of Elections to participate in the last general elections in 2011.

 Peter Roselie who is an accountant by profession, appears to have fallen out with the current Council and has thrown his lot in with Clifford André who is said to have issues with the leadership style of Marco Francis. The latter is basing his campaign on the achievements of his first term, which he says includes the opening up of frank dialogue between the government and initiating Seychelles’ first ever Business Awards which is now an annual event. He also points to his insistence that businesses retain their sense of commitment to the community.

Source: Today