Thursday, October 22, 2015


Acts of intimidation, threats and accusations are “unacceptable” and “not conducive to free and fair elections”, political parties tell the commission.

Alexia Amesbury told the members of the Electoral Commission that she is being intimidated by political opponents.
The Electoral Commission has appealed to all political parties to call upon their supporters and agents “to exercise discipline and respect for their opponents”. This call was made on Tuesday afternoon during a meeting with representatives of all political parties as well as members of the Seychelles Media Commission.

Restraint, the Electoral Commission added, is important “to ensure that the campaign and the election process is undertaken in a peaceful manner”.

This followed representations made to the EC during the meeting with respect to “acts of intimidation, threats and accusations, be it directly in print media as well as social media, all aimed at attacking and denigrating one another”.

This newspaper has also learnt that presidential candidate Alexia Amesbury told the members of the Electoral Commission on Tuesday that eight of her dogs were recently killed at her home on Praslin.

Presidential candidate; Alexia Amesbury
 Following Tuesday’s meeting, the lawyer wrote an official letter to the chairman of the Electoral Commission, Hendrick Gappy, as well as to the Commissioner of Police, Ernest Quatre, “out of concern for my personal safety”.

Mrs Amesbury alleges that her husband has been followed, that her elderly aunt has received anonymous and threatening telephone calls and that her internet and mobile phones “are being interfered with”.

Asking “What kind of regime acts in this cowardly fashion?”, Mrs Amesbury says she is not a “soft target” and has asked the Electoral Commission to write to the Commissioner of Police “requesting that these matters are fully investigated and appropriate steps taken against those responsible for these cowardly acts calculated to spread terror in the country in the run up to the election”.

Although in its press release, the Electoral Commission does not mention these specific incidents, it said that there was a “unanimous agreement by all representatives of political parties that this situation is unacceptable and not conducive to peaceful, free and fair elections”. The commission added that it was also agreed that “if this situation is not addressed, it could easily escalate and affect the peaceful conduct of the elections”.

 It is unclear however how the relevant institutions propose to “address” the matter. Pending the decision for a concerted effort, the Electoral Commission presented a draft code of conduct for political parties and stakeholders at Tuesday’s meeting. A final draft should be presented for adoption by the end of the week, the commission said.

The code of conduct will also be shared with administrators of social media groups “to seek their collaboration in this process”. It is unknown at this point who will police this code of conduct and whether the grievances of the representatives of political parties will be effectively addressed.

 In fact while she says that the eventuality of the authorities failing to address her grievances, “will be interpreted as the Electoral Commission condoning the acts of terror and international organisations will be asked to intervene”, Mrs Amesbury told TODAY she has not lodged a complaint with the police because she is doubtful “they will do anything”.

Source:Today in Seychelles