Saturday, January 16, 2016


The hearing is set to open on 15 February and close on 3 March unless more time is needed.

The court challenge of the results of the 2015 Presidential election was mentioned in court on Thursday 14th January and hearing will start on Monday 15 February, the Chief Justice announced.

This information was also conveyed to stakeholders in a meeting between the lawyers of the Union for Change movement, those of the respondents in the case and Chief Justice Mathilda Twomey on Wednesday.

Antoine Onezime; CEO of SBC
 The hearing will go on for two weeks straight, following which “an assessment will be carried out to evaluate the progress and decisions will be taken,” the Seychelles National Party (SNP) leader, Wavel Ramkalawan explained in a post of social media. This will happen on 3 March.

The respondents - James Michel, Hendrick Gappy, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General, Ronny Govinden, have be given 14 days to file their defense. The court will reconvene on 9 February and more time will be granted if such is needed until the hearing begins on 15 February.

 Because of the high public interest of the case, the Union for Change movement had requested that the court case be filmed by the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) and that it is also projected outside the courtroom on a big screen for opposition supporters who would not be able to gain admittance to the courtroom which can only accommodate 48 persons.

But Mr Ramkalawan said that “the SBC have said that they do not have the resources”, to film the hearing. Three lawyers have also been assigned the responsibility of producing a daily summary of the day’s proceedings which will be made available to the public.

The petitioner, Mr Ramkawalan is represented by a team of lawyers led by Bernard Georges, while Basil Hoareau is representing James Michel, Samantha Aglae is representing the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General’s office is represented by David Esparon. Some 80 witnesses are expected to be heard during the court of the trial.

The two petitions were filed after the Presidential runoff which took place between 16 and 18 December.

The first petition lodged on December 28 requests that the Constitutional court declares null and void the results of the second round and the subsequent “election” of James Michel as it alleges that the Electoral Commission wrongly calculated the results. The petition wants the Constitutional court to interpret clearly what the Constitution says regarding the calculation of the percentage of votes.

The second, an Election petition filed on January 5, claimed that the Presidential runoff did not comply with certain provisions of the Elections Act and that the election was not free and fair because numerous illegal practices were committed by the ruling party, Parti Lepep.

Source:Today in Seychelles