Seychelles. In July, incumbent President James Michel was
re-elected with 54% of the vote. Michel represents the
Seychelles Progressive People's Front (SPPF), which has been
a ruling party since 1977. The main opponent, Wavel
Ramkalawan of the Seychelles National Party (SNP), got 46%.
The economy was the most important issue in the electoral
movement and turnout was close to 89%.
CountryAAH, about 100 people protested outside Parliament in early
October in protest of the election of the elected officials
by a law restricting private ownership of radio stations,
which meant that the opposition's hopes for its own radio
station were shattered. Police used tear gas and rubber
bullets to disperse the protesters. Several people were
injured, including opposition leader Ramkalawan. Critics
said the police used too much force, and the president
immediately investigated the matter.
Tourism, Seychelles' main source of income, declined at
the beginning of the year due to the so-called chikungunya
virus. The mosquito-borne virus was transmitted from island
to island in the Indian Ocean. By April, some 250,000 people
in the region had been infected, including close to 10,000
in the Seychelles. The authorities have long tried to tone
down the issue and did not speak as openly about the spread
of infection as their colleagues in the other island