Capital : Victoria
Size: 180 sq m Popn: 72 000
The Portuguese were probably the first to visit these islands in the Indian Ocean off east Africa around 1500. They became a French colony in 1744 but were ceded to Britian in 1814 and ruled as part of Mauritus until becoming a crown colony in 1903.
Political parties were formed in the 1960s. James Mancham's Seychelles Democratic Party wanted integration with Britain and France-Albert Renž 's Seychelle People's United Party wanted complete independence. Internal self-government was granted in 1975 and the two parties formed a coalition. In June 1976, the Seychelles became an independent republic within the Commonwealth with Mancham as President and Renž as Prime Minister.
In 1977, Renž staged an armed coup while Mancham was away at a Commonwealth conference in London, declaring himself president. He formed a one party state under the SPUP which he renamed the Seychelles People's Progressive Front and was formally elected President in 1979, 1984 and 1989, surviving several attempts to overthrow him. Renž pursued a non-alighment policy and refused to allow vessels with nuclear weaponms to use his ports. Tanzania gave military support but his position was weakened after the fall of the USSR. Mancham returned to contest a multi-party election in 1992 but this was won by the SPPF who formed a commission to dfart a democratic constitution.
This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.
Copies may be made for personal use only.
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