Know The Seychelles

Mahé

 

Administrative History

French Administration

The first settlement of Seychelles is said to have started in 1770 with the landing of a group of French colonists and their slaves on the island of Ste Anne.

As recorded in Fauvel (1909:115) the twenty eight (28) consisting of "15 blancs,7 esclaves, 5 malabars and 1 négresse" were under the command of "sieur" Delaunay.

Filliot (1982:61) noted that in 1771 Delaunay had already built a few huts("cases" ) and stores for their provisions which included rice and maize.

The settlement soon shifted to Mahé as they easily overpowered the "first" inhabitants or slaves-Francois, Laviolena (or Laviolette), Casse Marteau, Alexandre, La Ramée who were said to have been there since 1768 and attacked the "commandant" with their "sagay" (spears)  at night.

 

- Mahé de Labourdonnais               - Moreau des Séchelles - De Quinssy

In 1773 La Perouse noted that the settlement was in disarray and "la ville était composé de quatre a cinq cabanes" which seemed abandoned.  Only four (4) cinnamon- trees, five nutmeg- trees and forty pepper plants had been saved from the spice garden or "Jardin du Roi" at Anse Royale in 1775.

It was in 1778 that the present town of Victoria then, " LEtablissement du Roi" was founded by Charles Routier de Romainville, twenty two (22) years after Corneille Nicolas Morphey  had officially taken possession of the islands in the name of the King of France.

Among the first buildings was the - logement du commandant? (ten) (10) by four (4) (metres), close to the present State House.

The Commandant who administered Seychelles represented the Governor General of Mauritius, then Ile de France, who in turn represented the King of France.

Following the French Revolution of 1789 the French settlers set up a permanent Colonial Assembly declaring their independence. Soon however, they got a new administrator, Chevalier Queau de Quinssy who brought to an end the short-lived experience in 1793.

British Administration

 

State House

In 1794 De Quinssy was surrendered to Britain's Captain Newcome and Seychelles became officially a British colony with the Treaty of Paris in 1814.

Seychelles was administered by a British representative or Civil Agent whose title was changed to Civil Commissioner in 1839 and in 1872 a Chief Civil Commissioner. It was then that it got a new legislative and executive body-the Board of Civil Commissioners. In 1903 Seychelles became a Crown colony administered directly from Britain and had its own Legislative Council. It was only in 1948 that the Legislative Council was elected but only 9% of the population could vote, that is, those who were literate and paid taxes.

The country was divided in four (4) districts: North, South and Central Mahé and Praslin.

It had to wait until 1967 to have universal adult suffrage and the country was divided in eight (8) electoral areas: North, South, West and East Mahé; Victoria North and South, Praslin, La Digue and the Outlying islands.

The 1969 election of the Victoria District Councils saw the contest for nine (9) Electoral Wards: Zig Zag, Conan, Mont Fleuri, Central, Pier, Plaisance, Hospital, St. Louis, Bel Air.

Seychelles was still divided into eight (8) electoral districts in both the 1970 and 1974 General Elections.

Seychellois Administration

 

First Republic

Seychelles became an independent Republic in 1976 with the same electoral divisions and less than a year later there was the coup d'état of 5 June 1977.

 

Second Republic

In the 1979 elections under the constitution of the Second Republic the people could vote for candidates in twenty three(23) districts of Mahé; Anse- Boileau, Anse- Louis, Anse- Royale, Baie- Lazare, Grand-Anse (Mahé), Port Glaud, Takamaka,  Anse-aux-Pins Bel-Air,Cascade, English River, Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Pointe Larue,Anse-Etoile,Beau-Vallon, Bel-Ombre, Glacis, Mont Buxton, St, Louis ,Baie- Ste-. Anne (Praslin), Grand-Anse (Praslin), La Digue while two (2) were appointed to represent the Inner and Outlying islands.

Third Republic

The Local Government Act voted by the People's Assembly in 1991 made provision for the election of Chairpersons and Councillors in the twenty three (23) districts and in the same year multi-party politics was re-introduced in Seychelles.

The 1993 first multi-party election saw the SPPF candidates elected in all but one of the Districts, that is,  Bel Ombre,  won by a DP candidate .

In the second multi-party election of 1998 there were three (3) new districts-Au Cap, Roche Caiman and Les Mamelles and the United Opposition won in the St Louis district.

The 2002 elections  saw  eighteen (18) elected SPPF candidates and seven (7) elected SNP candidates in the Central(3), North(3) and East region(1) of Mahé.

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