Seychelles. According to
Countryaah, the August/September presidential election
marked a tight victory for President France Albert René,
who, however, received only 3,000 more votes than his chief
challenger, the Anglican priest Wavel Ramkalawan. The
opposition accused the president and the ruling party of
cheating and harassment of the opposition during election
day. In September, Ramkalawan requested that the charges
against René be tried in court.
In July 2003, the government passed a series of economic
reforms aimed at reducing the state's budget deficit. Three
embassies abroad were closed and a new tax was imposed on
imported goods, services and locally produced goods. Police
arrested 4 members of the National Party, including
Jean-Francois Ferrari of the Regar newspaper for
collecting signatures against the new taxes.
In September, the body of Ferrari's sister-in-law,
Therese Blanc, was found by a beach. Against this
background, the European Parliament's Committee on
Cooperation and Development asked President France-Albert
René for a report on the current political situation and
human rights in the country.
Seychelles was a member of the Southern African
Cooperation Organization (SADC) until 2004, but resigned in
July on the grounds that "it found no benefits in
integration". Before it could turn out, the country had to
repay DKK 2.5 million. US $ to SADC.
In December, Southeast Asia was hit by a tsunami, and the
tidal wave also reached Seychelles, causing serious fishing
damage. Many boats were damaged or damaged. FAO initiated a
program to repair or replace the damaged boats. In February
2005, it was estimated that the country needed $ 30 million.
US $ to make the necessary reconstruction.
Seychelles confirmed in August 2005 that it had no
opportunity to return to SADC due to continuing difficulties
in meeting its financial obligations to the organization.
The announcement had been made as early as the beginning of
the year, but a possible agreement had been reached which
was, however, ultimately not possible.
In May 2006, the concern increased for the chikungunya
virus to reach the Seychelles. The disease spread with the
African mosquito that was also a carrier of dengue
fever. The disease had already hit 275,000 along the Indian
Ocean by this time. Despite the fear of chikungunva, tourism
- the country's main source of income - continued to rise in
2007. However, the government warned that the continued rise
of tourism should be handled carefully to avoid
deterioration of the country's environment.
The global economic crisis that struck in 2008 hit the
country hard due to falling tourism revenue. At the end of
the year, it did not have sufficient foreign currency to pay
interest and repayments on its foreign debt. The IMF entered
a rescue package of DKK 26 million. US $ and at the same
time forced the state into drastic measures: 1,800 public
servants were fired, government property sold, currency
restrictions removed and the currency liquidated. In a few
days, the price of a US $ increased from 8 to 16,
effectively doubling the price of imported goods. In 2009,
the economy shrank by 7.5%. The country was particularly
hard hit as its foreign debt accounts for 175% of GDP.
Tourism was further suffering from piracy in ever-increasing
areas of the Indian Ocean.
WikiLeak's 2009 US Embassy telegrams revealed that the
superpower's drone flights over Somalia and the Horn of
Africa are based in Seychelles.
In June 2010, India repaid 45% of its loans to