Geographic and Governmental Profile of Seychelles

Background
A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Socialist rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. President France-Albert RENE, who had served since 1977, was re-elected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James MICHEL took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term; he was reelected in May 2011.
Location
archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
Geographic coordinates
4 35 S, 55 40 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
455 sq km
rank:
198
land:
455 sq km
water:
0 sq km
Area - comparative
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
491 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate
tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)
Terrain
Mahe Group is granitic, narrow coastal strip, rocky, hilly; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Morne Seychellois 905 m
Natural resources
fish, copra, cinnamon trees
Land use
arable land:
2.17%
permanent crops:
13.04%
other:
84.79% (2005)
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Irrigated land
3 sq km
Natural hazards
lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; occasional short droughts
Environment - current issues
water supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
41 granitic and about 75 coralline islands
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Seychelles
conventional short form:
Seychelles
local long form:
Republic of Seychelles
local short form:
Seychelles
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Victoria
geographic coordinates:
4 37 S, 55 27 E
time difference:
UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
23 administrative districts; Anse aux Pins, Anse Boileau, Anse Etoile, Anse Louis, Anse Royale, Baie Lazare, Baie Sainte Anne, Beau Vallon, Bel Air, Bel Ombre, Cascade, Glacis, Grand' Anse (on Mahe), Grand' Anse (on Praslin), La Digue, La Riviere Anglaise, Mont Buxton, Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Pointe La Rue, Port Glaud, Saint Louis, Takamaka
Independence
29 June 1976 (from the UK)
National holiday
Constitution Day (National Day), 18 June (1993)
Constitution
18 June 1993
Legal system
mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President James Alix MICHEL (since 14 April 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President James Alix MICHEL (since 14 April 2004)
cabinet:
Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections:
president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for two more terms); election last held on 19-21 May 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
election results:
President James MICHEL elected president; percent of vote - James MICHEL 55.5%, Wavel RAMKALAWAN 41.4%, Philippe BOULLE 1.7%, Ralph VOLCERE 1.5%; note - this was the second election in which President James MICHEL participated; he was originally sworn in as president after former president France Albert RENE stepped down in April 2004
Legislative branch
unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (34 seats; 25 members elected by popular vote, 9 allocated on a proportional basis to parties winning at least 10% of the vote; members to serve five-year terms)
elections:
last held on 29 September - 1 October 2011 (next to be held in 2016); note - the National Assembly was dissolved in July 2011 resulting in early elections
election results:
percent of vote by party - PL 88.6%, PDM 10.9%, independents 0.6%; seats by party - PL 31, vacant - 3; note - the ruling SPPF changed its name to People's Party (Party Lepep) in June 2009; the SNP and NDP boycotted the 2011 elections
Judicial branch
Court of Appeal; Supreme Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the president
Political parties and leaders
Democratic Party or DP [James MANCHAM, Paul CHOW]; New Democratic Party or NDP; People's Party (Parti Lepep) or PL [France Albert RENE]; Popular Democratic Movement or PDM; Seychelles National Party or SNP [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] (formerly the United Opposition or UO)
Political pressure groups and leaders
Roman Catholic Church
other:
trade unions
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Jean Ronald JUMEAU
chancery:
800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017
telephone:
[1] (212) 972-1785
FAX:
[1] (212) 972-1786
Diplomatic representation from the US
the US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Seychelles
Flag description
five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side; the oblique bands are meant to symbolize a dynamic new country moving into the future; blue represents sky and sea, yellow the sun giving light and life, red the peoples' determination to work for the future in unity and love, white social justice and harmony, green the land and natural environment
National anthem
name:
"Koste Seselwa" (Seychellois Unite)
lyrics/music:
David Francois Marc ANDRE and George Charles Robert PAYET
adopted 1996
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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