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2016 ELECTION PETITIONS - INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC

 

This page has been created by SeyLII on behalf of the Judiciary of Seychelles to help members of the public to track the progress of the cases challenging the validity of the recent Presidential Election.

There are two petitions (cases) pending in the Constitutional Court.    Both petitions will be heard together.  The hearings are scheduled to begin at Ile du Port on 15 February 2016.

All of the pleadings (documents filed in Court) will be uploaded to this page, except for affidavits (sworn statements of evidence) and legal authorities.

In addition, for each day that the petitions are called in Court, an independent Special Rapporteur will produce a summary of the proceedings.  You can read all of these summaries below.

All media enquiries should be directed to the Chief Justice’s Chambers: j.barnes@judiciary.gov.sc or 428 5800.


DISCLAIMER: SeyLII is an independent non-governmental association which is not affiliated with any party to these petitions.  Nothing on this page should be taken as an endorsement of any party's position or as an indication of any decision that may be made by the Constitutional Court.


 

DOCUMENTS FILED IN THE ELECTION PETITIONS

 

FIRST PETITION: CP 7/2015 (filed 28 December 2015)

Wavel Ramkalawan v Electoral Commission, James Michel & Attorney General

1. Petition under Article 130 of the Constitution (28 December 2015)

2. Affidavit in support of Petition (28 December 2015)

3. Preliminary Objections by First Respondent [Electoral Commission] (28 January 2016)

4. Defence by Third Respondent [Attorney General] (28 January 2016)

5. Defence by Second Respondent [James Michel] (29 January 2016)

6. Judgment of the Constitutional Court (31 May 2016)

 

SECOND PETITION: CP 1/2016 (filed January 2016)

Wavel Ramkalawan v Electoral Commission, James Michel & Attorney General

1. Petition under Article 51 of the Constitution and section 44 of the Elections Act (5 January 2016)

2. Affidavit in support of Petition (5 January 2016)

3. Defence by First Respondent [Electoral Commission] (28 January 2016)

4. Defence by Third Respondent [Attorney General] (28 January 2016)

5. Defence by Second Respondent [James Michel] (1 February 2016)

6. Matter arising in CP 01/2016: MA 13/2016 Application to remove Attorney-General from Election Petition:

    a. Application by Petitioner to strike out Third Respondent (1 February 2016)

    b. Affidavit in response by First Respondent [Electoral Commission] (5 February 2016)

    c. Affidavit in response by Second Respondent [James Michel] (8 February 2016)

7. Matter arising in CP 01/2016: MA 30/2016 Application for obtaining personal answers from Second Respondent 

    a. Application by Petitioner to obtain personal answers from Second Respondent [James Michel] (12 February 2016)

8. Judgment of the Court (31 May 2016)

 


SUMMARIES OF PROCEEDINGS BY THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR

Day 1 (first appearances): 14 January 2016

Day 2 (case management): 2 February 2016

Day 3 (hearing of pleas in limine litis): 9 February 2016

Day 4 (order on application to strike out third respondent in CP01/2016 and hearing of merits of CP07/2016): 15 February 2016

Day 5 (CP01/2016 hearing of application to strike out certain paragraphs from the petition, and hearing of application to call second respondent on his personal answers): 16 February 2016

Day 6 (rulings in CP01/2016 application to strike out pleadings and MA30/2016 arising in CP01/2016 application to call second respondent on his personal answers): 18 February 2016 

Day 7 (CP01/2016 hearing): 19 February 2016

Day 8 (CP01/2016 hearing): 22 February 2016

Day 9 (CP01/2016 hearing): 23 February 2016

Day 10 (CP01/2016 hearing): 24 February 2016

Day 11 (CP01/2016 hearing): 25 February 2016

Day 12 (CP01/2016 hearing): 26 February 2016

Day 13 (CP01/2016 hearing): 29 February 2016

Day 14 (CP01/2016 hearing): 1 March 2016

Day 15 (CP01/2016 hearing): 2 March 2016

Day 16 (CP01/2016 hearing): 14 March 2016

Day 17 (CP01/2016 hearing): 15 March 2016

Day 18 (CP01/2016 hearing): 16 March 2016

Day 19 (CP01/2016 hearing): 17 March 2016

Day 20 (CP01/2016 hearing): 18 March 2016

Day 21 (CP01/2016 hearing): 21 March 2016

Day 22 (CP01/2016 hearing): 22 March 2016

Day 23 (CP01/2016 hearing): 23 March 2016

Day 24 (CP01/2016 closing submissions): 28 March 2016


An overview of all current election laws in Seychelles is available here.

All Court of Appeal decisions from the December 2016 session are now available

The Court of Appeal sits three times a year to consider the cases appealed to the highest appeals court in the Seychelles.

The final session for 2016 was concluded on 9th December 2016 and all of the judgments handed down, twelve in total, are now available on the SeyLii Court of Appeal page for 2016.

NEW EDITION of Finding List for legislation in Seychelles - free on SeyLII

 

Finding List for Seychelles Legislation as at 10 May 2016 - now available on SeyLII


SeyLII is delighted to announce the publication of a new edition of the Finding List, an essential reference resource that allows everyone in Seychelles (and beyond) to find out exactly which laws are in force and what amendments have been made over time.

The Finding List was originally developed by Professor Tony Angelo and is now in its ninth edition. 

A full copy of the Finding List can be downloaded for free in Word or PDF here.

Alternatively you can browse a complete list of the Acts in force or the Statutory Instruments (subsidiary legislation) in force.

Please note that this edition is updated to 10 May 2016.  It does not take into account any changes made in the official revised edition of the Laws of Seychelles, which came into force on 11 May 2016.

If you want to know whether an Act or Statutory Instrument has changed since 10 May 2016, just go to the SeyLII page for that law and look for a hyperlink to any subsequent developments.

 

SeyLII
27 October 2016

 

Urgent Fundraising Appeal - Help SeyLII keep the eGrey Book online

 

An urgent fundraising appeal to the people of Seychelles

Dear All,

SeyLII is a non-profit independent organisation that believes in free and open access to law for all.  Over the past four years, it has been dedicated to collecting and publishing essential information to not just the members of the legal profession, but the members of the public at large. 

One of SeyLII’s proudest achievements is the launch and maintenance of the “eGrey Book” service.  This is a highly specialised free internet tool which publishes 80 of the most commonly used laws in Seychelles on one user-friendly site, with regular updates and search and download options, in keeping with the theme of access to justice for all.

The eGrey Book is hosted by a web platform in Canada and as such has major running costs associated with it.  For the past two years, SeyLII has benefited from international sponsors which helped with the initial start-up.  The time has now come again to pay the running costs, but as SeyLII is a non-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers dedicated to the cause, it has no independent funding to meet this year’s costs which amount to almost USD 10,000.  These funds must be raised before Christmas 2016 to keep the eGrey Book online.

Free Access to Law in Africa Awards 2016

 

The African Legal Information Institute (AfricanLII) and the Southern Africa Legal Information Institute (SAFLII), both close partners of SeyLII, have opened nominations for the 2016 Free Access to Law in Africa (FALA) Awards. The Awards are instituted in recognition of actors whose support for access to law enhance value for legal information, while also expanding the frontiers of free access to legal information in Africa. 

The FALA Awards recognize the contributions of individuals, policy makers and organizations who have made this growth possible, either by championing free access to law, creating conditions for free access to blossom, or through technology innovation. These actors have worked with LIIs in ways that are significantly impacting democracy in Africa. Their contributions demonstrate a commitment to create open societies, strengthen access to justice, promote the rule of law, and deepen transparency, accountability and citizen participation. 

There are three categories of the Awards:

Information relating to the Bar Examination 2016

 

 

BAR EXAMINATION 2016

The Bar Examination will be held from 1st to 10th August 2016, with one examination each working day on the following schedule:

Week 1:

  1. Monday  Paper 1: Civil Code of Seychelles
  2. Tuesday Paper 2: Seychelles Code of Civil Procedure
  3. Wednesday Paper 3: Property law including:
    •  Immovable Property (Judicial Sales) Act
    •  The Immovable Property (Transfer Restriction) Act
    •  The Land Registration Act
    •  The Mortgage and Registrations Act
  4. Thursday Paper 4: Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code
  5. Friday Paper 5: The Law of Evidence​

Week 2:

  1. Monday Paper 6: Commercial Code and Company Law
  2. Tuesday Paper 7:  Family Law including
    • Civil Status Act,
    • Children Act, and
    • Matrimonial Causes Act
  3. Wednesday Paper 8: Constitutional and Administrative Law

Applications to write the Bar Examination must be received by the Registrar of the Supreme Court by 30 June 2016.  

28 March 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 24 – 28th March 2016, 9.30 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

The Court resumed this morning to hear closing submissions. All parties presented written submissions to the Court but were also given 15 minutes during which to make oral submissions. 

23 March 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 23 – 23 March 2016, 9.30 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Mrs Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

Mr Hoareau announced that he had no further witnesses to call, and would close his case. Therefore, the Court indicated that it would adjourn to allow Counsel to prepare their written closing submissions.

Mr Georges alerted the Court to the fact that he may have an additional application to make, but would require sight of a document which the First Respondent had promised to bring to court and had failed to bring. The Court instructed Mrs Aglae to make the document available within an hour.

22 March 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 22 – 22 March 2016, 9.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Mrs Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

Mr Georges continued to question Mr Gappy and he inquired about the Special voting station on the 18th December 2015 at Headquarters, the National Library. Mr Gappy agreed that there were 145 persons who voted on the Inner Islands Electoral Area at the Headquarters. He further agreed that there was a list that was compiled at the headquarters which was faxed to La Digue periodically and that the original list was then sent with the ballot boxes in the afternoon to La Digue. He stated, looking at the two registers, that they appeared to be similar but he cannot confirm that they are identical by looking at them briefly, further he could not identify which station the registers came from.

21 March 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 21– 21 March 2016, 9.30 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr.Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Mrs Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

18 March 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 20– 18 March 2016, 9.30 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr.Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Mrs Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

Mrs Aglae called Mr Mathiot who was the presiding officer for the Inner Islands. He identified the different polling stations for the inner islands. He stated that on the main day of polling, he was located on La Digue and he went on to explain the procedure followed at the polling station when a person came to vote. Mrs Aglae questioned Mr Mathiot whether he had seen anyone voting twice and he replied in the negative however there was a list which showed that there were two persons who had already voted on the special voting station on Mahe and had presented themselves on La Digue to vote. This issue was brought to the attention of the Electoral Headquarter and an entry was made in the occurrence book of La Digue. The Electoral Commission Headquarter stated that a mistake had occurred when crossing out the names.

17 March 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 19 – 17 March 2016, 9.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles
In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

Mrs Aglae brought the Cascade Register and she made an application to recall Mrs Choppy in the afternoon, which was granted. 

Mrs Aglae called her next witness, Mr Douglas Accouche who was the Presiding Officer of Anse Etoile at the Second Round of Presidential Elections 2015. Mr Accouche explained the procedure of what happened at the opening of the station, where names were called out of people who had voted at the Special Polling Stations which were crossed out from the list. He went on to explain the procedure to receive the envelopes from the Special Polling Station, he indicated that when the envelopes arrive to the station, the voting process stops, for those present to deal with the envelopes. 

15 March 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

ELECTION PETITION - REPORT OF THE PROCEEDINGS BY THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR

" Day 17– 15 March 2016, 9.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General.

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) is represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) is represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) is represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

16 March 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 18– 16 March 2016, 10.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

Mrs Aglae brought her third witness Mrs Choppy who was the Presiding Electoral Officer at the Cascade Polling Station. Mrs Choppy explained the procedure as it took place. There were no issues reported to her about any person voting twice or any person being given an extra ballot. She further explained the procedure for receiving envelopes from the special voting stations. It was mentioned that when the station receives the envelopes, the voting process stops and there wasn’t any issue with the envelopes. She continued to explain the procedure at the end of the day when the counting starts; where the ballot papers are sorted out according to each political party and the ‘spoilt’ votes are set aside. The spoilt votes are agreed by all those present at the station and then put separately in a different stack. The procedure was explained on how the spoilt votes were sorted out and after that had been completed they then start counting the valid votes.

14 March 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 16 – 14 March 2016, 9.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

The Court reconvened this morning.  Mr Georges called Ms. Julia Lajoie, a Compliance Officer at the Registration Division of the Registry of Companies who had been deputised by the Registrar of Companies to come testify. Ms Lajoie stated that all companies registered in Seychelles, including the Indian Ocean Tuna Company (IOT), are under obligation to file annual returns with the Registry of Companies. She produced to Court the annual return in respect of IOT for 2014.

2 March 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 15 –2nd March 2016, 10.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles
In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General
 
The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

1 March 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 14 – 1 March 2016, 9.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

The Court reconvened this morning. Mr Georges recalled Mr Wavel Ramkalawan. Mr Ramkalawan stated that he became aware of a conversation that had taken place at a military compound through an audio recording that was posted on the Facebook page “Seychelles Daily” of which he is a member. He stated that he downloaded the audio recording from Facebook onto his computer and saved it onto a pen-drive which he then gave to his lawyers for these proceedings. He stated that the audio recording before the Court is the entire audio recording that was posted on Facebook and was not tampered with. He further stated that he made seven copies for these proceedings. Mr Ramkalawan stated that he was able to identify the persons speaking on the audio recordings as Mr Roseline, the Chief Military Advisor of SPDF, Deacon Agathine, the Chaplain of SPDF and Mr Simon Dine, the Commanding Officer of the SPDF Coast Guard. Mr Ramkalawan then sought to produce a copy of the audio recording.

29th February 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 13 –29th February 2016, 9.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr.Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

26th February 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 12 –26TH February 2016, 9.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

Mr Sopha was called back for cross-examination by Mrs Valabhji. It was put to Mr Sopha that despite having been in police custody and having been put under pressure to sign the document accepting the results that he was still able to make entries in the occurrence book. Mr Sopha stated that despite his state, he felt it necessary to make an entry so that there would be an account of what happened that could be referred to later. Mr Sopha confirmed that, besides that entry, he did not make any other entries in the occurrence book.

25th February 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 11 –25TH February 2016, 9.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr.WavelRamkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

24th February 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 10 –24TH February 2016, 10.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

23rd February 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v Electoral Commission, herein represented by Hendrick Gappy, James Alix Michel and Attorney-General CP 01/2016 (Alleged Irregularities Petition)

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges, The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and the Honourable Attorney-General together with Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

22nd February 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporter

Day 8 –22nd February 2016, 9.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

 At the opening of day 8 of the Alleged Irregularities Petition Case, the Court dealt with two preliminary issues. Firstly, the Court advised all parties that Ms. Aglae had delivered all unsealed registers to the Court and that they could be viewed by the parties during court opening hours. The second issue regarded the production of the audio recording allegedly made at SPDF headquarters, which production was strenuously objected to by Mr. Hoareau. Taking into account the objections, Mr. Bernard Georges has decided not to pursue its production at this stage and instead he will call the makers of the video and/or the makers of the statements to Court to give evidence.

19th February 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporter

Day 7 –19TH February 2016, 9.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

Mr Bernard Georges made an Application to have the Electoral Commission called on personal answers the purpose being to question the Commission on matters relating to the tallying of votes that need further clarification.

Ms Samantha Aglae for the Electoral Commission argued that Wavel Ramkalawan’s requirement for clarifications relating to the tallying of votes is not sufficient grounds to allow the Application. The Attorney General argued that in fact what Wavel Ramkalawan is seeking is further and better particulars and the purpose of personal answers is to get the party to make admissions not to seek further particulars or clarifications. He was of the view therefore that in the circumstances sufficient grounds have not been shown to allow the Application.

18th February 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporter

Day6: Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v Electoral Commission, herein represented by Hendrick Gappy, James Alix Michel and Attorney-General CP 01/2016 (Alleged Irregularities Petition)

 

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr.Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges, The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and the Honourable Attorney-General together with Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

 

The Honourable Judge Mckee delivered the unanimous judgment of the Constitutional Court on the point of law raised by the Attorney-General asking the Court to strike out parts of the Petition for failing to contain a concise statement of the material facts on which Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan relies and for failing to contain the name and particulars of the person alleged to have committed the illegal practice and the date and place of the commission of the illegal practice in accordance with Rule 7(1) and 7(2) of the Election Rules(1).

 

The Court finds that it is entitled to strike out parts of the pleadings. Reading Rule 7 of the Election Rules together with section 92 of the Seychelles Code of Civil Procedure (2), the Court held that it would be nonsensical for the Court to be allowed to strike out entire pleadings but not parts of pleadings.

 

16th February 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporter

Day 5: Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v Electoral Commission, herein represented by Hendrick Gappy, James Alix Michel and Attorney-General CP 01/2016(Alleged Irregularities Petition)

 

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges, The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and the Honourable Attorney-General together with Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

 

The Court first heard a point of law raised by the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General was asking the Court to strike out parts of the Petition for failing to contain a concise statement of the material facts on which Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan relies and for failing to contain the name and particulars of the person alleged to have committed the illegal practice and the date and place of the commission of the illegal practice (1).

 

The Attorney-General stated that by virtue the Elections Act (2), a person who commits an illegal practice is guilty of an offence and the Constitutional Court is required to report to the Electoral Commission the persons who have been proved at trail to have been guilty of an illegal practice. The Attorney-General argued this turn the present matter into a quasi-criminal matter which therefore requires Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan to prove the alleged illegal practices beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

15th February 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporter

Day 4:  MA 13/2016:  Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v Electoral Commission, herein represented by HendrickGappy, James Alix Michel and Attorney-General.

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

The ruling on the application MA 13/2016 to strike out the Attorney-General from the CP1/2016 – “Election alleged irregularities” Petition was delivered by the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey.

9th February 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

Day 3 –9TH February 2016, 9.00 am – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges and Mrs Annette Georges. The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Honourable Attorney-General together Mr Ananth Subramanian for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

The Court heard the preliminary objections that were raised in the Petition considering whether to take into account all votes cast or valid votes cast during the Presidential election (CP7).

The central issue to be decided is whether the Petition should have been brought under article 130 of the Constitution. More specifically whether the relief sought by the Petitioner was simply a matter of interpretation as to ‘votes cast’ and ‘votes cast in an election’ or whether it was seeking for a declaration as to the validity of the election.

2 February 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

 

Day 2- 2nd February 2016 9.00am- Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel & Attorney-General

The Court first dealt with the Petition considering whether to take into account all votes cast or valid votes cast during the Presidential election. All responses to the Petition have been filed along with objections on merits of the case and points of law. Any preliminary objections and points of law shall be heard on the 9th February 2016 at 9.00am.

The Court then dealt with the 2nd Petition concerning allegations of irregularities in the Presidential election.All responses to the Petition have been filed and the Attorney-General representing the 3rd Respondent has also filed preliminary objections to the Petition. The preliminary objections shall be heard on the 9th February 2016 at 9.00am.

An Application has also been filed by the Petitioner to strike out the Attorney-General as a party to the Petition considering the alleged irregularities of the Presidential Election. The case shall be mentioned again on the 9th February 2016 at 9.00am to give the Respondents’ the opportunity to respond to the Application.

As previously reported, the Petitions were consolidated by the Court, however the Court has now brought to the attention of the parties that this consolidation was technically incorrect as the legislation that was applied only allows for the consolidation of two election petitions. With the agreement of all parties the Petitions shall now be consolidated under section 106 of the Seychelles Code of Civil Procedure.

The hearing date of the consolidated Petitions shall proceed on the 15th February 2016 at 9.00am

14 January 2016: ELECTION PETITIONS: Summary of Proceedings by the Special Rapporteur

 

Day 1 –14 January 2016, 2 pm – Constitutional Court of Seychelles

In the matter of Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan v The Electoral Commission, James Alix Michel and the Attorney-General

Two petitions were lodged before the Constitutional Court of Seychelles; namely a petition under Article 130 of the Constitution dated 28 December 2015 and an election petition under Article 51 of the Constitution and Section 44 of the Elections Act, Cap 68A, dated 5th January 2016.

The Constitutional Court is made up of the Honourable Chief Justice Twomey, Honourable Judge McKee and Honourable Judge Akiiki-Kiiza. Mr. WavelRamkalawan (Petitioner) was represented by Mr. Bernard Georges, The Electoral Commission (First Respondent) was represented by Miss Samantha Aglae, Mr James Michel (Second Respondent) was represented by Mr Basil Hoareau together with Mrs Laura Valabhji and Mr David Esparon together MrAnanth Subramanian was standing in for the Attorney-General (Third Respondent).

The case was called for the first time today. The Constitutional Court was of the view that the two petitions should be heard together. There were no objections raised by the Respondents. The Petitioner raised the issue that one petition was a constitutional petition and the other an election petition and questioned whether in the circumstances the Court still wished to hear the two matters together. The Court decided it would proceed to hear the cases at the same time but as there are two petitions, the responses would have to be filed separately. The Court has therefore given the Respondents two weeks to file a response to both petitions.

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