Constitution Day in Seychelles Date in the current year: June 18, 2019

Constitution Day in Seychelles Constitution Day is an important public holiday in the Republic of Seychelles celebrated on June 18 every year. It was established to commemorate the adoption of a new constitution and the return to multiparty democracy in 1993.

Seychelles in an archipelago country in the Indian Ocean, located 1,500 kilometers east of mainland East Africa. The first Europeans to sight these islands were the Portuguese, but the earliest recorded landing was made by the British.

In 1756, the French established the first settlement on the archipelago, naming it in honor of Louis XV’s Minister of Finance, Jean Moreau de Séchelles. However, the British occupied the Seychelles roughly three decades later and officially assumed full control of the archipelago in 1814.

Seychelles was granted independence from the UK in 1976 and became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations. A year later, its first president James Mancham was ousted in a coup d'état. France-Albert René (the leader of the Seychelles People’s United Party, also known as the Seychelles People’s Progressive Front) became the new president and embarked upon a socialist course.

Following the adoption of a new constitution in 1979, Seychelles officially became a one-party state, which allowed René to win three subsequent presidential elections. Although René’s regime has been criticized by many, he was mostly characterized as a benevolent dictator who helped improve his country’s economy and led Seychelles to the point of being one of the most developed African states.

However, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, it became evident that Seychelles couldn’t go on as a one-party socialist state much longer. In 1991, René announced transition to market economy and a return to the multiparty system.

The first draft of a new constitution reflecting the changes was voted upon in 1992, but it failed to receive the requisite 60% of voters. An amended version of the constitution was approved on June 18, 1993. The new supreme law of Seychelles established a multiparty system, provided for three branches of power (legislative, executive and judiciary), and proclaimed Creole, English and French as the national languages.

The Constitution of Seychelles has been amended several times since its adoption. For example, the 2016 amendment brought down the presidential and vice-presidential terms to two consecutive five-year terms instead of three five-year mandates. Another amendment in 2017 stated that new elections must be held within 90 days in case of the president’s death, resignation or removal from office.

The anniversary of the adoption of the new constitution was proclaimed the national day of Seychelles. In 2015, however, it was decided that Independence Day (June 29) would be celebrated as the country’s national day. Constitution Day remained a public holiday, just not the most important one.

Seychelles Constitution Day is marked with various celebratory events, such as parades, flower shows, musical concerts, celebratory speeches, etc.

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Category

Public Holidays

Country

Seychelles

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Constitution Day in Seychelles, holidays in Seychelles, public holidays, Constitution of Seychelles