Seychelles National Day Celebrations
The celebrations of Seychelles National Day are predominated by military parades. It is followed by a state of nation address that is delivered by the President. The people of Seychelles also participate enthusiastically in the festivities. Flower shows are held as well. Music is an important part of the festivities.
The military parade is held at Stad Linite and is attended by top dignitaries like Vice President and Police Commissioner apart from the President. Several cultural events are held to promote harmony among various sections of society. Helicopters with national flags are also common features of these events.
Seychelles National Day History
The French assumed control of Seychelles in 1756 and named the islands after Jean Moreau de Sechelles who was the Minister of Finance for Louis XV. French kept control over the islands till 1794 when British started to assert their presence. This situation continued till 3rd December 1810 when Mauritius was captured by the British.
British effected quick economic and social changes to the islands – they did away with slavery and compensation was paid to owners of sugarcane plantations. Just like the French, the British used the islands were used for keeping prisoners. The conflicts, primarily between Indian laborers and plantation owners arose during late 19th and early 20th century.
The political scenario in Seychelles changed in 1964 after Seychelles People’s United Party started to petition for independence from UK and Seychelles Democratic Party advocated closer relations with the British. After the 1974 elections local people went for independence, which was achieved on 26th June 1976.
The independence was not long lived though. Seychelles was turned to a one party state after a 1977 coup. There were several years of struggle when many attempts were made to either murder or remove leaders from their office. On 27th December 1991 the constitution was improved in order to make allowance for other political parties.
On 18th June 1993 the new constitution of Seychelles was approved and the first ever multiparty legislative and presidential elections were staged in July. Albert Rene was successful in the election and operated as President till 1996.
Challenges facing Seychelles
Both Seychelles and Mauritius have laid claim to the Chagos Islands, which is an Indian Ocean territory administered by the British. Seychelles has also tried hard to reduce its economic dependence on tourism after revenue from the sector dropped in 1991-92 thanks in a significant way to the Gulf War.