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Seychelles moves to appoint its electoral commission

Seychelles moves to appoint its electoral commission ( The Seychelles President, Mr James Michel has appointed the island's Electoral Commission, following the nomination of persons by the Constitutional Appointments Authority (CAA) in accordance of Article 115A of the Constitution. All the appointees had applied to the CAA to be considered for the post.

The Commission is comprised of:

1. Mr. Hendrick Gappy Chairman
2. Mr. Bernard Elizabeth Member
3. Mr. Beatty Hoarau Member
4. Mr. Gerard Lafortune Member
5. Dr. Marie-Thérèse Purvis Member

The appointments are effective of July 28, 2011, for a 7-year period.

The President has thanked the Constitutional Appointments Authority for nominating suitably qualified, experienced, and competent persons for the Electoral Commission.

Mr. Hendrick Gappy is a statistician and was formerly the Electoral Commissioner, a post he held between January 1999 and July 12, 2011. He has a total of 20 years of electoral work experience in presidential and legislative elections. Mr. Gappy has conducted over 15 international observer missions in different countries around the world and is currently member of the Executive Committee of the SADC Electoral Commission Forum. From February 2011-May 2011, he was also Chairperson of the Electoral Advisory Board. Prior to his electoral work, Mr. Gappy was the Director General for the Management and Information Systems Division, as well as the Census Commissioner. He also held the post of Director of the National Statistics Office.

Mr. Bernard Elizabeth is a teacher by profession and currently the Chairman of the Liaison Unit for Non-Governmental Organizations of Seychelles (LUNGOS) and has held this post since 2006. Mr. Elizabeth was the founding member and past Chairman of the Seychelles Credit Union and is currently its Vice-Chairperson of the board. He was formerly President of the Centre for Marriage Preparation for the Indian Ocean Islands. He was a member of the National Assembly between 1975-1977, the Seychelles Constitutional Commission of 1975 and 1993, and a member of the Seychelles Constitutional Review Committee from 2009-2010. He is currently a member of the National Francophone Commission, as well as the Committee for Social Renaissance and the National UNESCO Committee.

Mr. Beatty Hoareau owns a fishing business since April 2001 and was formerly chairman of the Seychelles Fishing Boat Owners Association. He was previously a council member of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry and worked in the banking sector for 31 years. Mr. Hoareau has extensive experience in electoral work. In February 2011, Mr. Hoareau was appointed as member of the Election Advisory Board to the Electoral Commissioner representing Civil Society. He has performed as Presiding Officer in Referendum of 1992 (both referenda), Presiding Officer in 5 Presidential and 4 National Assembly Elections since 1992, including the bye-election in 2008. In June 2007, he was an observer for the Presidential Election in Madagascar as part of the Indian Ocean Commission observer team.

Mr. Gerard Lafortune is a civil engineer who owns two businesses - a yacht charter business “Ocean Charters” since 2007 and yacht repair “Cascade Slipway Services” since 2010. He is also a shareholder and managing director of GIBB engineering services since 2008. Between 2001-2005 he worked for the government as Principal Secretary for Transport and Tourism, and between 2005-2007 as Principal Secretary for Transport. He started his career in government as a traffic engineer. During his government career, he held chairmanship of the Seychelles Public Transport Corporation, the Seychelles Ports Authority, the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, the National Disaster Committee, and the National Disaster Foundation. He is currently a member of the Air Seychelles Board of Directors, as well as the National Celebrations Committee. Mr. Lafortune has served as a voter registration officer on 2 occasions, as well as an officer in charge of a polling station in past elections.

Dr. Marie-Therese Purvis is a teacher by profession and has a doctorate in education. She is currently an independent consultant, with 25 years experience in the education field. Among her former posts, Dr. Purvis was the Director of the National Institute of Education, Assistant Director of the Seychelles Polytechnic, and Coordinator for Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, as well as its Principal Education Officer. She is a board member of the NGO “Sustainability for Seychelles,” a member of the Plant Conservation Action Group, and the Creole Language Committee of the Creole Institute. Dr. Purvis has experience in social work and has published several publications on social and education policy.

PHOTO: (L to R, Top to Bottom): Gerard Lafortune, Bernard Elizabeth, Hendrick, Gappy, Marie-Therese Purvis, Beatty Hoareau

MEDIA CONTACT: Alain St.Ange, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, Email:

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