Freedom in the World
You are here
Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
In 2009, the Seychelles’ economy was buffeted by the global recession and by the expanding reach and incidence of piracy in the Indian Ocean.
In recent years, the Seychelles’ economy has been harmed by rising food and fuel costs. Recent International Monetary Fund missions have found that the country has one of the highest debt burdens in Africa and continues to suffer from rising inflation and depletion of the central bank’s foreign reserves. By contrast, the political arena has remained relatively placid. The Seychelles’ economy continued to worsen in 2009 due to the global recession and the expanding reach and incidence of piracy in the Indian Ocean.
The Seychelles is an electoral democracy. The July 2006 presidential election and the 2007 parliamentary polls were generally viewed as having met basic international norms.However, the ruling SPPF’s control over state resources and most media gives its candidates a significant advantage at the polls. The president and the unicameral National Assembly are elected by universal adult suffrage for five-year terms. The head of government is the president, who appoints the cabinet. Of the National Assembly’s 34 members, 25 are elected directly and 9 are allocated on a proportional basis to parties gaining at least 10 percent of the vote.
The Seychelles in recent years has boasted one of the highest percentages of women in parliament in Africa at 24 percent, despite the lack of a quota system. Inheritance laws do not discriminate against women. In general, however, women are less likely than men to be literate, as they enjoy fewer educational opportunities. While nearly all adult females are classified as “economically active,” most are engaged in subsistence agriculture. Domestic violence remains a widespread problem.The government adopted a National Strategy on Domestic Violence in 2008 aimed at decreasing its incidence.