The Constitutional Court of Seychelles has declared the dissolution of the National Assembly on July 12, 2011, unconstitutional and ordered Speaker Patrick Herminie to proceed forthwith with reconvening the Assembly.
In an urgent session on Monday July 18, a three member Court with Judges Karunakaran, Renaud and Dodin took the petition filed by SNP legal counsel Bernard Georges in the name of two members, Nicholas Prea and Jean-Francois Ferrari. The petition averred that the dissolution was illegal because a critical provision of the Constitution, Article 111, had not been followed. This article required that a motion for dissolution of the Assembly could only be taken up in a meeting specially called for the purpose. The petition filed by Mr. Georges submitted that the motion had been taken as part of the ordinary session on Tuesday, and that members had not been informed beforehand that the matter was to be considered.
At the same time, the Court took up a similar petition filed by Parti Lepep MNA Clifford André, seeking the same declaration. This totally unprecedented move by a Parti Lepep MNA against an action by his own party had obviously been brought to take some attention away from the SNP petition. Clifford André had himself voted in favour of dissolution, together with all other members of his party. His decision to file a petition against the decision shows a complete contradiction and confusion of the members of Parti Lepep.
In a unanimous decision, the Court was categorical that the Constitutional requirement for dissolution had not been followed and the resolution had to be reversed immediately. The Court ruling shows Speaker Patrick Herminie to have been entirely in the wrong in allowing the motion for dissolution brought by Leader of Government Business, Marie-Lousie Potter. Herminie has repeatedly shown poor judgement and a lack of understanding of his role as Speaker. The SNP has now called for his resignation as Speaker.
July 18, 2011