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Seychelles Court Probes Presidential Win

Seychelles' Constitutional Court on Monday began hearing an opposition party appeal to overturn election results, after President James Michel won a second-round vote in December by the slimmest of margins.

The electoral commission said that Michel, 71, had won the second round of the election by just 193 votes -- with 50.15 percent support against 49.85 percent for his rival, five-time loser Wavel Ramkalawan.

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Seychelles President Scrapes Wafer-Thin Third-Term Win

Seychelles President James Michel won a third term in power by the narrowest of margins of just 193 votes, with the opposition calling for a recount, the election commission said Saturday.

"Today the people made their choice. The people have said that they wish that I continue on the path that I have commenced... for me to continue to lead Seychelles forward in stability, peace, and prosperity," Michel said in a broadcast on national SBC television.

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Seychelles Votes in Presidential Polls

The main islands of the Seychelles began voting on Saturday in a presidential election which sees incumbent James Michel facing his first serious challenge after two terms in office.

Although voting on more remote islands began on Thursday, the main vote takes place on Saturday, with polls opening at 7:00 am (0300 GMT) on the three main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, home to most of the archipelago's estimated 91,000 citizens. Voting ends 12 hours later.

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Jumblat: Seychelles Proposal Result of Immature Conditions for Presidential Polls

Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat has mocked the failure to elect a new president by proposing to move the national dialogue from Beirut to the islands of Seychelles.

In remarks to As Safir daily published on Wednesday, Jumblat said he made the proposal to insist that “the conditions are not yet ripe for the election of a president.”

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Indian PM Modi Embarks on Three-Nation Tour

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked Tuesday on a three-nation tour of Indian Ocean islands, including a visit to neighboring Sri Lanka aimed at reinvigorating ties with the new government.

Modi's first stop will be the Seychelles followed by Mauritius and then Sri Lanka on Friday, where he will travel to the war-torn Tamil heartland of Jaffna, becoming only the second foreign leader to visit the region.

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Comoros Begins Voting in Key Parliamentary Election

Voting began Sunday in the chronically unstable Indian Ocean archipelago of the Comoros in a parliamentary election seen as a test for former leader Abdallah Sambi, a Muslim populist poised to make a comeback.

The vote is the first in a cycle of legislative and local government polls culminating in presidential elections next year.

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Seychelles Transfers Somali Pirates to Home Jail

The Seychelles on Sunday transferred nine Somali pirates to serve the remainder of their jail sentences back home, the government said, taking the total transferred to more than 90.

The convicted pirates, who had been tried on the Indian Ocean archipelago, were flown back to Somalia's northern Puntland region, the interior ministry said in a statement. They add to nine flown back last week.

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Seychelles Extends Asylum for Relatives of Tunisia Ex-Dictator

Authorities in the Seychelles said Tuesday it was allowing the son-in-law of Tunisia's deposed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to continue his asylum on the islands for another 12 months.

Sakhr El Materi, who was convicted in absentia of corruption by a Tunisian court, appealed for asylum in the Indian Ocean archipelago in February 2013.

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Son-in-Law of Tunisia ex-Dictator Seeks Asylum in Seychelles

The Seychelles said on Wednesday the son-in-law of Tunisia's deposed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has requested asylum in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

"The Seychelles government wishes to confirm receipt of a request for asylum that was submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs by a Tunisian national, Mr. Sakhr El Materi, who is currently in country," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

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Son-in-Law of Tunisia's Ben Ali Leaves Seychelles

The Seychelles on Saturday said the son-in-law of Tunisia's deposed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has left the country, and denied statements by Tunisian authorities that he had been arrested there.

"Sakhr El Materi was briefly questioned at Seychelles international airport upon his arrival.... El Materi was not arrested as was reported by some international media," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

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