Seychelles profile - Timeline

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A chronology of key events:

Beach in SeychellesImage source, AFP
Image caption,
The islands are a year-round tourist destination

1502 - Portugal's Vasco da Gama explores the Seychelles.

1768 - French planters and their slaves begin settling in the Seychelles.

British rule

1794 - Britain annexes the Seychelles, which are then administered from Mauritius.

1903 - Seychelles become a separate British colony.

1948 - First elections to a legislative council take place.

1964 - First political parties are formed: France Albert Rene's socialist Seychelles People's United Party and James Mancham's pro-business Seychelles Democratic Party.

1966, 1970 - The Seychelles Democratic Party wins legislative elections.


1976 - Seychelles become independent and are governed by a coalition, with James Mancham as president and France Rene as prime minister.

1977 - Rene's supporters stage a coup against Mancham ostensibly without Rene's knowledge; Rene installed as president.

Political changes

1978 - Rene enacts a new constitution, turning the Seychelles into a one-party state.

1981 - South African-based mercenaries try but fail to restore Mancham to power.

1982 - Army mutiny thwarted.

1991 - President Rene restores multiparty democracy.

1993, 1998 - Rene re-elected in multiparty ballots.

1998 - Rene's Seychelles Progressive People's Front wins 30 out of 34 seats in parliamentary elections.

Rene re-elected

2001 September - President Rene wins another term in office with 54% of the votes, beating opposition candidate Wavel Ramkalawan who won 45% of the votes.

2002 December - President Rene's Seychelles Progressive People's Front wins parliamentary elections, but the opposition Seychelles National Party increases its presence from one to 11 seats.

2003 July - Economic reforms are introduced under which Seychelles will pull out of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and close three diplomatic missions.

2004 April - President Rene steps down, replaced by former vice president James Michel.

2004 December - Widespread damage is reported after giant waves, generated by an underwater earthquake off Indonesia, hit three islands.

2006 July - President Michel wins presidential race.

2006 October - Parliament bans political or religious organisations from running radio stations, sparking a rare outbreak of unrest.

2007 May - The ruling SPPF wins early elections. They were brought forward after opposition MPs boycotted parliament over moves to ban political parties from owning radio stations.

2008 November - International Monetary Fund agrees a two-year $26-million rescue package for the indebted Seychelles economy.

2009 January - President Michel asks creditors to cancel half the archipelago's $800 million foreign debt. The economy has been hit by reduced tourist traffic and turmoil in the world's financial markets.

2009 April - Somali pirates move their operations southwards to Seychelles and beyond as patrols are stepped up in the Gulf of Aden.

2009 October - US says it will supply Seychelles with drone spy-planes to help fight piracy. France offers legal help.

2009 November - Seychelles, European Union sign anti-piracy agreement which will allow EU troops to be deployed on the islands.

World Bank approves $9 million loan to help indebted Seychelles to restore economic stability.

2010 July - First successful prosecution of pirates in Seychelles. Eleven Somalis are jailed.

2010 August - Seychelles signs up to International Criminal Court.

2011 May - President Michel re-elected.

2012 April - A US drone crash lands after take-off from the islands, which are reportedly being used as a base for flights monitoring pirates and Somalia.

2013 April - Sakher El Materi, the son-in-law of ousted Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, is granted asylum in the Seychelles. The move prompts a diplomatic tussle with Tunisia, which seeks his extradition.

2013 April - Seychelles signs a tax exchange agreement with The Isle of Man, as part of moves to develop closer economic and taxation co-operation.

2015 December - President James Michel wins a third term by the narrowest of margins, beating Seychelles National Party leader Wavel Ramkalawan.

2016 May - Seychelles becomes one of a minority of African countries to decriminalise gay sex.

2016 September - Opposition LDS wins parliamentary elections, breaking the ruling party's four-decade grip on power.

2017 November - The Seychelles features in the 2017 leak dubbed the Paradise Papers, which reveal the financial dealings of politicians, celebrities, corporate giants and business leaders.

2018 February - Seychelles announces plans to create a marine reserve as part of a national debt swap deal which could serve as a model for future conservation projects around the world.

2020 October - Wavel Ramkalawan wins the presidency in the first peaceful transfer of presidential power between different parties since independence in 1976. His Linyon Demokratik Seselwa also wins parliamentary elections.