Seychelles, officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: République des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an archipelago nation of 155 islands (115 islands and 40 islets) in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 km east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar. It consists of 42 granitic islands, two coral sand cays north of the granitics, two coral islands south of the granitics, 29 coral islands in the Amirantes group, west of the granitics, 13 coral islands in the Farquhar Group, south-south west of the Amirantes, and 67 raised coral islands in the Aldabra Group, west of the Farquhar Group. Seychelles has the smallest population of any sovereign state of Africa.
The Seychelles president, who is both head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term of office. The previous president, France-Albert René, first came to power in a coup d'état in 1977, one year after independence. He was democratically elected after the constitutional reforms of 1992. He stood down in 2004 in favour of his vice-president, James Michel, who was re-elected in 2006. (Read more...)