Several significant amendments were made to the Seychelles Constitution during a special session held this morning.
The Cabinet of Ministers in Seychelles met in an Extra-Ordinary Session to discuss and approve draft legislation concerning 4 important measures announced by the President in his State of the Nation Address on February 16.
The first of these concerned amendments to Articles 52, 52A, and 66A of the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles limiting to 2 the number of full terms that a President or Vice President may serve.
The cabinet approved legislation amending the Constitutional Appointees Emoluments Act that would require ministers and members of the legislature to have reached the retirement age of 63 years before being eligible for any pension specified in the act.
The cabinet also approved the Anti-Corruption Bill 2016 which would establish an Anti-Corruption Commission, provide for its functions and powers, and create a means by which the Commission can investigate, detect, and prevent corrupt practices. The bill also provided protection for whistleblowers, as well as for actions taken in good faith.
The cabinet also approved two amendments to the penal code. The first of these would decriminalize homosexuality, bringing Seychelles in proper conformity with its international obligations under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights which requires that there be protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The second amendment to the penal code is to provide for the criminalization of fraud undertaken through new technology concepts, such as the cloning of ATM (Automated Transaction Machine) cards, stealing electronic identities of card users, or acquiring equipment or facilities for committing such fraud. The President emphasized the importance of the rule of law in Seychelles, and that laws be fair and conform to the wishes of the people, and that they be strengthened and properly enforced.
The legislation will be brought before the National Assembly soon.