SEYCHELLES: STATEMENT BY PAOLO PIETROSANTI, MEMBER OF THE FEDERAL COUNCIL OF TRANSNATIONAL RADICAL PARTY, AS AN INDEPENDENT OBSERVER AT THE INVITATION OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY.


Paolo Pietrosanti, member of the Federal Council of Radical Party, was invited as an independent observer for the Constitutional referendum held in Seychelles on Sunday November 15th. Other observer came from Commonwealth.
Pietrosanti wrote down the following statement:

Mahe-Seychelles, 18 November 1992
»I'm going to send to the 20 Ministers and to the 350 Members
of Parliament -including Members of European Parliament- who
are members of Transnational Radical Party, a report about the
Referendum held in Seychelles.
(Ministers and MPs members of Transnational Radical Party come
from 40 countries and they belong to almost 100 different
national parties).
The report will be based on the following subjects:
I visited ten polling stations and I considered the
arrangements to be in correct order.
With the cooperation of two citizens I tested the
effectiveness of the ultra violet invisible ink system and
found it to be ineffective.
It must be emphasised that the people of Seychelles could
not make up their mind freely at the referendum on 15th
November, 1992, because of the enormous lack of correct
knowledge and information.
As a rule, and chiefly in cases regarding elections, state-
owned media must play a PUBLIC SERVICE role whereby correct,
objective and non-partisan information is freely made available
to all citizens.
Although the T.V. service had been broadcasting programmes
for and against the draft Consitution, only three DEBATES were
broadcast on T.V., the last being on October 30th, TWO WEEKS
before the referendum; therefore the information was
inadequate.
The State-Owned daily "Nation" played a one-sided role in
favour in the following ways:
- a) Leaflets in favour of a Yes vote were inserted in "Nation"
on 3rd and 11th November respectively.
- b) on November 12th, a leaflet containing an open letter by
President René, inviting citizens to vote Yes, was enclosed to
each copy of the "Nation".
- c) enclosed to the October 23rd issue, it was distributed "A
Presentation of the Draft Constitution": if put in
confrontation with the Draft Constitution, the task of such a
Presentation seems to be the hiding of real contents of the
Draft Constitution itself.
- d) on 14th November the Nation in a long article on page 13
evidently encouraged the people to vote in favour, whilst the
referendum campaign was over.
Lack of informations involves the freedom of vote (it means
democracy) in itself. Without solving the problem of state-
owned media's editorial management, the democratization process
cannot credibly start.

MY INTERVIEW ON T.V. AND ON RADIO YESTERDAY (17 NOVEMBER 1992)
WAS SO EDITTED THAT MOST OF THE SUBSTANCE OF MY ARGUMENTS WAS
LOST.