Seychelles election won by ruling party

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VICTORIA (AFP) - President Albert Rene's ruling party has won the Seychelles' first multi-party election in 17 years, defeating the flamboyant opposition leader James Mancham, ousted by Mr Rene in a 1977 coup, officials said yesterday.

The People's Progressive Front (SPPF) took 58.4 per cent of the votes cast in the weekend poll to elect a 20-seat commission to draft a new constitution for a legislative assembly to be elected in December.

Mr Mancham's Democratic Party won 33.7 per cent of the votes and will have seats on the commission along with the SPPF and the Parti Seselwa, led by Wavel Ramkalawan.

Mr Rene, who ousted Mr Mancham while serving as his prime minister in a coalition government, won 20 of the 22 electoral districts. He imposed one-party rule 15 years ago, but initiated reforms to restore pluralism last December.