The left-wing Prime Minister of the tiny Indian Ocean Island republic of the Seychelles, Mr.?
CU: Seychelles flag being raised. (1976) (MUTE)
SV: President James Mancham waving to crowd and shaking hands with Prime Minister Albert Rene at independence celebrations. (1976) (MUTE)
GV: guard of honour (1976) (MUTE)
SV: Mancham taking oath of office and signing documents. (1976) (MUTE)
SV INTERIOR: Mancham addressing news conference in London.
"One, I do not accept this action as a fait accompli. Second, those who are supposed to have taken over are members of a minority party who are self-admitted to be Marxists. This is not my description, it is theirs. I am personally convinced that the actions taken have been done with the active agreement and convenance of the Soviet Government. It is part and parcel of the Soviet policy of controlling the Indian Ocean. Independence of the Seychelles under the coalition has gone exceedingly well. The coalition remained a bastardized situation. I put my trust in the Prime Minister in the overall inter??? of national unity. He knows those associated with the so-called coup, dined with me at State House a few days before my departure, and personally saw me off at the airport. The action is a repetition of the Judas Iscariot story. My own position is obviously uncertain but this is of little personal consequence. What is important is the future of the 60,000 Seychelloise and on a wider scale, the significance of the past few hours on Africa and the Indian Ocean."
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Background: The left-wing Prime Minister of the tiny Indian Ocean Island republic of the Seychelles, Mr. Albert Rene, siezed power on Sunday (5 June) in a bloodless coup against President James Mancham. East African radio stations have quoted Mr Rene as accusing Mr Mancham of trying to set himself up as President-for-life of a government aimed at turning the people of the Seychelles into 'slaves of the capitalists'.
Mr Mancham, who had acquired a reputation as a playboy, said he would go back to the country if the United Nations or the Organisation of African Unity took control of the Seychelles and arranged free elections.
SYNOPSIS: The Seychelles became independent on 28-29 June last year. President Mancham and prime Minister Albert Rene then headed the government of the new country, which had been ruled by Britain for 166 years. Their two parties had joined forces for the independence of the Seychelles.
Mr Mancham, who is currently in London for the Commonwealth Heads-of-State Conference, said the coup had been helped by a Soviet conspiracy.