Campaigning for elections in the Seychelles -- the British colony in the Indian Ocean -- stepped up at the weekend, with rallies staged by both the ruling Seychelles Democratic Party and the opposition Seychelles Peoples United Party.
GV People massed around Chief Minister
MV Chief Minister addressing crowd
MV Crowd listening (4 shots)
CU Women listening (3 shots)
GV Crowd cheering and dancing (2 shots)
Initials AE/23.17 AE/23.24
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Background: Campaigning for elections in the Seychelles -- the British colony in the Indian Ocean -- stepped up at the weekend, with rallies staged by both the ruling Seychelles Democratic Party and the opposition Seychelles Peoples United Party.
Both parties favour independence from Britain. The Chief Minister of the Seychelles, Mr. James Mancham, has made independence the cornerstone of his election campaign. He said the British Government had shown no interest in integration, and independence was inevitable.
Another related issue is the strong likelihood of a Soviet naval presence in the Seychelles after independence, possibly by the end of this year. At present, there are no military bases in the Seychelles. But indications are that the nation will turn to the Soviet Union for help after independence, and the remote chain of 80 islands and atolls is expected to be a base for the Soviet Indian Ocean fleet.
On Monday (April 22), the United Nations asked Britain to agree to a U.N. mission visit the Seychelles for the elections on thursday (25 April). The request was made in a written statement published over the name of the Tanzanian Ambassador Salim A. Salim. Chairman of the General Assembly's special committee on decolonisation.
After four years of boycotting the 24-nation committee, Britain -- under its new Labour government -- recently indicated readiness to co-operate with it on some colonial questions.