Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Former President of Seychelles, France-Albert Rene, dies aged 83

Former President of Seychelles, France-Albert Rene, dies aged 83

The former president of the Seychelles and once the longest serving head of state in the Commonwealth, France Albert René, has died at the age of 83 at his home on the island of Mahe.

Seizing power in 1977, he stayed in office until 2004 – dominating the islands almost single-handedly during the one-party state era between 1977 and 1992.

During that time, he thwarted at least three serious coup attempts, most notably the invasion by a band of South African mercenaries under the command of Colonel “Mad Mike” Hoare.

He was born on the island of Farquhar, on November 16 1935. His parents, Louisa Morgan and Price Rene managed the plantation on the island which is 400 miles south of Mahe, the Seychelles largest island.

The family returned there when France-Albert was 5-years-old and he was sent to St. Joseph’s Convent, and then to St Louis College, which was run by the Marist Brothers.

At the age of 18 he took up the chance of a scholarship in Switzerland to study theology.

From there he travelled to England, where he concluded his secondary education at St Mary’s College in Southampton.

By 1957, he had qualified as a lawyer, studying at King’s College London and joining Middle Temple. It was during this period that he married Karen Handley, with whom he had a daughter, and became interested in the workings of the Labour Party.

After the 1977 coup d’état, Karen Handley – by then estranged – said: “René plotted his communist revolution from my semi in Luton.”

He spent a further two years in England from 1961, studying at the LSE. On returning home he became a founding member of the fledgling People’s United Party, a broadly pro-union movement set up to rival to the Democratic Party (DP) led by a fellow London-trained lawyer, James Mancham.

When independence from Britain came in 1976, Mancham’s party was in the majority in the islands’ Legislative Assembly and he was made President.

He formed a coalition administration with René as his Prime Minister.

On June 5 1977, while Mancham was in London for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Commonwealth Conference, René and a band of men seized control of the police station and announced that they were in charge.

He re-married in 1975 to Geva Adam, whom he divorced after 20 years of marriage.

In 1992 he got married for a third time to Sarah Zarquani, 25 years his junior and with whom he had three daughters. She survives him along with his children.

He finally stepped down in favour of his vice-president, James Michel, in 2004.

He died in Mahe, yesterday aged 83.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]
Tags

More from the Press and Journal News team

More from the Press and Journal