INDEPENDENCE
29th June 1976 Seychelles became a Republic, following tactical moves that necessitated the formation of a coalition government to take over the administration of the country.

But even at independence it was apparent to the masses that while power shifted from Whitehall to London to Victoria, the hold the dominant class had on them was still strong.

Nevertheless, what was most significant at this stage was the fact that at independence, the people of Seychelles received the instruments with which they could now shape their own future and were no longer dependent on London.  It was now left to the masses to strive to become the masters of their own destiny fighting the forces of neo-colonialism on their own soil.  The SPUP gave them the leadership they needed.
 
LIBERATION
The attempts of the privileged minority to hold out against the masses using such vehicles of power as oppression, discrimination and exploitation were becoming intolerable and when it became evident that there were plants being conceived to use power to set up a feudal system of dictatorship over-riding the will and aspirations of the people, it was time for the SPUP leadership to act decisively and with tremendous courage.

They did not fail, and the night of 4-5 June 1977 became a most memorable one in the charting of the course of the history of Seychelles, when the SPUP leadership took over through a Coup d’Etat, which brought about a change in government and the SPUP leader, Mr. F. A. René was asked to lead the Seychelles.

FORMATION OF THE S.P.P.F.
The second and last Congress of the SPUP was held from the 31st May to 2nd June 1978.  The most historic outcome of this Congress was the formation of the Seychelles People’s Progressive Front (SPPF) to carry on the struggle which the SPUP had launched way back in 1964.  It was formed out of a deep and sincere desire by the members of the Seychelles People’s United Party to create the necessary structures which would enable a unified people to move ahead unhindered into the future to build a new society.

One of the fundamental aims of the SPPF Constitution is to create a Socialist State wherein all citizens, regardless of colour, class, race or creed, shall have equal opportunities and be afforded with the basic needs of life such as security of income, medical care, good and hygienic housing, free and compulsory education, opportunities for the young and care for the old.

Its structures have been carefully established to guarantee the total freedom of participation by every Seychellois to the political life of the country.  
Through different  Congresses, the SPPF had taken many decisions, thereby enabling the country to forge ahead with its programme of national reconstruction and to repulse any attempt to usurp the rights of the people, either by force or by other more subtle methods.
 
ONE-PARTY STATE
The 1979 adoption of a new constitution by election heralded in which we call the Second Republic of Seychelles.
Drafted by an electoral commission, the new Constitution reflected the view of the majority of the people, that there should be the creation of one party, or front to unite the small nation, which had been bitterly divided after years of political strife.
Thus the one party state came into being, by popular consent.

The socialist oriented government of Mr. France Albert René, who was the first directly elected president of the Republic of Seychelles, then initiated a programme of social development unprecedented in the history of Seychelles and the region.
The system of education was totally reorganised and made free for all. As recommended by the world body, UNESCO, nine years of fundamental education was made compulsory and it was later extended to 11 years.

The number of students who, were offered scholarships in foreign universities quadrupled. The health system was made free as well and covered the whole Republic with the building of more modern hospitals, health centres and clinics.

These radical reforms soon began to pay in dividends. The literacy rate rose to one of the highest in the developing world. The infant mortality rate was lowered and was comparable compared to that of  some developed countries as was the life expectancy rate.

The government of the Second Republic is credited with having turned Seychelles into a ‘Welfare State’ with a very progressive social security network, which covers the whole population. Old age pensions and numerous benefits covering the most vulnerable sectors of the community, such as the disabled and amenities, old people’s homes or a system of ‘home carers’ have made the ‘cradle to the grave’ care concept a reality in Seychelles.

New laws were enacted to correct the injustices prevalent during the colonial era, such as gender inequality. Women were given equal opportunities and pay with men and derived other benefits for example maternity leave, or leave to take care of their children when sick.

A series of measures like establishing a minimum salary and others giving full protection to workers from arbitrary dismissal, put an end to the labour unrests which were common during the pre-independence era.
As the workers’ rights were upheld, so too was the economic base of the country radically transformed.

The SPPF Government not only developed the tourism industry, which became by far the country’s biggest foreign currency earner, but also diversified the country’s economic base by developing, among others, industrial fishing, encouraging import substitution industries and the creation of parastatal companies.
These developments catapulted the Seychelles to the ranks of the middle-income countries in the developing world with one of the highest GDP per capita in the African region.  Seychelles was placed the highest on the human development index in the African region.

To appreciate more fully the achievements of the SPPF Government in such a short lapse of time, one has to take into consideration the numerous attempts to destabilize the country from abroad.  One of the most serious of such attempts came in 1981, when a band of mercenaries under the infamous Mike Hoare attacked Seychelles. They were soundly defeated!  As the Cold War came to an end and countries clamoured for changes, more particularly for representative democracies, the time came for Seychelles also to embark on a new road.