Seychelles' First President Dies Aged 77
Sir James Mancham, the first President of the Seychelles, passed away at his residence on Sunday morning, a family member has said.
"Doctors had confirmed the death" of the former head of state, Seychelles News Agency quotes Mancham's nephew Dereck Pothin as saying.
According to a security guard at his residence, Mancham was taken to hospital on Sunday morning after his wife informed he was unable to move.
Mancham served as the Seychelles' first President after the country gained independence from the UK, between 1976 and 1977. In the latter year, he was overthrown by France-Albert René, who assumed the office until 2004.
Upon his return in the 1990s after a long exile, Mancham was active with initiative both home and abroad.
"The world has lost a great statesman, peacemaker and politician. Bulgaria has lost a great friend who over the last 15 years visited our country a number of times, met Presidents and Prime Ministers, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, H.M. King Simeon," Maxim Behar, Honorary Consul General of the Seychelles to Bulgaria, has said.
Mancham's last public appearance was at a private party hosted by Maxim Behar a week earlier in the capital Victoria, in the presence of Bulgarian politicians Solomon and Gergana Passy. Vincent Meriton, Vice President of Seychelles, also attended the event.
January 12 is declared a Day of National Mourning in the Republic of Seychelles.
The republic's Honorary Consulate in Bulgaria has said it is opening a book of condolences on Monday, January 09, at 14:00 local time.
Friends of Sir James Mancham and of the Republic of Seychelles are called upon to add their messages to the book until Thursday, January 12, at 17:00.
The consulate's address is 60 Bulgaria Blvd.