James Mancham

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James Mancham
James Mancham 2014.jpg
1st President of Seychelles
In office
29 June 1976 5 June 1977
Prime Minister France-Albert René
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded by France-Albert René
1st Prime Minister of Seychelles
In office
1 October 1975 28 June 1976
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded by France-Albert René
Chief Minister of the Crown Colony of Seychelles
In office
12 November 1970 1 October 1975
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Personal details
James Richard Marie Mancham

(1939-08-11)11 August 1939
Victoria, Seychelles
Died8 January 2017(2017-01-08) (aged 77)
Glacis, Seychelles
Political party Seychelles Democratic Party
Spouse(s)Heather Jean Evans (1963-1974) Catherine Olsen (1985-2017.d)
Sir James Mancham on obverse of the Seychellois rupee silver coin, 1977 Seychelles 25 rupees 1977.png
Sir James Mancham on obverse of the Seychellois rupee silver coin, 1977

Sir James Richard Marie Mancham KBE (11 August 1939 – 8 January 2017) was a Seychellois politician who founded the Seychelles Democratic Party and was the first President of Seychelles from 1976 to 1977.

Order of the British Empire British order of chivalry

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

Seychelles Democratic Party political party

The Seychelles Democratic Party is a political party in Seychelles. It was founded by the late Sir James Mancham in 1964, and governed the country from 1976 to 1977.


Political career

James's father, Richard Mancham, a successful businessman, sent James to law school in England. When Britain announced its intention to give independence to the colony, Mancham founded the Democratic Party (S.D.P.), and served as its leader until February 2005. [1] France-Albert René founded an opposition party, the Seychelles People's United Party (S.P.U.P) with the support of the Soviet Union. As Chief Minister of the colony, Mancham promoted tourism to the Seychelles and arranged for the building of the airport that was to make the Seychelles accessible to the rest of the world. Tourism increased and the economy developed. In 1976, he won the popular vote when the British gave the Seychelles independence. Less than a year later, in June 1977, he was deposed in a coup by Prime Minister France-Albert René, who had the support of Tanzanian-trained revolutionaries and Tanzanian-supplied weapons, whilst Mancham was attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in London.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

France-Albert René President of Seychelles

France-Albert René was a Seychellois politician who served as the second President of Seychelles from 1977 to 2004. He was nicknamed by Seychellois government officials and fellow party members as "the Boss". His name is often given as simply Albert René or F.A. René; he was also nicknamed Ti France.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Mancham lived in exile in London until April 1992. During this period, Mancham was financially successful in several international business ventures [2] and married Catherine Olsen, an Australian journalist working in London. [3] When he returned to the Seychelles following the lifting of the ban on opposition, he resumed the promotion of tourism to the tropical islands.

He ran for president in July 1993 and finished second behind René with 36.72% of the vote. In March 1998, he ran again, receiving third place and 13.8% of the vote, behind René and Wavel Ramkalawan. [4]

Wavel Ramkalawan Seychellois politician

Wavel Ramkalawan is a politician of the Seychelles.

Personal life

Mancham was the eldest son of Richard and Evelyn (née Tirant) Mancham. He married Heather Jean Evans in 1963 and the marriage was dissolved in 1974. One daughter (Caroline Mancham) and one son (Richard Mancham) resulted from the union.[ citation needed ] In 1985, he married Catherine Olsen and had one son (Alexander). [3]

Mancham died suddenly on 8 January 2017 of a possible stroke at age 77. [5] [6] He was buried in the State House cemetery next to Seychelles' last French Administrator, Jean-Baptiste Quéau de Quincy. [7]

Other activity

Mancham was the author of a number of books, among them being Paradise Raped about the June 1977 coup d'état in the Seychelles, War on America: Seen from the Indian Ocean, written after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States, his autobiography; Seychelles Global Citizen: The Autobiography of the Founding President, in 2009,; [8] and Seychelles: The Saga of a Small Nation Navigating the Cross-Currents of a Big World, in 2015. [9] Mancham also served on the advisory board of International Journal on World Peace. He was also member of the World Future Council.


Mancham received the 2010 International Jurist Award at the inauguration of the International Conference of Jurists at the Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, India. Under the theme International Terrorism, the event was jointly organised by the International Council of Jurists, the National Human Rights Commission of India, the All India Bar Association and Indian Council of Jurists. In a welcoming speech Dr. Adish Aggarwala, President of the International Council of Jurists and Chairman of All India Bar Association, said the award for r Mancham was to recognise his role in promoting world peace and the pivotal part he played in helping to settle international disputes.

Mancham was also one of the recipients of the Gusi Peace Prize in 2011. [10]

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  1. "The Democratic Party - Peace, Progress, Prosperity". 16 August 2006. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  2. "Sir James Richard Marie Mancham" . Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  3. 1 2 "The life of Seychelles' founding president, James Mancham" . Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  4. Elections in the Seychelles, African Elections Database.
  5. Vannier, Rassin; Bonnelame, Betymie (8 January 2017). "Former Seychelles' president James Mancham dies at residence". Seychelles News Agency. Victoria, Seychelles. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  6. "Seychelles Founding President passed away". ETN Global Travel Industry News. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  7. "Nation Home". www.nation.sc. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  8. , Paragon House, 2009.
  9. , Paragon House, 2015.
  10. "Former Seychelles president to receive peace award". ETN Global Travel Industry News. 20 June 2011.
Political offices
Preceded by
post created
Prime Minister of Seychelles
Succeeded by
France-Albert René
Preceded by
post created
President of Seychelles
Succeeded by
France-Albert René