Voters in the Indian Ocean nation of Seychelles begin casting ballots Thursday in a parliamentary election that is being boycotted by the country's main opposition party.
The leader of the Seychelles National Party, Wavel Ramkalawan, called for the boycott to protest the alleged electoral misconduct that he says led to his defeat in the country's presidential elections.
In May, President James Michel of the People's Party won a second term in office, vowing to continue reforms aimed at privatizing the nation's once state-controlled economy.
Ramkalawan accused President Michel of corruption and buying votes during the election campaign, a charge the government denies.
Voting will begin voting on the archipelago's outlying islands on Thursday and Friday, while the rest of the country's residents will cast their ballots on Saturday.
Michel inherited the presidency from his predecessor and mentor France-Albert Rene in 2004, when Rene stepped down due to ill-health. Michel was elected to office two years later, beating Ramkalawan. Former President Rene had been in power since a 1977 coup.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.