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Seychelles authorities charged the country’s main opposition leader Patrick Herminie with witchcraft this week, a move that the politician described as a “political show” to tarnish his image ahead of the 2025 elections, the BBC reported Tuesday.
Police said Herminie, leader of the United Seychelles Party (USP), and seven others face a number of charges, including possession of items intended for use in witchcraft and conspiracy to perform witchcraft.
Officials said the case is related to the discovery of two bodies exhumed from a cemetery on the island of Mahé.
A magistrates’ court freed Herminie and six others on bail, but ordered a Tanzanian suspect to remain in custody until a following court appearance in November.
Herminie, who previously served as the speaker of Seychelles’ parliament between 2007 and 2016, rejected the allegations.
He told local media that more than 40 officers raided the USP’s offices in the capital last week to search for items related to witchcraft. Herminie added that he doesn’t believe in witchcraft.
He accused the government of President Wavel Ramkalawan of being behind the raid in order to “eliminate those who he knows will remove him from power in the 2025 elections.”
The opposition leader is planning to run in the upcoming presidential election.