Mayotte was ceded to France along with the other islands of the Comoros group in 1843. It was the only island in the archipelago that voted in 1974 to retain its link with France and forego independence. In March 2009, Mayotte voted overwhelmingly to become France's 101st department - and fifth overseas department - a change scheduled to become official in 2011.
French president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; prefect appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of the Interior; president of the General Council elected by the members of the General Council for a six-year term; next election to be held in 2010
unicameral General Council or Conseil General (19 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms)
last held on 9 and 16 March 2008 (next to be held in 2011)
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 8, Diverse Right 4, independents 4, Citizens and Republic Movement 1, Democratic Movement 1, Diverse Left 1; note - political parties are the same as parties in France
note:Mayotte elects two members of the French Senate; elections last held 21 September 2008 (next to be held in September 2014); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UC-UDF 1, UMP 1; Mayotte also elects one member to the French National Assembly; elections last held 10-17 June 2007 (next to be held in 2012); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independent 1
Democratic Front or FD [Youssouf MOUSSA]; Federation of Mahorans or UMP-RPR [Mansour KAMARDINE]; Force of the Rally and the Alliance for Democracy or FRAP; Mahoran Popular Movement or MPM [Ahmed MADI]; Movement for Department Status Mayotte or MDM [Mouhoutar SALIM]; Renewed Communist Party of Mayotte or MRC [Omar SIMBA]; Socialist Party or PS [Ibrahim ABUBACAR] (local branch of French Parti Socialiste); Union for French Democracy or UDF [Henri JEAN-BAPTISTE]
unofficial, local flag with the coat of arms of Mayotte centered on a white field, above which the name of the island appears in red capital letters; the main elements of the coat of arms are a blue upper half with white upturned crescent moon and a red lower half with two yellow ylang-ylang flowers, supported on either side by a white seahorse, and set above a scroll with the motto RA HACHIRI (We are Vigilant)
note:the flag of France used for official occasions
Economic activity is based primarily on the agricultural sector, including fishing and livestock raising. Mayotte is not self sufficient and must import a large portion of its food requirements, mainly from France. The economy and future development of the island are heavily dependent on French financial assistance, an important supplement to GDP. Mayotte's remote location is an obstacle to the development of tourism.