Top coach: Kevin helps youngsters in Seychelles attending a Kevin Betsy Foundation session
12th February 2021
Seychelles-born Kevin Betsy is now manager of the England Under 18 football team. The only Seychellois to play in the English Premier league, Kevin got his big break in football when Fulham manager an... more...
President Ramkalawan: Action in the war on drugs at last
12th February 2021
 By Lewis BetsyIt is always good when people live up to your expectations and so I was very impressed with President Wavel Ramkalawan when he gave his first Press Conference 100 days since taking... more...
Wavel Ramkalawan: Historic Presidential address
29th January 2021
 By Lewis Betsy It was a truly historic moment, and one that for years seemed an impossible dream.Wavel Ramkalawan became the first elected Opposition President to give a State of the Nation... more...
Back home: Lewis Betsy is once more enjoying the beauty of Seychelles
1st January 2021
By Lewis Betsy As we enter a new year I want to wish everyone a safe and happy 2021. The last 12 months have seen some massive changes in all of our lives. I hope that we can learn from them to s... more...
Honoured: A floral display and Gerard’s photograph with Lewis Betsy and Bernard Sullivan
7th December 2020
By Lewis Betsy When the life of Gerard Hoarau was publicly honoured in Seychelles for the first time it showed just how far as a nation we have travelled in the past few years.It was a superb ser... more...
Joy on the streets: Opposition supporters celebrate
5th November 2020
By Lewis Betsy Well, no one could have imagined that a result such as this was on the cards. We had hoped and prayed that Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan would do enough to become President of... more...
Gerard Hoarau: Mass to honour his memory in Seychelles
26th October 2020
 By Lewis Betsy I have long felt that it was time that the life of Gerard Hoarau be officially honoured in his homeland.Now a small but significant step has been taken in that direction.His ... more...
Contender: Alain St Ange for One Seychelles
22nd September 2020
By Lewis Betsy Seychelles is now truly in election mode with politics the main talking point everywhere you go.As we have both the Presidential and National Assembly elections held simultaneously... more...

The opposition is weak because the parties are bickering among themselves. This must stop – they have got to unite to give Michel a real fight for the presidency

2nd April 2015

Election fever is in the air. In the UK, politicians are campaigning for the General Election in May, but even though Seychellois don't go to the polls until next year the first battle cries can be heard. And it is time for us all to act.

When President Michel delivered his State of the Nation Address he confidently spelt out his vision for the future of Seychelles.

But his speech carried with it all the hallmarks of an Election manifesto in which he threw down the gauntlet to the opposition and demonstrated that he was ready for battle.

He talked about the people who love Seychelles. A proud people. A nation that works hard to earn its living.

But the main topic of his address was the Cap Ternay hotel project which has caused a furore in Seychelles as critics said it would be an environmental disaster. The President said “certain people have decided to play politics” with the development. He went on: “I have even been accused of destroying the environment. That I am destroying the reputation of Seychelles. You all know, especially those who accuse me, that if there is anyone who has always defended our natural heritage, our environment – and continues to do so – it is me!”

So the project has been rejected.

This was a big victory for the people of Seychelles. A campaign led by popular businessman Marc Hoareau was backed by some 3,500 people who signed a petition against the plans. They reckon the President has backed down under pressure. But there may be more to it. People want to know why he really decided to stop the project completely. I think time will tell, probably after the Elections.

Interestingly, the price of cooking gas has gone down from Rs20.35 a kilo to Rs18.50 and we have heard of teachers getting a salary increase. Is that something to do with the 2016 Elections?

PL is currently popular and my view is that President Michel has realised that the opposition is very weak at the moment so he thinks he should go to the polls sooner rather than later.

I have said before and I repeat now that all the opposition parties have to get together to form a united opposition and choose a leader to stand against the President. It is a case of divide and rule here. Tiny groups –  and I hear rumours that one or two more new political parties may emerge –  are easy targets for President Michel/PL to pick off.

It is an astonishing fact that since the 5th June 1977 the SPUP-SPPF-PL has been running the country.

PL is getting funding and support from various sources mainly in India and China, but other countries too. Their campaign is already underway and they can afford to go the full distance.

The opposition hasn't got the money to fight back so vigorously and anyway it is difficult to see how any of today's single parties can defeat President Michel/PL on their own. We only stand a chance with a united front, otherwise Michel will get his new five-year term and the same will apply with the National Assembly Elections.

The opposition needs to have some sort of representation in the National Assembly. Five years without a strong opposition in the Assembly has been bad for the people of Seychelles. For the sake of future generations I ask the political opposition leaders to please do something constructive: Stop fighting each other.

They might even try to get support from the foreigners who have taken Seychelles nationality. The majority apparently vote for PL.

Meanwhile, there are two big issues in Seychelles that continue to worry me.

One is reconciliation: What is happening here?

I have always believed that such a process as adopted in South Africa and Northern Ireland is the best way forward for Seychelles. The President should make this a priority to heal the division in the country or we will never live in peace.

I am dedicated to getting a reconciliation process introduced in Seychelles.

The second concerns drug abuse. The situation continues to worsen and the cells are full with young men. Earlier, the National Drugs Enforcement Agency seized 32 kilograms of heroin with a street value of R112 million in the La Misère area. It was the largest drug bust in the Indian Ocean archipelago and 10 times the amount of heroin seized by the NDEA in a normal year.

"This seizure has dealt a severe blow to a major criminal drug cartel,” said the NDEA.

This is great work by the agency but we must keep up the momentum. We must root out these drug cartels. Drug abuse is destroying the lives of many families in Seychelles. I appeal to the President: Please act quickly.

Finally, on a personal note I record that it is now 35 years since I left Seychelles to live in the UK. I left my beloved home country after spending months in jail for what a Minister said was “mixing with the wrong friends”.

I was working at the Government Press when I was arrested in November 1979. Yet I was never charged with anything and the unfairness of it all still hurts. I was really enjoying life, playing football and representing my country on many occasions. Then abruptly and shockingly me and my small family had to quit the country of our birth.

Since then there has not been one day when I haven't thought about Seychelles. I love Seychelles, which is why I enjoy setting up events for everyone to get together. I am now organising the next Seychelles Independence Day Celebration in the UK for 4th July, 2015. Make a date in your diary and I will keep you posted on the details.

And yes, I will say it again passionately and loudly: I LOVE SEYCHELLES TOO!

Lewis Betsy
Publisher
Seychelles Life

* Lewis Betsy is Publisher of Seychelleslife.co.uk

Latest News

England youth coach Kevin Betsy explains why he loves his job – I enjoy helping people become better
12th February 2021
Top coach: Kevin helps youngsters in Seychelles attending a Kevin Betsy Foundation session
Seychelles-born Kevin Betsy is now manager of the England Under 18 football team. The only Seychellois… more...
As Ramkalawan marks a milestone 100 days in office, I pray he continues the good work
12th February 2021
President Ramkalawan: Action in the war on drugs at last
 By Lewis BetsyIt is always good when people live up to your expectations and so I was very… more...
I admire Ramkalawan’s vision and Seychelles Life will do its best to help him achieve unity in our nation
29th January 2021
Wavel Ramkalawan: Historic Presidential address
 By Lewis Betsy It was a truly historic moment, and one that for years seemed an impossible… more...
This year Seychelles can learn from 2020 and make things better for all
1st January 2021
Back home: Lewis Betsy is once more enjoying the beauty of Seychelles
By Lewis Betsy As we enter a new year I want to wish everyone a safe and happy 2021. The last… more...
Tributes to the memory of Gerard Hoarau show how Seychelles is changing for the better
7th December 2020
Honoured: A floral display and Gerard’s photograph with Lewis Betsy and Bernard Sullivan
By Lewis Betsy When the life of Gerard Hoarau was publicly honoured in Seychelles for the first… more...
My great joy as Ramkalawan becomes President of the Republic of Seychelles
5th November 2020
Joy on the streets: Opposition supporters celebrate
By Lewis Betsy Well, no one could have imagined that a result such as this was on the cards. We… more...
Seychelles hero Gerard Hoarau to be remembered in homeland Mass
26th October 2020
Gerard Hoarau: Mass to honour his memory in Seychelles
 By Lewis Betsy I have long felt that it was time that the life of Gerard Hoarau be officially… more...
With the elections hotting up, I urge every Seychellois to vote… and honour those who have suffered for us
22nd September 2020
Contender: Alain St Ange for One Seychelles
By Lewis Betsy Seychelles is now truly in election mode with politics the main talking point… more...
February's News
News Archive