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Battle of the giants for the soul of Seychelles

26th July 2016

By Lewis Betsy

 

We have the date, we have a toughened opposition, so now the stage is set for a massive head to head battle for the soul of Seychelles.

In September, some 50 candidates will fight for the right to represent the people of Seychelles in the National Asssembly.

Not in recent years has there been the prospect of President Michel's Parti Lepep being defeated.

We know democracy can work. Just see how the Brexit vote in the UK changed everything when the people went to the polls and, in a massively controversial referendum, voted for Britain to leave the EU.

Change happened and swiftly. The Prime Minister David Cameron quit, the government was splintered and change followed change with infighting leading to a new PM, Theresa May.

Unlike in Seychelles there was no squalid hanging on to power. When the UK politicians knew the game was up they went.

I despair of speedy action or progress in Seychelles.

On 29th June 2016, I sat down with anticipation to listen to President Michel's speech, which he delivered at the Stadium.

For the first time I heard Mr Michel talk about “unity”. Indeed, he mentioned the word at least 14 times during the course of his speech. 

It is very sad that only now after, so many years in power, he decides to talk about unity. I’ve said it before and I will repeat it again: President Michel has been in power for a long 12 years and so was perfectly placed to unite the people. He has failed to do so.

I think he has left it too late and now he has realised that he is running out of time. 

He should have seen that the people of Seychelles have had enough with his regime.

In the last Presidential election he won by only 193 votes. This was a good indication that his popularity has gone down and the arrival of Lalyans Seselwa has changed the political landscape dramatically.

This coming National Assembly Elections should prove to be a very big surprise for the ruling party. 

For the first time since 1977, it will have a very strong opposition and the people of Seychelles will benefit because we will have a balanced Assembly.

The time for change is here and on 8, 9 and 10 September the people will find themselves free of the overbearing Parti Lepep and we will have an Assembly that represents all the people.

I have written much on many occasions concerning the need for a government of National Unity and National Reconciliation.

This is the only way forward for Seychelles. We need to be ready and prepared for the changes and challenges ahead. 

We want a new Seychelles, a fairer Seychelles that will deliver for everyone, not just a selected few.

We need to feel that we are genuinely one people under one flag.

Just recall that we first heard the word “Reconciliation” in 1992 when the ousted founding President Sir James Mancham returned to Seychelles on Palm Sunday. 

Sir James went on to repeat the need for reconciliation for the next 24 years and today while he and others, including myself, still demand it, our voices are unheard. 

Nothing has happened. Reconciliation is just a word. There has been no action. 

It is very sad.

The future now lies with what happens in the NA elections. 

I hope too that they tackle the issue of drugs.

The issue has been troubling me for a very long time. Again, not much seems to have been done and from recent reports the authorities seem to have taken their eye off this shameful matter.

I think this is extremely dangerous for the future of our country. Something must be done and done quickly.

In September we will see.

The Assembly consists of 32 members of which 25 are directly elected representing the 25 electoral districts in the country. Seven are proportionately elected.

The ruling party has won a majority in the assembly since the establishment of the Third Republic, which saw the return of a multi-party system in 1993.

In the last elections, all 25 directly elected seats were won by Parti Lepep which also holds six of the seven proportionately elected seats.

Here below, are the people who can change the future of Seychelles: Study them, see what they can offer.

All this is vital.

I urge you: Let's make a difference. Make your vote count.

Contenders: Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) candidates in the NA elections
Contenders: Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) candidates in the NA elections

Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) or the ‘Seychellois Democratic Alliance’ announced its official line-up of four women and 21 men who will be contesting the polls. They are:

Clifford Andre : Anse aux Pins
Patrick Pillay : Anse Boileau
Ahmed Afif : Anse Etoile
Flory Larue : Anse Royale
Stephen Pillay : Au Cap
Francois Adelaide : Baie Lazare
Archille Savy : Baie Ste Anne
John Hoareau : Beau Vallon
Norbert Loiseaux : Bel Air
Nicholas Prea : Bel Ombre
Francois Rose : Cascade
Wavel Ramkalawan: English River
Regina Alcindor Esparon : Glacis
Doyace Poris : Grand Anse Mahe
Wavel Woodcock : Grand Anse Praslin
Louncy Micock: La Digue and Inner Islands
Bernard Georges : Les Mamelles
Gevais Henrie : Mont Buxton
Jean Francois Ferrari : Mont Fleuri
Clive Roucou : Plaisance
Paul Riaze : Pointe Larue
Godfray Hermitte : Port Glaud
Jany Deletourdie : Roche Caiman
Sandy Arrisol : Saint Louis
Terrence Mondon : Takamaka

Parti Lepep’s candidates are:

Vicky van der Westhuizen: Anse aux Pins
Fred Arrisol :  Anse Boileau
Maria Payet-Marie : Anse Etoile
Sylvanne Lemiel : Anse Royale
Geralda Desaubin : Au Cap
Marlene Alcindor: Baie Lazare
Churchill Gill : Baie Ste Anne
Mirena Souris : Beau Vallon
Richard Mathiot : Bel Air
Basil Hoareau: Bel Ombre
Charles Decommarmond : Cascade
Wilbert Herminie : English River
David Payet : Glacis
Waven William: Grand Anse Mahe
Norman François : Grand Anse Praslin
Noline Sophola: La Digue and Inner Islands
Emmanuel Fideria : Les Mamelles
Michelle Sabury : Mont Buxton
Nelda Auguste: Mont Fleuri
Nadia Lauricourt : Plaisance
Jude Valmont : Pointe Larue
Egbert Aglae: Port Glaud
Audrey Vidot : Roche Caiman
Fabian Palmyre : Saint Louis
Paul Ernesta: Takamaka

Contenders: Parti Lepep’s candidates in the NA elections
Contenders: Parti Lepep’s candidates in the NA elections

Lewis Betsy, Publisher, Seychelles Life
Lewis Betsy, Publisher, Seychelles Life

Photos: Courtesy of Seychelles News Agency

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