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LDS is hateful and vindictive.

Which style of leadership is best for Seychelles?

19 months ago, probably the people of Seychelles had expected an LDS majority in the National Assembly alongside the Executive to become an “act of endearment” and had hoped to benefit from that relationship. But have the LDS politicians proven to be the right people to have been given part of that responsibility?

Fortunately, there is a strong leadership and a mental capacity in the Executive. Anyone else would be peeved with such a negative and vindictive ‘partner’ as LDS. Danny Faure has  strength  of  character and the ability to succeed  because of  his  mental capacity.
He said that he would  put  Seychelles first, and it is exactly what he is doing. He has taken bold decisions and personally sacrificed in order to do this. Has it been difficult for him? More than most have imagined.
President Danny Faure is governing a country and taking care of the people. Whilst fine-tuning where there is a necessity and working on plans for future developments that is a continuation of a vision which is based on moral principles and values underpinning the many years of success of the country and the people. His aim is to bring the Seychellois people together and ensure that they remain a peaceful nation.

Going back to the beginning.

To explain the current state of affairs of this cohabitation, we shall have to go back to the beginning of how the whole situation, started.
 A new political party called Lalyans Seselwa, joined the presidential race alongside three others, including the Seychelles National Party (SNP). Four political parties were campaigning and contesting against Parti Lepep. The group was called Linyon Sanzman.
Somehow in spite of the formidable economic transformation and ranking Seychelles a High Income Country, Parti Lepep with Mr. James Michel as its contender for this election failed to score 50% therefore the race had to go into a second round to decide the winner. Whoever scored more was to become the elected President.
The opposition’s political parties had no other motive than to oust Parti Lepep from power which was why they joined forces. They became an aggressive force using violent messages through slogans, songs and even in their publications. They inundated the communities with these violent lyrics or messages reaching sadly the children in their homes with their parents and in schools with their teachers.
When Parti Lepep failed to score the 50% in round one, the opposition saw the beginning of the end of the party that was used to easily winning every election since multi-party politics was launched in 1992. The opposition has never felt that close to power. Parti Lepep’s James Michel won the presidential race.
Their candidate Wavel Ramkalawan who was running his sixth time failed again and this time, because he was drunk with confidence that he was going to win after the election went to round two, he had a really hard time accepting defeat.
He was so convinced that this time he would have the last laugh over those who for years have mocked him for losing every election since the launch of multi-party politics in the country. The irony is that since 1993 he has been losing every presidential election while a Parti Lepep candidate has been winning. To him that was his chance. He was more confident at that time, than now.
The results of the December 2015 presidential elections were too close for Wavel’s comfort. Troubled and very upset, he contested the results in court but failed, again. Wavel Ramkalawan epitomizes the popular saying “once a loser, always a loser.” One wonders what motivates him? What does he get out of this that keeps him going?
With the legislative elections coming right up after presidential elections, Linyon Sanzman became Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS). They could not miss the train. They had become desperate and resorted to desperate measures. They gathered each and every person they knew would agree to collaborate with them to win the legislative. Promises were made. By hook or by crook they had to win.
Inspired by rage and ‘blood thirsty’ for revenge over Parti Lepep, the opposition continued with their violent messages and was even considered dangerous in the way they campaigned to win the National Assembly elections held in September 2016, nine months after the presidential elections.
They won the majority of districts, leaving Parti Lepep with only 10 districts.
It  is  rather  important  to  note  at this point that Wavel Ramkalawan lost again. It was another blow for him especially, that he lost against a new comer in the legislative polls.
It was quite appalling and very dishonorable for this  politician cum Anglican priest, with over 25 years of experience up his sleeve to lose against a young man who had barely stepped into the world of politics.


“Payback time”


In campaigning they accused Parti Lepep for all types of corruption, so obviously when they won the Assembly, they had to prove they were right. Also, getting the Assembly sent only one message to LDS especially Wavel Ramkalawan. It was important to him that he was appointed the Leader of the Opposition. It was payback time for Parti Lepep.
So, rather than work alongside the Executive to actually deliver to benefit the country and people, LDS embarked on a quest to prove there is corruption in government and in Parti Lepep. They continue to do this whilst they also try to create obstacles for the Executive to fail.
They do it when they ‘freeze’ budget allocations, block Cabinet appointments and humiliate or tarnish the image of government officials and anyone affiliated to Parti Lepep.  When a Cabinet member or minister comes before the National Assembly for questioning, that person becomes the chew-toy of the LDS.
No matter how effective that person is with his or her subject, to LDS anyone associated to government and Parti Lepep is designed to be chewed by them for the purpose of cheap politics and revenge, and probably also to relieve them from boredom of sitting in an Assembly when they have nothing constructive to do.
At the controls of the Assembly, they were no longer interested in the voters or supporters. The next mission of LDS is get total control. They are after the presidency. The only way LDS sees that happening is through arrogance. That is their trait. It is however true that LDS especially as Ramkalawan has brought back the imprint of SNP in every aspect of their work, cannot survive on peace and unity. They have to intimidate, persecute or torment otherwise their core supporters’ leave.
But the whole setting is not playing well for LDS though. Realising that the people are listening and watching attentively and comprehending the motive which is not what they expected when they voted for cohabitation, LDS finds itself between a rock and a hard place. With an intelligent leadership in the Executive, who is the Head of State with political intelligence, they cannot gamble what they consider as their only chance of getting to State House. What should they do?
For them, to be arrogant, malicious and vindictive make them popular and accepted with their core supporters, although to play them out on live television broadcast is not necessarily the best political strategy they have got. They are in a game of playing with people’s mind to create confusion and disdain. Internally in LDS, some people like that and some don’t.
As for President Faure, when he works he portrays the whole package of political intelligence. He has integrity, self-awareness, emotional intelligence and he too has strategy. But he strategizes and executes for the people to benefit. He has no ulterior motive than the people of Seychelles. As a politician, he grew up learning that it is important to give in order to receive although not to expect in return. The party he grew up in also taught him to be a man of principles, and he also does not want his career to go down in flames. As the Head of State he wants to define his legacy.
His emotional intelligence is within. He governs the country with the heart. He respects, always.
To be honest, it is unclear what exactly the people expected with an opposition majority in the National Assembly. There has always been a Parti Lepep Government providing for everything. The country has the best primary health care, and health like education is free of charge. Seychelles may not be the first country to provide overseas treatment to its people, but it is the first country to make that a law meaning an obligation of the government. Socially, Seychelles, small as it is, without any riches, looks after the people providing housing accommodation which is of good standard, providing plots of lands for people to build at very reasonable cost. In fact in other countries the similar types of houses that are built here, are built and rented out by the private sector.
On the Human Development Index, Seychelles ranks among the top countries for its social progress. It has in place a very accommodative welfare system that helps take care of the less vulnerable like single parents, orphans, the sick and people with disability, amongst others.
Government’s policies are based on the good principles of equal opportunities and social justice for all. The Executive operates a government which believes in friendship with all the foreign countries and enemy to none. Compared to LDS who so far has made scornful remarks about the Chinese, Arabs, and they are now being a hypocrite friend to Indians. However the opposition has no issues with Taiwan which according to a little bird is generous to them.
A foreigner who is retired here remarked last week that in other countries for a millionaire to live freely and live to his heart’s content, he has to have several millions and sometime  even billions. But he is living here with 3 million rupees and he is just chilling life away doing what Seychellois should be able to do with less.
With his 3 million he had to purchase a private property consisting of a huge house. With the rest he takes care of himself. For a Seychellois, born at the Seychelles Hospital, there is a government that takes care of everything- including his entire adult life until after he dies. From cradle to the grave. “This does not exist in any country I have visited or lived in,” he said.


How did the opposition mislead the people?


In all their rallies and political assemblies, the opposition said that a balanced of power is to the advantage of the country and people. In what way, is the question that probably the people should have pondered upon before voting LDS to the Assembly.
The people have never experienced this situation before, maybe they wanted that experience. They gave LDS an opportunity to prove that their way was better. But today, are the same people agreeing with LDS that a balance of power is to their advantage? Are the people seeing more progress than before when the executive and legislative powers were under the leadership of only one political party?
How are they operating now in a cohabitation which is a balance of power? Having said that, has LDS proven that they can be trusted to deliver better for the people if they do get absolute control?
 When they were presented with the 2017 National Budget, LDS blocked several allocations in the social and security sectors, including the allocations pertaining to the police, FIU and NDEA. They refused to vote for the allocation of the tourism ministry including its stakeholders such as STB which rented rooms at Espace.
LDS had a bone to pick with former President Michel, therefore they imposed an ultimatum. They refused to vote for that particular budget unless the tourism ministry moves out of Espace building.
The same they did to the 2018 budget. They introduced the concept ‘freeze’. It was their way of blocking several parts of the budget allocations until public pressure mounted and supporters were leaving, they had to ‘unfreeze’ everything. Both times with the budgets, LDS caused delays and frustration among the people whose service were dependent on some of the ministries or agencies in question.
LDS also refused to approve the nominations of Cabinet ministers on two occasions. The first time they claimed that they would only vote for technocrats, which was why they only accepted the nomination of former Minister Peter Larose.
However, when mostly technocrats made up the second round of nominations to replace the ministers who had to leave the government due to health issues, through a public spectacle broadcast live on SBC television, LDS demeaned and humiliated the candidates. LDS even refused to meet the candidates to give them a chance to prove themselves through questioning by the members.
The Parti Lepep cohort in the Assembly, through their leader insisted that the Assembly hears them out, but the Leader of the Opposition insisted to the Speaker that they dropped the LGB’s plea. That it was a waste of time as they would not approve the nominations. The Leader of Government Business Charles de Commarmond had to resort to a walk out in support of these candidates.
Every week for 19 months, LDS has been vindictive to every person they know is affiliated to Parti Lepep. They would name and shame. They would make allegations giving impressions that these people are dishonest or unprofessional. They spent every given moment to insult and disgrace Parti Lepep. LDS has no compassion in the way they deliver these disparaging remarks which to them are irrelevant whether they are true or not, as long as they have said whatever they had to say, protected by immunity- a privilege accorded to the MNAs when they are in session.  
In spite of the cohabitation and the fact that they have to collaborate with the Executive to work, time and often they are rude in their remarks against the President of the Republic.
To them irrespective of what the president is doing that is right for the people, LDS makes it clear that they only want the president to call for presidential election. LDS is so convinced that they would win the next elections. Their candidate Wavel Ramkalawan is so confident that he will become the next president, that he calls for election each time he gets the chance to. In fact, he declined to approve the latest cabinet nominations insisting on presidential elections.
Also, he realizes that the more time he wastes making mistakes, the more unpopular he is becoming among supporters and peers within the LDS organization. However Wavel knows that he does not hold the trump card, as President Faure has the authority to dissolve the National Assembly and call for fresh elections. But then again, this is the true comparison, whilst LDS is playing a game for absolute power, President Faure is taking his responsibility to govern Seychelles and taking care of Seychellois very seriously.