US holds eleventh press conference |16 November 2021
The United Seychelles (US) political party yesterday held its eleventh press conference in which leaders addressed questions relating to pertinent issues in the country at present.
Party leader Patrick Herminie spoke about the manifestations by United Workers Seychelles (UWS) in Victoria, accusing government itself of being behind certain anti-social behaviour which transpired on Saturday October 30 when UWS was calmly manifesting by the clock tower, but was met by government supporters who did not have police permission to protest that day.
“We want to remind Mr President and his government that on October 26, they were elected to govern Seychelles within the rule of law, and not through extra judiciary measures,” Dr Herminie stated, noting that the statement made by President Wavel Ramkalawan that the protests are deterring visitors and a nuisance is merely a ploy to tarnish the image of US and its supporters.
Dr Herminie went on to explain that it was not supporters of US that were acting disorderly, but rather, it was supporters of the other side.
He also categorically denied that there were any persons representing US who was ‘kicking’ under the influence of drugs as has been said, although he proposed there were persons involved in drug related activities on the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) side.
The party leader went on to express concerns over the presence of military officials on the streets, which he deems “the only thing that is deterring visitors”.
He highlighted that Article 163 of the Constitution stipulates that military power should only be employed in the event of emergencies.
For his part, deputy party leader Jacquelin Dugasse spoke about the state of the economy and the economic reality in Seychelles today.
He once again asserted that the primary cause of the economic decline was a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and not as a result of mismanagement of the country’s funds by the former administration.
He however pointed out that the recovery of the economy is somewhat a result of funds disbursed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and African Development Bank (AFDB) as part of the macroeconomic reform programme which will last until 2023. The debt implications of the programme will be heavy to bear by future generations.
“The debt adds at least R8,000 debt on the heads of each Seychellois, including my grandchildren and your grandchildren. It is important to note that LDS complained when US borrowed, so finally, after 30 years whereby it criticised government for borrowing, they realised that a country needs to borrow when it is sustainable and necessary to support its economy.”
“We have observed that poverty is increasing. On the other hand, government ministers are being awarded clothing allowance, dental allowance, an allowance of R25,000 for housing, Silhouette retreat, trips to the islands and it is okay. We have seen them dancing away in five-star hotel in Dubai, while the average Seychellois will not be paid their thirteenth month pay,” Mr Dugasse added.
Mr Dugasse also expressed his perspective that the new Seychelles Trading Company (STC) board is failing the people in not going further to try and lower the cost of living for the general population, and in only going as far as ensuring that the price of the fourteen basic commodities are maintained at the lowest.
The two party leaders also addressed the issue of drugs in Seychelles and government’s efforts to eliminate substances from the country, victimisation and fear among citizens.
Dr Marvin Fanny, a member of the national executive committee, said the youths of Seychelles are suffering because the government does not believe in youths. He firstly referred to the dissolution of the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC) as approved by the National Assembly last week, and the transfer of responsibilities to the Minister for Youth, Family and Sports, noting that this is indicative that the present administration does not trust the youths of Seychelles to take decisions regarding themselves.
Dr Fanny also said there is too much harassment of youths who do not necessarily support the system.
“Under the US administration, we had an administration that was competent, compassionate, and care for Seychellois youth, and we had an administration that believed, and still believe in youths. If we consider our National Assembly, at least 75 percent of the members are youths. We at US, are a progressive party who believe in the youths, and are promoting the youths to become future leaders,” Dr Fanny stated.