LDS style about turn!

The Seychellois public have expressed disbelief and a sense of surprise at the announcement by the Leader of the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa, LDS, that the country requires an executive and legislative coming from the same party to be able to progress. After four years of hiding behind cohabitation and after running all election campaigns since 1998, on the need for the electorate to split their votes, so as to ensure a balance of power in the country, Roger Mancienne spelt out LDS’ desire that the Seychellois should vote en block for only one party.

Over the years the opposition parties have always maintained that a legislative with an opposition majority would be able to ensure the checks and balances which would keep the administrative arm of the government in line, through various oversight mechanisms such as the Finance and Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly. In essence, they have demonstrated this through the 15/10 win in the 2016 general elections which gave them 19 seats to the US 15 in the National Assembly. Using this majority, they have been able to inspect various areas of government, which was hitherto immune to accountability. They have been able to push through their motions and laws and also using the repartition of power in the National Assembly, they have also been able to place their sympathisers on many of the government’s agencies and institutions boards of directors.

They have also been successful in stopping some government actions by voting against proposed laws and motions. However, now that the LDS feels that it has a good chance of winning the presidential election, it has done a complete about turn on this principle of balance of power. The party which claimed hitherto that if the President and the majority in the National Assembly come from the same party, it will be akin to being in a one party state under a democratic framework, is now saying that this will not be the case because there will be an opposition in the National Assembly. In saying this at the Certification Ceremony for the General Election candidates last Thursday, Roger Mancienne seemed to have completely forgotten the simple truth that a minority opposition in the National Assembly is just like a toothless dog. It can make a lot of noise but it cannot bite! In other words giving US, LDS, or OS a majority in the National Assembly as well as the presidency, will mean effectively stifling the democratic growth of this nation.With LDS doing so many volte face on major policies in this campaign, all that is left is for them to borrow is the theme song, “Pa pou bouze sa latab” (meaning there will be no balancing of power), from their opponent the United Seychelles and leave the slogan ‘Balans sa Latab’ –(meaning let us have a balance of power) to the other opposition parties.One Seychelles’ Alain St. Ange immediately picked up on what Mancienne was saying and immediately called him out. St. Ange reminded the public that if voters were to go the way LDS wants them to, then not only would the country lose all the democratic progress it has made thus far, but it will also fall into an even worse situation than it ever was!