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Below is an exchange of correspondence done through the Party newspaper ‘The People’ between two friends; one living on Praslin and one on Mahe, which basically summarise the political context of the past three years.
In the 60s, such correspondence were introduced in our Party’s mouthpiece to illustrate the political situation of that period.
The two friends will appear under pseudo names, Jeanne and Marcel.

Dear Jeanne

Thank you for your long letter last week on which you touched on various political issues.
I am really looking forward to our Party’s Extraordinary Congress tomorrow at ICCS. President Danny Faure’s nominee as vice-presidential candidate is expected to be anointed.
Plainspoken Maurice Loustau-Lalanne is clearly a 1st class choice, combining 4 decades of experience in a wide range of sectors, notably tourism, civil aviation, environment, Finance and economic planning.
He is a down-to-earth person and furthermore until now, has never been involved in politics and not seen on a podium. He shall presumably make his maiden speech as VP candidate tomorrow and everyone- in US or the Opposition, will be watching closely.
Jeanne, it is a great pity that with the current pandemic, we shall not be able to fill the ICCS auditorium to full capacity. There shall be social distancing, in line with the Health Department’s guidelines to fend off any possible transmission.
Looking back, Loustau-Lalanne is a key person in tourism, being instrumental in setting up Air Seychelles and the STB. In such circles, he has unanimous approval as a top performer.
If until the COVID pandemic, tourism ballooned to yield most of the 3 million US dollars earned daily- with a total visitor arrival, it is largely thanks to his strenuous efforts.
Maurice, like Danny is a hard-working, assiduous and always on the go. As he told our newspaper last week “Given the unprecedented times we are going through and with the uncertainties that lie ahead, I accepted the challenge of my President to assist him, to ensure our nation continues on the correct path of progress, prosperity and stability.”
Even the Opposition admits that President Faure has picked someone, who has been in government for years and lately has been his point man in dealing with the economic crisis. Its rag states that the choice is reassuring to some sectors, for instance tourism. While noting that President Faure picked someone ‘close’, it is contradictory when its states it has been a disappointment for Party stalwarts.
I hope the editor is watching the endorsement of Loustau -Lalanne by the Party stalwarts tomorrow. His nomination has indeed energized the campaign.
Like President Faure, time and again, Loustau-Lalanne has proved his mettle and is simply superb, rising to the challenges.
Jeanne, did you listen to Simon Gill last Friday at the TRNUC. As is customary with him, he went to great lengths to put the issue of political education within context and show that during the colonial era, most Seychellois were living in appalling conditions, with no running water, electricity in their homes, if they even had one.
Most of the land was held by the descendants of the original settlers, some of whom owned thousands of acres. Today, such land has been re-distributed to 15,000 families at subsidized prices by Government.
I believe Mr. Gill was correct to explain the context of Seychelles’ independence, achieved in June 1976.
Prior to that the British colonial power had arbitrarily detached 3 islands; Aldabra, Farquhar and Desroches, which along with Chagos of Mauritius, it constituted the British Indian Ocean Territory- BIOT.
Had Mr. René not joined the Coalition Government in 1975 and exerted pressure on UK at the London constitutional talks, to recover our islands- which together is 1/3 of Seychelles land area, they could have gone the same way as Chagos, leased to the US for a huge naval and air base on the main island of Diego Garcia.
Mr. Gill also pointed out that despite destabilization attempts by external forces, such as the November 1981 mercenary attack, Seychelles continued to progress during the one-party era. Hundreds of houses were built. All government workers were paid and most Seychellois were happy.
Our kids enjoy free education. I just heard the Education Minister Mrs. Simeon state in parliament that presently over 700 students are pursuing higher education, 458 of them abroad on government-sponsored scholarships and that 65 graduated this year of whom around half are back home.
Jeanne, I also heard Mr. Gonzagues D’Offay a former minister in the Coalition Government deny that there were plans to postpone the first post- independence election due in 1979.
At the time of the switch to multi-party rule in 1993, a document was circulated allegedly from ex-President Mancham’s office entitled “No need for further elections”. Some names of Coalition Government members had been ticked.
I guess it is difficult to know the truth about that since both ex-presidents; Mancham and René have passed away. It is also interesting that in Mr. D’Offay’s opinion, the real reason Dr. Ferrari, who was over enthusiastic about Mr. Mancham’s overthrow, was not the one-part state, that he pretends. After all he remained vice-President of SPUP and later stayed with SPPF- for 7 years.
According to Mr. Doffay, the real motive for Ferrari’s departure in 1984 was because he had realized that former President René was not relinquishing the presidency to him as he had ambitioned.
Before the TRNUC this week, there was Mr. Mancham’s ex-bodyguard, who said Government seized his house at Harisson Street and he was forced into exile. He said that in 1992 he was offered a prime parcel of land at North East Point. Its fabulous sera views of north Mahe and the marine park- is probably worth tenfold his previous property.
Jeanne, have you heard that LDS is soliciting funds? After taking party political funding of over R300,000 from State coffers every month, is it legal for it to do so? We wonder what happened to the funds collected in 2006 to set up as SNP radio station.
Besides that, the Opposition has also received a lot of money from sponsors, including foreign backers.
However, the feeling is that the funds are not fairly distributed, with some getting the lion’s share.
In my district of Plaisance, it is a sure thing that residents will in October vote overwhelmingly for President Faure. They have had more than enough from the LDS MNA.
Some LDS MNAs are also frustrated because Entel’s focus appears to be not necessarily winning the presidency, but rather retain his job as Leader of the Opposition.
Some of them, already in a comfort zone, with flashy new jeeps, have loans to repay and like my Plaisance MNA, view chances of re-election as more than slim.
Entel is enjoying ‘la vie en rose’. He is already earning nearly R100,000 monthly in the National Assembly. On top of that there are perks, such as paid secretary, driver and bodyguards well as funds to run his office. We’re guessing he is handling a nice budget for that. Every December, Entel gets almost R150,000 gratuity. This goes up to around R1.5 million at the end of each mandate.
Jeanne, what with the difficult situation linked to the ongoing pandemic, I am sure that he is already figuring that ‘lanmans pwalon i so’ even more than in 2008.
Jeanne I shall pen off for now. Have a good weekend.

Marcel.

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