Marie-Nella Azemia elected Lungos chairperson at AGM


21-November-2012


The newly elected Lungos chairperson Marie-Nella Azemia (5th from left) and her management committee

She was elected into office on Saturday during the body’s annual general meeting for 2012.
Most of the 68 registered members attended the meeting held at the Seychelles Trading Company’s conference room.

Seven new members have been accredited to Lungos since last year.
Outgoing chairman Bernard Elizabeth said Lungos has been very active, winning recognition and sitting on several national committees.

He said there has been fruitful dialogue with all arms of government – the executive, legislature and judiciary – as well as the police, which means it is viewed as a credible force.

Lungos is now seeking representation on the national commission for human rights.
Mr Elizabeth said Lungos is in the process of being transformed into a civil society, noting there is work involved in amending the constitution in line with the vision of the new Lungos.
 
He added that Lungos is receiving 85% of its funding from the Seychelles government and other sources are the Chinese embassy for staff development and a partnership programme with the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme).

Mr Elizabeth said several prominent members have also represented Lungos at some international gatherings, an indication of world recognition. Lungos chief executive Steve Lalande attended the meeting on the roles, rights and responsibilities of government and opposition organised by the Commonwealth in Tanzania in May, as well as an international forum of the platform’s first council meeting in Rio de Janeiro in late June.

Prof. Payet and Mr Morin (Photo by GT)

Other forums attended were held in Beijing, Stockholm, Antananarivo, Gaborone and Maputo.
Eight NGOs, mostly linked to environment and social welfare, received funding totalling R682,000 geared towards capacity-building, mindset change and economic empowerment.

Mr Lalande said the opinion of Lungos is being increasingly sought by government, which proves it is seen as a key stakeholder in Seychelles’ society.

One NGO – the Citizens Democracy Watch (CDW) – was set up during the past year and was the first local observer group to observe elections in Seychelles. That was the parliamentary elections in October 2011 and the by-election held in the Anse Aux Pins constituency in August this year.

On a headquarters for the Lungos presently housed in Orion-Promet building, Mr Lalande said the project is progressing well. Some discussions are being held whereby financing will be through a bank loan guaranteed by the government.

New Lungos chairperson will lead her management committee made up of vice-chairperson Michael Padayachy (chairman of Citizens Democracy Watch), secretary Cyril Pillay (head of the Seychelles Head teachers’ Association), treasury Josette Stravens (National Council for the Elderly), Dr Marie-Therese Purvis (representing environment and natural resources), Jude Fred (faith-based organisations), Monica Servina (gender), Gillian Mein (professional organisations), Brian Julie (rights and governance), Germaine Valentin (social and health), Rose-Mary Elizabeth (socio-economic), and Lise Church (youth, culture and sports).

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