National Assembly | 17 June 2020
Gervais Henrie is back in the House
Honourable Gervais Henrie yesterday retook his seat in the National Assembly after being absent for two sessions last week due to a scuffle with the House.
The Mont Buxton MNA presented his apology to the House thereby laying to rest an issue which propelled Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) members to walk out on Tuesday June 9.
This came after Speaker Nicholas Prea ruled that Hon. Henrie, as the editor of Le Seychellois Hebdo, should apologise for publishing a post while the National Assembly was in session on June 3. Speaker Prea highlighted that this was a breach of the parliament’s ethics as Mr Henrie was in the precinct of the National Assembly.
At the same time, Speaker Prea had ruled that the article published by Le Seychellois Hebdo had not affected the privilege of the leader of government business, Charles De Commarmond.
Hon. Henrie refused to apologise and opted to walk out of the session, and was followed by LDS MNAs aside from Hon. Bernard Georges.
Yesterday, Hon. Henrie thanked his colleagues for their act of solidarity and support.
He noted that his stance had been backed by his strong beliefs in freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of internet use. Principles which LDS stands for, Hon. Henrie added.
Nonetheless, Hon Henrie stated that the public should use media platforms in a more responsible manner and, on the flip side, asked persons in leadership positions not to abuse their privilege to hinder freedom of speech.
He highlighted that these persons can always seek redress from established authorities such as the Seychelles Media Commission.
In regards to Speaker Prea, Hon. Henrie stressed that he still respects Speaker Prea who has been his guiding example since he joined politics in 2007.
“I believe in your capabilities and I respect you as the Speaker,” Hon. Henrie said.
He further noted that LDS needs to remain a unified front to address important national issues.
“This is not the time for us to go off path,” Hon. Henrie concluded before giving his apology.