Popular Democratic Party to contest legislative election |31 August 2011
The leader of the party, David Pierre -- former Seychelles National Party (SNP) deputy secretary-general and proportionately elected member of the National Assembly for the opposition -- made the announcement in a press meeting yesterday morning at the International Conference Centre.
Mr Pierre said his party will take part in the upcoming legislative election because he believes all legislation should be debated and adopted through a national assembly and to have an assembly we should take part in the election, he said.
Mr Pierre believes that his party, though still small, can file 25 candidates to stand in the 25 districts.
“The Popular Democratic Party is offering the people a different opposition approach,” Mr Pierre said.
“I am not ready to give up after 15 years of sacrifices and I am not ready to see our country go through five years with an assembly made up entirely of Parti Lepep members,” said Mr Pierre.
He noted that there are several political parties in the opposition but each of them has different strategies to reach their objectives.
“The PDP’s approach will be different - where in a strong, frank and direct manner it will tell the government where it is doing things wrong and where it is right.”
He said it is time the opposition put the interest of the country, the people and supporters before its own ambitions and interests.
“The opposition should strive to reach its objectives in a way which should not put our country’s interests in question,” said Mr Pierre.
He noted that the opposition can make a lot more contributions to the country’s development, adding that in the past a lot of ideas it contributed through the assembly have been adopted by Parti Lepep.
“The PDP will continue to make these kinds of contributions but through a new approach which I believe will be more effective,” he said.
He noted that even though the PDP is not adopting the same approach, it shares many of the issues and concerns brought forward by the opposition such as the need for electoral reforms.
“The PDP believes in the principles of the opposition and it is no secret that the opposition has made a lot of contributions in the past years and I support these contributions but not the approaches through which these contributions have been made,” he said.
He noted that after 18 years the opposition is losing support because of its approach on certain issues.
Mr Pierre said he believes the opposition should be ready to listen to diverse views. He said his party is for consultation for the benefit of the people and the country.
“If the government of the day is ready to listen to opposing and diverse views with respect, I will go for this approach,” he said.
He noted that the new assembly should review the way it does business and electoral reforms should be at the top of its agenda.
He called on the people to think carefully about the kind of assembly they want the country to have when they go to the polls next month and as a party, the PDP will respect their decision, he said.
Noting that his party believes in having a strong opposition in the Assembly, Mr Pierre said he will be ready to make a sacrifice and withdraw from contesting the election if the SNP comes back on its decision and decides to take part at the last minute.
“We do not believe in dividing opposition supporters but in having a strong opposition in the assembly,” he said.
Asked what prompted him to come back in politics so soon after announcing when he resigned in May this year that he was going into a family business, Mr Pierre said:
“At that time I specified that for the time being I was not going to take part in politics but the political landscape has changed and an opportunity presented itself when other opposition groups announced they were not taking part in legislative election, so I decided to fill in the vacant position.”
Mr Pierre sad he believes in democracy and after more than 15 years in the opposition his principles have not changed.
“I have always fought for democracy and I will never give up until I am satisfied that the fundamental rights of every Seychellois are respected,” he said.
Asked whether he is aspiring to become the next leader of the opposition Mr Pierre said that this is a decision which the elected opposition members will decide.
During the meeting yesterday Mr Pierre also presented the PDP’s secretary general Francesca Monnaie and deputy secretary general Doreen Nancy.