LDS and US at odds over state-of-the-nation address |17 March 2023
The remaining members of the National Assembly who are yet to give their reactions to the state-of-the-nation address will do so during today’s sitting.
This follows the reactions by both leaders and that of some members on Wednesday and yesterday.
Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) member Hon. Naddy Zialor kicked off the sitting yesterday whereby he applauded President Wavel Ramkalawan’s “honesty and frankness”, stating that the state-of-the-nation address (Sona) was much appreciated by him as well as the population who needed to hear the real state that the country is in.
Hon. Zialor emphasised on the president’s call for all Seychellois to unite, to effect change and to be the change that they want to see.
Like other LDS members who provided their reactions throughout Wednesday’s sitting, he focused, amid other accomplishments, on the infrastructural ones which President Ramkalawan made reference to during his address on Friday March 10, including the recently completed National Institute of Health and Social Studies (NIHSS), ongoing works to refurbish and renovate facilities occupied by the Seychelles Police Force, and the National Library, among others.
Similarly, elected member for Anse Boileau Philip Arissol, elected member for Cascade Philip Monthy and representative for Plaisance, Richard Labrosse shared similar sentiments, putting forth their personal views in relation to issues which President Ramkalawan touched upon, namely, the need for a mindset change within the public service and his plea to the youths to take their education seriously.
For her part, Regina Esparon, elected LDS member for Glacis, thanked President Ramkalawan for the moving and honest address, and took the opportunity to highlight the challenges within society, as well as the efforts by the LDS government to address such.
For Hon. Doyace Porice, “The president’s address on the state of our nation was really impressive. He opened the eyes and ears of all Seychellois who were maybe in doubt, in fear or worried.”
She noted that the president also informed the people of solutions to the challenges which he communicated clearly and with openness.
Acknowledging that there are many challenges to overcome, Hon. Porice reiterated the president’s call for all citizens to work together and unite, towards the country’s progression.
Hon. Sathyanarayanan Naidu was in agreement, noting that in his view, the president’s address was founded on sincerity.
Regarding President Ramkalawan’s announcement that the Cybercrimes and other Related Crimes Act 2021 is to be strictly enforced from here on out, he expressed his full support, in saying that social media platforms are now a community in itself, and that it is essential that citizens remain mindful that “where a person's freedom ends, another man's freedom begins”.
The last LDS member to react yesterday was Hon. Florry Larue who also focused her reactions on the various accomplishments of the LDS government, under the leadership of President Ramkalawan since he assumed power in October 2020.
On the other hand, newly sworn in US member Wilbert Herminie said the Sona “completely missed the target” and that it failed to address pertinent matters including the cost of living, education and healthcare.
He stated that instead of using the opportunity to outline his plans for the upcoming year, President Ramkalawan used the opportunity to threaten public servants.
“Cost of living should have been the leading topic of the Sona since it concerns Seychellois’ bellies. It just goes to show that the LDS government is not concerned with Seychellois’ bellies,” Hon. Herminie stated.
Along the same lines, Hon. Wallace Cosgrow highlighted the importance of the Sona in kicking off the National Assembly’s new term, and as a “barometer by which Seychellois measure the government’s performance during the preceding year”. He deemed the Sona as a “cosmetic and superficial” address, which failed to give deep insight into the real problems that Seychelles and the nation face, and which fails to inspire hope in citizens that things will improve.
“But it is unfortunate that for the third time, the address was an ill-prepared one, and which does not at all reflect the state of the Seychellois nation,” Hon. Cosgrow stated.
Providing his reaction, Johan Loze said typically the Sona should be founded on the truth, filled with facts, in tune with reality, and guided by firm and absolute honesty, but President Ramkalawan’s address was one which served to emphasise division, while also insulting the population.
As with the other members on his side of the table, Hon. Loze asserted that the Sona was based on frustration, with the focus on vague things which cannot be proven nor justified, and which was full of accusations, rumours and malicious attacks.
In concluding, Hon. Loze sang part of a song by Gatto Bonnelame, suggesting that the speech was “full of lies”.