National Assembly wraps up first trimester with two motions |20 April 2023
On the last day of its first trimester before proceeding on break, the National Assembly approved two motions brought by the elected member of Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) for Grand Anse Mahé, Waven William.
In his first motion, Honourable William thanked all workers in the public and private sectors for their solidarity, hard work, and perseverance alongside the government, for the country’s achievements during a short period of time since election.
Hon. William, who said he had wanted to present the motion half-way through the National Assembly’s mandate and days prior to Labour Day, invited all workers to reflect, analyze, and understand and to adopt a way of doing things in the workplace.
“As citizens, parents, workers, students, and collectively as a nation, adopt a strategy to build this country,” he stated. He said there was a moment for everything in life, and a person should be able to find a balance.
Hon. William reflected on how Seychelles was when the new administration took over back in October 2020, fresh from the impact of Covid-19, and what it has done to date to soften the situation and improve people’s lives, despite the challenges.
“Without solidarity to handle and face all the impacts, without working hard to come out of the tough spot, for our workers who were on their feet every day, disciplined to answer the call and deliver, I say a big thank you to you all,” he said.
The LDS members spoke in favour of the motion and thanked all workers who do their utmost for the country.
Proportionately elected member Hon. Naddy Zialor said workers have always responded when called to do extra and give a helping hand. Citing Air Seychelles when going through difficult financial times, doctors and nurses during Covid-19, teachers during lockdown who worked from home, police officers and soldiers working day and night to keep the country safe, “because they love their country, we say thank you to all of them”.
For his part, other than thanking all the workers, the elected member for Anse Etoile, George Romain, had a special mention for the government, whom he said has since coming to power, implemented several measures to improve the lives of workers such as the 10 percent salary increase for those in the public sector.
The Glacis elected member, Regina Esparon, had a special mention for women who are working hard, while her proportionately elected colleague, Doyace Porice, who is based on Praslin, stressed on workers in the private sector and their immense contribution towards the economy.
Elected member for Cascade, Philippe Monthy, praised how workers are valued and respected today, compared to some under the previous administration whom he said were victimised for their political views, citing an incident involving him, where he was reprimanded by his workplace after attending a political rally several years ago.
This was echoed by another proportionately elected member, Florry Larue, who highlighted various incidents in the past where workers were not appreciated and valued, but rather discriminated against because of their political affiliation.
The United Seychelles members who intervened spoke against the motion, accusing the ruling party of misleading the house, and stressing that Seychelles has a strong, disciplined and hardworking labour force largely in part to their past strategy, which put workers at the centre of development.
Proportionately elected member Wallace Cosgrow stated that the result of such a workforce was due to the 43 years of his party being in power, as it implemented policies for all types of workers from nurses, engineers, teachers, to doctors, among others.
He said the motion thanking workers was a form of damage control following President Wavel Ramkalawan’s State-of-the-nation address where he accused workers mainly from the public sector for not pulling their weights.
For her part, the elected member for Anse Royale, Sylvanne Lemiel, said workers have been active for a very long time and not only the past two years as stated by the ruling party. Her statement was echoed by La Digue MNA, Rocky Uranie.
The Port Glaud MNA, Egbert Aglae, told the National Assembly that the motion created more division in the way it was worded, instead of uniting the members, suggesting that it should not have mentioned the last election.
The 18 members of the ruling party voted in favour of the motion while the 8 opposition members present voted against, with no abstention.
The second motion by Hon. William related to weather and stated that given climate change and its effects worldwide, the National Assembly was asking the government to do the necessary to provide the Meteorological Services with the right equipment to receive early warning signs, that were more precise.
He told the members that he was inspired for the motion based on many instances and experiences through the assembly’s work. One was through their interactions at international forums as well as in relation to climate change issues happening in Seychelles.
Referring to a statement made by the chief executive of the Seychelles Meteorological Services, Vincent Amelie, in a recent news report, Hon. William said he had mentioned the need to acquire such an equipment to improve their weather predictions as the ones they possess were not accurate and timely.
“He talked about an equipment called a Doppler radar. He said the equipment could provide information on the amount of water in a cloud especially during a storm, and even estimate the level of damage, so that the citizens and government could react on time to prevent lots of damages vis-a vis our socio-economic development,” he stated.
Mr William said although expensive, the equipment was worth it.
All the seven members – four from the majority party and three from the opposition – who intervened on the motion spoke in favour of it and supported the call to have the said equipment to improve early warning system in the country.
Among them was the LDS elected member for Mont Fleuri, Hon. Michel Roucou, who gave an example of the recent flooding that occurred in his district as a result of climate change, which affected many families.
He stressed how such an equipment could be useful in such incidents and “facilitate the work of the meteorological technicians”.
For his part, the United Seychelles’ elected member for Port Glaud, Hon. Egbert Aglae, suggested that the matter should be looked at from a global context.
“Yes we may have the best equipment but we need to work in partnership with other countries, mainly regional ones and other international organisations involved with weather-related matters,” he stated, adding that the whole country should also be looked at when talking about climate change instead of just the three main islands.
“As a small island state, with limited resources but with vast oceans and air space, we should not be talking only about weather for Mahé but all the 115 islands where economic activities and people’s livelihood could be affected. So, the government should have a wider outlook to cover the whole region as well,” he said.
The second motion was approved unanimously.
The last session was chaired by Speaker Roger Mancienne in the morning and deputy Speaker Gervais Henrie in the afternoon. The latter adjourned the session until May 16, when the National Assembly will resume for the second trimester.