Sunday, October 23, 2016
On October 16th, 2016, James Michel resigned as President of Republic of Seychelles, after just being elected by 183 votes in a highly controversial election campaign, which faced judicial review of the Courts of Seychelles. Many concluded, it was the Constitutional Court of three Justices that gave Mr. Michel his mandate, not the People. No time to count hairs, a victory is a victory. A mandate however you slice it, is a mandate.
Enter President Danny Faure
As James Michel stepped aside to allow a younger, more energetic, Vice President to deal with the harangue mess left behind, Seychelles met a key moment with history. President Faure inherited a National Assembly whose majority control was in the hands of the Opposition LDS. His break away Minister Patrick Pillay, along with Simon De Commarmond, Noelie Alexander and others, had dealt a decisive blow to James a Michel politically. Losing control of the National Assembly, is political meltdown for a Executive Branch. As Danny Faure was asked by James Michel to go see what he can do with IMF to sort out our national bankruptcy, he now faced political bankruptcy and he turned to Danny Faure to navigate through the mess.
Danny Faure Man of The Hour
Faure left nothing to doubt and he left no stone unturned to refocus the Nation, on genuine unity, genuine Nation building. In his initiation all speech, he challenged his own parties style, of defiance, and made a first ever, Public Apology to The Nation for any wrong, any victimization his party may have caused along the way. The position was a stark contrast to James Michel last speech: " regrets.......I have none", my favorite song: " I Did It My Way". In a phrase, Michel's posture is perhaps been his worse enemy all along. With arrogance of that level, who can be blame for exposing Michel on digital media, to the point, his confidant Lise Bastienne said: " .......they assassinated his character on Facebook". Facebook can work that way only if there is material.
No doubt, the apology was a historical step. President Faure went further to shore up the bleeding in his party, and perhaps the Nation. Politically, a very astute person, since when he was very young, President Faure made his own appeal for genuine National Reconciliation. We must let it out he said. The country must deal with victimization, and we must cry if we must, but we must also move on as a country, and as one people. ( The words are of course the easy part. The challenge comes in the walk).
In any case, Faure was the man of the hour, as he appealed for a new way forward. While his appeal is cast in circumstance of internal implosion, Le Pep could not have a better man in its ICU room. While Patrick Pillay, Speaker of the National Assembly attended the transfer of power ceremony as any dignified Public Servant should, Wavel Ramkalawan, Leader of Opposition was absent. He was waiting in Absentia to become President, and then at that ceremony, he would wish that President Danny Faure will demonstrate Savoir Vivre culture, decency, so attend.
Faure Meets and Addresses The National Assembly
President Faure did a meet and greet of the National Assembly, invoked provisions of the Constitution to deliver a speech before parliament to spread his message of Unity, National Reconciliation, and the need to work together. While the casting of the times required such a move, it could not have come from a better person to do it, for Le Pep and yes, for the LDS Opposition. Can you imagine Joel Morgan being given this task? He would never bother to even take your phone call.
President Faure was no fool to invoke this section of the constitution. In attendance, he invited the Seychelles Inter Faith Committee to attend his address. If Ramkalawan resorts to bullying, which is his nature and with a majority in parliament, it is easy to bully, the Inter Faith Committee will be there to remind Father Ramkalwan, that he is a Priest, and he must walk in Jesus foot steps, not John Holmes.
As can be entrusted, Speaker Pillay was there, to keep order, keep everyone on the path of national unity and focus on what is right for our people and our country.
Seeds For Unity Sowed
The seeds of unity have been sowed by President Danny Faure. Given our history, given our circumstance, it is indeed a monumental effort and ambition. The soil will be turned in the National Assembly, we should welcome this. Turned soil allows for oxygen to reach roots, and make plants stronger. There will be dry seasons, there will be rainy seasons. The seeds will become plants. From plants we will bear fruit of what really has been sown.
For today, we must embrace each other, one and all, for we are Seychellois, and on this path of National unity, the President has spoken, we all must now adjust our dance steps to his, or face the Inter Faith Committee for trespass of the will of God that we should live in Peace.
Honorable Mentions For The Week
Flory Larue- gave a serious challenge to President Faure. Remove. Zomn Lib from town and drop the name Revolution Avenue
Wavel Woodcock- Highlight the plight of a Praslin under the oppression of two large companies.
Bernard George's- told Le Pep LDS wants power , wants State House. ( Some things in life, are better left unmentioned). Faure will probably PARDON him and get more political mileage out of it.
Trust me folks, it's better to work together, then to fight together. Please lead by example, the Nation is watching you.
Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellios!
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Terrence Mondon Exposes Ninjas
Mild mannered Terrence Mondon, who has the heart of a lion, the temperament of a cuddly bear, gave his personal and touching experience as a politician in Seychelles under Le Pep. Mondon was a Le Pep MNA for Takamaka, and he broke ranks with James Michel, joining the break away group led by Patrick Pillay. Mondon advise us that when he advise Le Pep leadership his conscious does not allow him to support them, he must run as an Independent, the leader ship, sent Ninjas to his house under the guise of darkness to give him a message. Incidents as such have been very common under the tenure of James Michel. Sometimes the testimonies seem incredible, but I have seen enough, heard enough, seen enough faces in distress to have reasonable grounds to believe, these tactics have been all along James Michel Operandi. Behind the smiles, hand shakes, pleasantries, is a dark vindictive dictator.
In 2011 cartoonist Ray Dubisson who did cartoons of Michel to make fun of the daily weekly happenings surrounding circumstances of the national bankruptcy was greeted by three muscle men in black, at his house Anse La Blague. He was simply told by one of muscle bound men with mask to stop doing cartoons. They then left.
Calls in the Night - Stop Writing!
About the same period, I received numerous calls in the evening, and was advised to stop writing, as if I was some kind of puppet or kid fresh off the block. The calls seemed silly to me, because in the real world, one does not attempt to threaten a writer with calls in the night. It's not how it's done. If you want a writer to write in your favor, just do what is suppose to be done.
Pat Pillay Charged With Human Trafficking
Who can forget the tactic of charging Pat Pillay with human trafficking? This incident came right up before the elections, the more PL government persecuting their ex ambassador, the more momentum and support he got from the Public. As a Seychellois, I personally was a shame for what James Michel did. It was a display of ignorance and desperation unbecoming of a statesman. Immediately, the international press came down to Seychelles, and Michel had ruined his international reputation by another blunder.
The Judge is Mad and Unfit
Most recently, Judge Karunakaran has been relieved of his duties under the grounds that he is unfit to sit as a Judge. Incidentally this Fabrike Judge, made a citizen by James a Michel himself,has been quietly practicing from the bench for 30 years. At no time did any one question his ability to sit as a judge. His daughter was one of two top students in Seychelles and he she received a full government scholarship. Karunakaran was also a candidate for Chief Justice only two years ago, and was Acting Chief Justice.
He seemed to be fit as long as he ruled in Michel's favor. When he ruled out of favor ......he was unfit. Really now Michel......is this your understanding of Democracy and independence of the separate branches of government? Really? Are you serious,man? Do you really expect this generation to take you seriously? Really......now?
The List Is Endless Is It Not?
These are just a few examples of victimization. But be clear, the list is endless. When it will end, we do not know. But what we do know,is until it ends, Terrence Mondon that mild manner hero, will be talking, Dubisson will be drawing, I will be writing,Pillay will continue to traffic human support from PL to the Opposition. Le Pep should have made him head of SFA, since he fish so well.
Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!
Saturday, October 8, 2016
The " Big Cake" has arrived on the table of the Seychelles Public. President James Michel has announced he will resign.This Saturday, LDS took to the streets of Victoria, SEYCHELLES demanding for amendments to the Constitution for banning of the Pas Baton tradition that keeps the ruling party in power.
Rumors are rife across the Nation as Le Pep clamps down in silence not knowing what to do next.
One rumor is that new elections will take place, since Faure will not be able to run the country with a hostile majority opposition. One party is toying with asking Khalifa for $300 million, in order to change at Cash Plus, to then give each Seychellois SCR. 100,000.00 not to vote. Perhaps this will increase to SCR. 1 Million per vote. Stay tuned.
Another rumor out and about is Pat Pillay has been offered Vice President post in PL. This is unconfirmed.
Further rumor is the Army refuses to pledge allegiance to a Pas Baton President, and enlisted soldiers have ask commanding officers to press for new fresh Presidential Elections.
Where there is smoke, there is fire in Seychelles.
The situation is developing fast and unfolding fast.
Ironically while all this jockeying is taking place in the political arena, investors are very relaxed and are continuing with their investment opportunities in Seychelles.
Regardless who is in power, the country needs 23% of its GDP in the form of foreign redirect investments to offset the $ 380 million sitting dormant in business bank accounts. Success has its complications.
Sesel Pou Seselwa!
Sunday, October 2, 2016
James Michel President of Seychelles, after a hard fought election in November 2015, then a hotly contested Second Round in December, that was called by the Courts, to give him a mandate has announced he will now resign on October 16th, 2016, one month before the birthday of France Albert Rene, November 16, 2016. The move exposes a last wish for Rene as he steps up in years. It could not come at a better time for PL supporters and Opposition alike.
People Run Out in the Streets to Celebrate
Immediately after the announcement, people were out in the streets dancing, drinking, celebrating.
Michel Legacy of Half Measures
In my mind, Michel will be remembered for taking the office of the President, too lightly. He is a transitional figure, from the hard line France Albert Rene who took on a failed ideology war against the People of Seychelles, cloth his personal ambitions behind Marxist Leninist ideology when it suited him.
Michel took many half steps in his Presidency, believe he was loved by the People until late November 2016, wherein he received the shock of his career, as voters sent a resounding message to him and Le Pep: " Shape Up or We will Vote For The Priest - Millionaire". It was a horrid message, unelected by James Michel, who under estimated the Public and their holding accountability, his actions. Every step along the way, the Public was carefully assessing and "judging James Michl by his actions".
The Half Measures
Michel called for National reconciliation many times, but he reconciled only with James Mancham, who carried no clout any longer in the Opposition.
As he fraternized with Mancham, he ignored his ministers, ambassadors, MNAs who were disgruntled. This group was like magnet to steel and they joined forces under Lalysans Seselwa, formed by Ex central committee member of Michel's party, and his own ambassador.
Michel took office from frugal Rene with an external debt of $400 million after running Seychelles
From June 5, 1978- June 2004. Michel famous for the saying," THINK BIG" increased the Seychelles national debt from 2004-2006 to a whopping $860 Million. This followed a successive bond market episodes with Lehman Brothers who at one point had taken 40% ownership of the Indian Ocean Tuna Factory in Victoria, a company responsible for $400 Million turnover per annum with 1600 employees.
Michel took Seychelles into National Bankruptcy. It is ugly to say, but it is true. After August 2007, IMF stepped in October 2007 to provide assistance as Michel agreed to breach Rene's creed of " National Death over IMF any day". Under Michel, IMF has since lent And supported Seychelles another $100 Million in extended fund facilities.
While the debt under IMF administration went down from 2008 - 2014 to $ 460 Million, on the departure of Pierre Laporte a disciplined Minister of Finance, named Minister of Finance of Africa 2015, for guiding Seychelles out of a morass of financial chaos, the national external debt ballooned to where it stands today: $1 BILLION.
Business investors lacked trust in the Seychelles Rupee and perhaps most, lack of trust in James Michel. As the reforms took root, business insisted on retaining hard currency accounts. This resulted in over $360 Million being held in private company hard currency accounts. Michel retaliated with high VAT of 15 % and did not resist the IMF hurdles, to protect small struggling businesses. He increased licensed rooms, from 3400 when he took office to 13,000 today, with near 2000 bunks on near boats.in his campaign he lost perspective, went to Eden Island, sat on a catamaran, promised the Public more bare boat bunks, even though they are infamous for Price Transfer- ing Practice, that sucks money out of Seychelles, but increases wear- tear, pollution, destroys our coral and reef fish stock.
Bye Bye Aut De Gamme
Under James Michel, Seychelles went from an Aut De Gamme destination to a sub way paradise in pricing. As his Cabinet licenses houses for hotel rooms in housing estates, near fiber glass boat shops, near garages, the volume of available beds shot up, yield dropped, ( example, last year we had 10% increase in tourism arrivals, but -4 % in Yield). Room prices crashed, cost of operations shot up, leaving the Tourism Industry in a most precarious dilemma. While this helped him garner votes in 2011 with licensing 800 houses to guest houses before elections, in 2016 these voters turned on Michel, when he announced a mandatory 13 th month salary in the private sector, when these operators were hiring workers, but losing money in their business due to over saturation.
Zomn Lib Moves Down The Street
No other half measure has Michel taken the People of Seychelles for fools then the removable of Zomn Lin from Revolution Ave. to the IDC warehouse, only to re appear at the round about corner besides Maison du Peuple. While Mancham, accepted this gesture as a conciliatory act by Michel, the majority of the People took it as a gesture of presenting " Fools Gold" to the People of Seychelles.
In early 2016, while Michel boasted in the Mauritian Press that he will win the elections hands down, as no opposition exist in Seychelles, Patrick Pillay and his band of SPPF Rebels, were plotting the planting of the seeds that will befall James Michel posture of grandeur larger then Rene, larger then Mousolini, to nothing but a cigar tip of Churchill's used cigar.
Michel Does Not Correct His Blunders
The greatest failure of Michel, was his inability to be humble enough to simply correct his blunders in judgment. Instead, he elected to ignore them, move on, put on a show on SBC, opt for photos, and attempt to look Presidential, while managing the country in a chaotic manner, leaving the mess repeatable behind of Faure to deal with.
How many houses were burnt?
How many sheds burnt?
How many infringements on personal rights?
How many bank accounts seized improperly?
How many letters, emails, left unanswered?
How many requests for an appointment cast in the bins?
The Last Day Of Michel
The last day of James Michel as President of Seychelles should be looked upon as a joyous moment for all Seychellois, regardless of political party affiliation. Le Pep can rejoice, for they will be led by the person who has been running the country already. The transition will not alter your life or your position of grace as a Le Pep supporter, though other factors will. The Opposition should rejoice because it has bent the knees of a introverted dictator, who lived by the motto : " THINK BIG!......we paid for it, every step of the way.....every step. Perhaps now we will pay less.
I personally will rejoice on the departure of James Michel, he was hell bent on making my family suffer, and took it as his personal vendetta to teach me a lesson. From the demolition order to destroy my calorifer upgrade I received the Wednesday after he drove by to Anse La Blague on a Saturday in 2004, to the breaking in of the MSR office in Mahe in 2011, which he never denied involvement, to the burning of our shed, killing of our dogs, which was never investigated....just laughed at. Oh yes, the President did not know.....of course not!
The Nation must recompose herself. We must collect ourselves, seek common ground, attend to the issues that we face, from National Reconciliation, settling past wrongs, to day to day running of the country and of course, a united effort of all sides to address the growing debt of Seychelles which threatens the standard of living of our people, and explains why 40% of Seychellois......do live below the poverty line, though we are.....the richest country in Africa, and Eden Island Marina, makes Monacco look like a pee hole.
I trust all Seychellois will take a positive lesson from James Michel, and no leader, shall ever again, venture down the road that James Michel chose on our best to run the country.....or not to run it. Take your pick!
Sesel Pou Seselwa!
Do Not Be Offended By My Lifetime Stance!
Christopher C. Gill