Monday, December 6, 2010

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

Democracy Collapsing In Seychelles Today (Part II)
Focus: The Structures of State
Upon the passing of the Constitution of the Third Republic, there was great hope and aspirations that Seychelles would reconcile earnestly, and the Nation would move into a new era of Democracy, that would require, that the structures of state be re-enforced.
For many that lived through the One Party State Dictatorship, it was this hope that democratic structures would be strengthened, that gave them hope for a free and democratic Seychelles, wherein individual rights would be respected, and the rule of law and order, would rule the day. Perhaps it is these optimist that have been let down the most through the farcical democratic experiment that has dragged for Seventeen (17) years.
Under France Albert Rene’s Two (2) additional mandates and a 3rd shared with James Michel, and Michel’s last mandate, the structures of State have taken a beating and dress down as the Nation entered into an era of great denial and eventual failure between the years 2000-2010.
1. The Executive Branch No Longer Administrates
Executive Branch went from micro management by Rene, to no hands on management Michel.
Under Rene, the micro state of Seychelles was micro managed by a dictator. We may not like the decisions Rene took day to day, but at the very least, there were decisions etched on a little note pad, passed down to the administrators of government to move things along and set a course, case by case.
Under Michel, files were ignored, and handed to lesser mortals with no mandate, than handled by the President himself.
Immediately upon assuming office, letters to State House were replied with a confirmation letter, and follow up was common to take months. As time was wasted, the government administration went into
chaos. What would normally take Two (2) weeks could drag out to take Two (2) years. If anything can describe Michel’s Administration, it is “no Administration”. Michel’s tenure can best be described as a “Hollywood Presidency”, as he hogged the camera for the entire term of his mandate.
When he went to the Tuna Factory, the camera was there, filming Michel with the fish. When the Tuna Factory owners bonded us, the camera was there. No questions asked or put to Michel. When the factory owners Lehman Brothers called in the Bonds, the camera was there.
When we went bankrupt, the camera was there. When we went on our knees before the world, the camera was there. But, no dissenting opinion was ever heard, not even an unprepared material question posed .
Each time, dissent was silent, democracy was weakened in Seychelles.
2. Police Force Collapsed
When Michel started to lose support for his own failings, he imported Irish mercenaries and Guardia on leave, to take up internal national security and run the Police. As he did that, a mass departure of Police in the force vacated posts and walked out, the best qualified Seychellois Police that remained had left. Over a 100 departures of Officers.
These officers refused to work under the Irish, these men and women left for the private sector. Today, they are all better off running their own security companies, or working in high paid jobs, enjoying larger numeration then the Commissioner of Police himself.
It will take years to rebuild the Police Force. Michel will not be able to do it, because he does not have the clout or moral authority to lead a Seychellois force, after importing foreigners to run our Police Force.
One Irish Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr. Liam Cohen, was caught lying on the stand in a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the death of a young boy and his father. Cohen quick stepped back to Ireland, after firing dozens of Seychellois Officers. Michel never asked these officers to return.
As a stop gap to this crisis, Michel created NDEA based not at the Police Headquarters, but based at State House. NDEA is a drug task force, but has now ventured into Policing, to cover up for a collapse Police Force.
3. Judiciary Promising Catch-up
If there is one branch of government that has promised a lot and taken a long time to deliver over the last 17 years, it is the Judiciary.
The law Reports have not been published since 1994. That is 16 years. Without Law Reports, courts cannot establish and institutionalize case law and enshrine the democratic process in courts, to insure constitutional rights are respected.
The critical shortage of Attorney’s following a decision after multi-party democracy by France Albert Rene to stop Bursars for law students , because they can get too smart for the system, has back fired today.
At this time, the Attorney General has run out of Seychellois attorneys and must import a batch of Sri Lankan attorneys to keep the office running. The office itself is a testimony to failure, with broken printers, broken computers stacked up against the walls where Law Reports should grace.
The Attorney General himself has done little to strengthen the democratic process, as he has been a servant of the powers that be and not the Constitution of Seychelles. He has been quick to the draw to protect the State, but slow to protect and defend Individual Rights in order to strengthen our democracy. As he fails to do what is right and serve his master, he hurts democracy in Seychelles.
In case the Attorney General did not know, it is respect and tolerance for Individual Rights that strengthens a Democracy, not the strengthening of the arm of the State at the expense of the Individual.
Most recently, the Attorney General has been taking a beating before the Constitutional Court. His streak of defeats started with a Right to Property issue present by Alwyn Talma over the restriction to use of Anse Lazio property 66 acres beach front. The Attorney General was even fined Rs. 100,000.00, an unprecedented decision.
Recently, the Court of Appeals ordered Attorney General Ronnie Govinden to draft new legislation to establish the impartiality of SBC, he has not submitted any drafted to the Courts or the Executive Branch, delaying the effect of the Courts Judgment on an issue that should have been resolved 17 years ago, according to Constitutional intent.
By attempting to defend the un-defendable, Ronnie Govinden has become the “Himmler”, of the SPPF PL government of James Michel. Himmler took over Hitler’s battles on the front lines, when he could no longer fight himself, as he was resigned to the bunker for his last days.
As Michel, takes Seychelles democracy to collapse mode, Mr. Govinden will we be defending the failures on the front lines, as being normal in a democratic society. But even our imported Judges from Kenya, Tanzania, Pakistan, will be offended by Mr. Govinden’s gesture to reduce Individual Rights to some subservient element to the State.
A word of caution to Mr. Govinden, in case not many people give you good advise: “An Attorney General that picks battles to lose, is of no value to any government administration, be it left, right or centre”. Right now Ronnie, its not looking good.
4. Legislative Branch
The National Assembly has weaken tremendously over the last Five (5) years. The Opposition no longer walks out on as a protest on issues. The Speaker passed a law that will sanction them Rs. 1000.00 per sitting. This has sold out the democratic right to legislative protest, though they all earn between Rs.700.00 –Rs. 1,800.00 per hour, plus a 70% pension for life, earned in a legislative conspiracy.
As the Opposition submerged into a culture of legislative conspiracy with the ruling party on budgets, salaries, pensions, they lost their moral compass to lead the Opposition. Even an election Alliance between DP and SNP was broken, which was instigated by James Michel in talks with Ramkalawan it is believed, since the Leader of the Opposition was in regular meetings with Michel at the time.
By 2010, MNA’s took to star blog to download speeches from article content, and they grossly misled the Public to think that they were debating from the heart and the brain was in gear.
This malpractice on part of our legislators is detrimental to our Democracy. It makes a mockery of the entire structure, and we have been left with a fake opposition in place as well as a fake majority that even smiles when the country is bankrupt.
5. Armed Forces
The Armed Forces has been hijacked as a political –apparatus by PL. Just this week, the Armed Forces promotions graced pages of People a pure political party mouth piece.
It would be totally acceptable to have these promotions covered extensively in the Nation. But People being a partisan paper, reported on the promotions as if the officers serve the People and the PL.
The promotions come at a time the Coast Guard have done exemplary work in the fight against piracy. They are merited, as are the increases in salary , provision of housing, car loans and fuel allowance and extended holiday of Three (3) months on One (1) month off, as they face harms ways routinely now in the fight against piracy in the region.
Seychelles Armed Forces, must be run by Seychellois, and not foreigners. Our men must never turn their weapons upon our people and must keep them facing pirates and any other enemies to our shores.
PL will attempt to lower their dignity and use our Armed Forces, to face election defeat in 2011. When Seychellois refuse to use arms to defend a failed election bid , the UAE will have troops stationed in Seychelles, to protect Michel, and insure his SHAM Elections are respected. Democracy will have collapsed completely by then.
6. Ombudsman
The post of the Ombudsman was intended to be an impartial voice, that aggrieved persons could approach and attempt to resolve issues pending against the Government of Seychelles. However, it appears that the SPPF/PL have neutralized the constitutional intent of the creation of the Ombudsman post, by promising holders of the post that the Office of the Ombudsman is a stepping stone to high court appointed posts if the Ombudsman tows the line for a time.
In 1993, the Ombudsman was Bernadin Renuad. He went on to become a Judge. Gustave Dodin then replaced him, and Dodin then went on to become a Judge. Today, Dora Zatte occupies the post, and she will likely go on to become a Judge. Miss Zatte retains close relations with key personalities that pose great conflict in her post and weakens the post of the Ombudsman. She is friendly with James Michel, Brigadier Payet, and the Electoral Commissioner Hendriks Gappy.
7. The Electoral Commissioner
The intent of the Constitution behind the creation of the Electoral Commissioners office, was to have an unbiased person running elections in Seychelles. However, the record of Mr. Hendriks Gappy speaks for itself, and his bias in executing his duties has weaken democracy in Seychelles and ignored constitutional intent sometimes out of shear arrogance and defiance.
Most recently, REGAR December 3rd, 2010, reported on a Constitutional Court Judgment involving Queency Jumaye who was denied the right to vote in the last elections. She is not alone, and many have suffered that fate. The Constitutional Court delivered a damning blow to the Electoral Commissioners office, rejecting the Attorney General Ronnie Govinden’s usual pro communist arguments intended to weaken the private citizen, saying, denying Miss Jumaye the right to vote, is a serious violation of one of the most important rights of the citizen: the Right to Participate in National affairs”.
Unless Mr. Gappy is removed from the post and an Independent Electoral Commission is formed, to run elections in Seychelles, elections will always be compromised and undemocratic in practice, due to the bias and weakness of the Electoral Commissioner.
Electoral Commissioners that do not promote the Right to Participate in National Affairs of all citizens, weaken our democracy, and ignore the intent of the Constitution of Seychelles. This will compromise democracy in Seychelles, greatly.
8. Central Bank Our Economy
As Pierre Laporte gave his speech on the state of the Central Bank this week, Francis Chang Leng, sat in the back of the International Conference Centre, and chewed his finger nails.
I may not always agree with Mr. Laporte, but he has been a breath of fresh air and has demonstrated an intent to improve a very bad situation. We need to give Mr. Laporte a little credit for taking us out of the doldrums of the Francis Chang Leng era.
However, not all is rosy as James Michel would like us to believe as usual. Michel used the Central Bank seminar, to tout misleading numbers: INFLATION – 0%. GDP -6%.
The Inflation at 0% is as dangerous as the Black Market rates in the old days running twice as the bank rate. A little Inflation is good for an economy, it demonstrates buoyancy and shows it is not sinking.
The key component Michel did not mention was DEFLATION in the market, which Reuters conservatively reported to be -2%. Deflation indicates the dropping of prices, reduction in activity, of the real economy, and the lack of demand and a general negative investment climate borne out of lack of activity. This James Michel has achieved in Five (5) short years. It is in fact the direct opposite of what he said he would do in 2006 when he said that under STRATGI 2017, he would double our GDP by 10% per year.
Michel has taken our economy to the brink of collapse as he has taken our democracy.
Where Does GDP 6% Come From?
By now, every Seychellois knows this money and artificial growth, that is hinged on the whims of one man, comes from Sheik Khalifa Al Nayan Bin Al Zayed’s investments into his villas, his personal donations, and UAE building of houses, base, buses, scanners.
High level SPPF –PL say, that “if Khalifa did not help Seychelles, we would have been finished”. Well that does not say much over SPPF PL leadership, and it only shows how weak our economy has become under James Michel leadership.
Even Tourism profess 12% increase in Arrivals, but an unknown undisclosed substantial reduction in revenue, hidden from IMF, but covered by over all activity by Khalifa, to fake it, until we make it.
A long time ago, I told Michel in this Column, you cannot fake it, to make it.
This applies to Democracy in Seychelles as well, which is collapsing at the end of 2010, and it applies to our economy in 2010, which is now barely floating through the aid and personal whims of a Surrogate Resident President.
Five (5) years of Nation building by James Michel has turned into the collapsing of a STATE in less then Five (5) years.
People of Seychelles, open your eyes this Christmas. It is the greatest gift you can give to your children.

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois and Our Beloved Seychelles!


Anonymous said...

The six percent growth probably comes from Khalifa petrol dollars ,money being given to keep pp afloat and by doing so ,Khalifa avoids paying the Us300 millions he owes our country in taxes,duties etc.

Tourism -if there is ever an increase IN VISITORS,Mr St Ange must be prasied for that, not pp,for in thirty three past years pp did not do anything than destroying this important industry of our economy.

OOur men in uniforms ,are doing a risky and great jobs in their fight against pirate,they doing so not becuase of pp but the love they have for their country.If there is a need to modernize our arm forces by pp is not because Michel-pp decided to do so voluntarily,but rather becuase somalis pirates activities forced them to do so,else pp would have keep the army as it was formed in 1977,that is to protect themselves and allow them to force their criminal will on us.

Pp is the sources of our problems ,so it is not import what they preache,for they are all lies,the solution to our problems is to get Pp out as soon as possible.

Sesel Pou Seselwa

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

PL have made Khalifa our President.

What happen to Delo Kaka money?

That could add another 6% to GDP.

ST Ange has done a good job to bring in numbers. But they stay at Ephelia and Eden for Euro 50.00 per night.

La Comet Artwoks ©™ said...

Why is it so hard for PP (SPPF) give the registration for a new political party in the year 2010. Democracy we have been told was put in place in 1993. Why is Hendrick Gappy with his 64,000 salary not certifying this new party Mouvman Seselwa Rasin best known as MSR not MRS like Isolla Bella was trying to sell to the public. MSR must be a treat to those in power for them to find all kinds of anti-constitutional stuff about it's Manifesto. Jame Alix Michel please let freedom rule over our homeland and talk to your boy Gappy and tell him to certify MSR ASAP for the love of all freedom loving Seselwa. If this is well with your SPPF PL team. You need to remember that freedom of expression is part of our constitution. Sesel Pou Seselwa

Anonymous said...

Have ever heard PP conplaining about Dp or SNP since the exixstance?No,why not?Becuase SNP is faked it was put in place by Rene with the consent of RAM to do one thing namely Fake elections to keep Pp artificially on power, as to DP still to weak and unconsistance in its opposition.But why all these fake attack from Pp against MSR? Because this is the movement that has since its short exist open the eyes of Seychellois people and has put real pressure supported with facts both locally and internationally on Pp.Pp knows MSR would not and can not be brainwashed or enticed with some Dollars like RAM in order to keep themselves on power .So Pp would try all imaginable tactics to try to undermine this movement but the fact is that you can fool some people sometimes ,you cannot fool the people all the time and the longer you try to fool them the greater the risks of having them enveil your tricks,that is what happening with Pp today. The people have began to and are indentifying themselves with the movement,why?It reflects their aspiration and will and Seychellois,but known to Pp as Seselwa Rasin.

We will no doubt hear a lot more of baseless criticism of MSR,but my piece of advice ,do not let pp fool you,each time pp tells you others are wrongs ,tell pp that yopu have more important questions from them.Hwere is some questions that the people are asking Pp and have not been given niether a yes ,nor a no.

Who authorized pp to gifted our land to foreigners?
Where is our billions missing in our coffers?
Who massacred Gerald Houreau?
Who sold our passports to foreigners?
Who authorized pp to illegally allow Khalifa to biult an illegal Islamic mosque in a christian military base?the list as you know is endless,but i hope pp can at least answer one of these many questions supported by facts.

Sesel Pou Seselwa.

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

My sentiment on these issues, is asking question Why is it that MSR do not organize a Protest march across Victoria Mahe Seychelles and ask for their rights to be recognized and their voice to be heard.
In a true democratic country people are allow to voice their opinions either by Marching or by strike to bring about social change.
The government usually assists the group, with keeping the peace by providing law enforcement to prevent civil unrest.
I think it is time that all the discontented Seychelles Start doing something to change their situations.

Six pack said...

Next years able Seychellois/e which will graduate and qualified existing ones are still being ignored from available employment by SPTC.

Ten new buses has been spotted waltzing in from new port into SPTC holdings, these ten buses donated by the Chinese is none the less not the least but 46 more is to come through purchased one could think ten jobs today for Seychellois 46 later for more Seychellois just as when they where promoting women who drives buses locally. But...................

Solid news have got it that the maintenance workers which is being flown in from Indian to occupy the available posts at SPTC is required to hold a valid driving license class seven, is this not a shame on this presidency and the opposition; to allow a foreigner to drive the locals? A job needy of just local training from qualified instructors to conduct.

Again with foreigners taking over the islands resources all under James Michel and Wavel in co-hoots these ten buses have a high tendency not to even service the general public for it could be easily leased with major hotels mostly five stars or more for workers transportation and other activities with foreign drivers.

Sanmenm sa sesel anba Michel e en Lider Lopozisyon ki pos pa zanmen plen.

Sorrow and more sorrow!!!.....

Sesel pou Seselwa pa tir manze dan labous nou bann sitwayen les nou viv!!

Six pack said...

They have the audacity to call MSR xenophobic yet, they are acting racial towards there own culture and people.

For the love of it all 64000 rupees to oppress political beliefs and uphold undemocratic norms is too much that Gappy guy should resign and let an impartial man do the job one who knows democracy and who is willing to be paid adequate for his work but not 64000 Rs.

man Seychelles is for Seychellois not for gappy not for Michel not for Ramka!!

Anonymous said...

Regar used the Queency Jumaye case to say the favorable Judgment "reaffirms" need for change in Electoral process.

This landmark case, is not about "reaffirming" need to change.

The Jumaye case, is nothing short of an INDICTMENT oN Mr. Hendriks Gappy functioning as an Commissioner of Elections and the case exposes his bias to assist the ruling party when his office can.

Frankly, Regar and SNP should be calling for his immediate removal, anything short of that is just playing along with the system.

This is the difference in how we handle Gappy, and others between , SNP and MSR.

MSR will not be diplomatic with functionaries and exchange nice words, with them when they blatantly with clear bias, violate our constitutional rights and show disrespect towards our staffers by making them wait for Five (5) hours, to meet him, while he takes his time over lunch with his children , funded by the Commissioner of Elections Budget.

Persons in Government like Mr. Gappy, are not fools. They know they are violating your constitutional rights; they know they are breaking the law; they do it to please their masters and keep their double salaries, which requires virtually no effort to keep for 5 years, between elections.

The Commissioner of Elections has been reduced to being a mere caretaker of the status quo.

Democracy requires, that we expose this DNA of the communist ruling party.


Anonymous said...

if we MSR take in the street,there will come with there forces like always than there will be doubel troubel for this communist sytem.

But if this sytem dont give the right to all Seychellios peoples.
Soon we will take in the street not only on Mahe also on Praslin.

And we will let them walk us like there have done with some Seychellios in past.

Sesel pou Seselwa pas pou Mafia pas pou Dezarter that there coming to increase our population and benefiting from free healthcare and not contributed.

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