Monday, June 1, 2015


Lalyans Seselwa officially was officially launched on Friday.

“We say there is corruption, President Michel says it’s a perception. I say to President Michel that I’m ready to sit with him for an hour or an hour and a half on his SBC to debate. Let’s sit in front of the cameras and I’ll show you the corruption, I’ll show you how it’s just under your nose. We can talk about the islands, we can talk about many things”, Patrick Pillay, Lalyans Seselwa’s leader, said on Friday evening during the official launching ceremony of the party at the ICCS.

Mr Pillay added that he hopes that President Michel will respond positively to his request “I’m free every day, from Monday through to Sunday, anytime. Whenever he’s ready!” Patrick Pillay’s last words were drowned out by the cheers of his supporters who punctuated their leader’s speech with shouts of “koze Ton Pat, koze Ton Pat”.

Friday’s launch was attended by members of different political parties, excluding the Parti Lepep, the Seychelles National Party (SNP) and the PDM.

Mr Pillay’s speech focused on the fact that “Seychellois are not afraid anymore”. For many years, he said, “this country has been ruled by one man and one party. But never again will we believe that government belongs to just one party. Government has never been about concentration of power. This is called dictatorship. And never again will we allow one man to hold absolute power because it breeds corruption”, he said.

Earlier, the party’s secretary general, Ahmed Afif explained the values the party stood for. “It is only when we have dignity, justice and unity that we can have peace”. Hence, he added, the choice of white as the party’s colour and the choice of a bird flying free as its emblem.

The party leader later said that some members of his committee and himself had served in government in different capacities before “and we are not ashamed of it because we served with honesty. We have nothing to hide. Some of us have been called traitors but we would have been traitors had we chosen not to leave and not to say Mr, you’re going too far”.

Mr Pillay also defended the parry’s treasurer Dr Ramadoss against criticisms from government quarters, saying “when he was on their side, he was perfect, he was a saint and now he’s no good?”

High taxes and interest rates denounced

It befell the party’s secretary general, Ahmed Afif, to present some of the broad strokes of Lalyans Seselwa’s economic programme. Unsurprisingly, the party promised to reduce the tax burden on the population in the event it comes to power, a commitment which never fails to go down well with voters. “There are too many taxes on Seychellois”, Mr Afif affirmed. And how does it propose to fund the fiscal shortfall of such a policy? By reducing corruption and waste, a pledge which was something of a leitmotif of the official launching. Mr Afif also spoke of the need to ensure that the fishing sector brings more revenue into the country, thereby benefitting Seychellois rather than foreign vessels and companies.

The former Principal Secretary of Finance went on to take aim at the banking sector and their high interest rates. “Pirates are not only at sea, but also in banks sometimes”, he said. His party proposes to introduce more competition into the sector as way of bringing interest rates down. He cited the sector’s annual profits of SCR300 million as proof that banks do have some room for manoeuvre when it comes to interest rates. Mr Afif went on to target the Financial Intelligence Unit which, he claimed, has unparalleled power in the sense that it can freeze a person’s account for a full 180 days.

 The rise in the cost of the living was also on the agenda, as was the basic salary which Lalyans Seselwa deems is too low. Mr Afif spoke of the need to bring more foreign currency into the country as a way of countering the cost of living.

Source:Today in Seychelles