The ONE SEYCHELLES political party held their Convention on 13th September 2020 to officially and formally approve their Parliamentary candidates. Mr. Alain St. Ange, the current President of the African Tourism Board and the Presidential candidate for the ONE SEYCHELLES political party, honed in on the many failings of the Legislative and Executive branches during the past four years, emphasizing that they had the requisite power to effect positive changes in the lives of Seychellois, but little of substance has actually been achieved.
They had their chance to deliver upon countless promises they made to the People prior to the 2015 elections, but failed miserably in this regard. Instead, these elected officials were quick to establish privileges and benefits for themselves, including (on the part of the Legislative) earlier pensions. He expressed that Seychellois should not miss this opportunity to bring about real change for Seychelles.
He noted that ONE SEYCHELLES was the only political party to date to have provided a written and comprehensive manifesto to the electorate. He expanded upon several of the Party’s policies and plans to strengthen the struggling economy, to revive the tourism sector, to revamp the agriculture and fisheries industries, and to alleviate rampant poverty that is plaguing the Nation.
Mr. St.Ange explained that there is a dire need to reduce taxes inclusive of VAT to encourage the business community to flourish and to correspondingly lower cost of living in the Country. He noted that only 22% of the Country’s businesses are paying taxes because they deem it to be too high. He expanded upon his commitment to alleviate the alarming poverty rates within his first year in higher office. He explained that poverty is not an accident; It is a byproduct of poor governance and misplaced priorities by those entrusted to safeguard the health and security of the People.
The basic minimum wage (SR5,800 or thereabouts), he added, shall be significantly increased to SR7,500. He stated that no Seychellois gainfully employed in full or part-time work, persons receiving pension and social security payments, home carers and Government corporative contract workers, shall earn less than that monthly figure.
He vowed that the cost of living and cost of food would see a marked decline within their first year in Office. To highlight his commitment to the cause, he announced that he would dedicate 50% of his Presidential monthly salary to combating poverty.
His Vice Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Sinon, similarly echoed his intention to donate 50% of his own salary as well, explaining that it is important to practice what you preach and to always lead by example. He further explained that Seychellois have typically been overlooked in key positions throughout private and public sectors. He stated that their salaries and perks are notoriously less than what would be enjoyed by an expatriate fulfilling the same role in the same department, despite sharing the same qualifications.
Mr St.Ange explained that it is high time that value be given to Seychellois, and that their proposed technocrat-led government shall be composed solely of Seychellois. He added that there shall no longer be unfair discrepancies in pay packages between Seychellois and expatriates fulfilling the same role. He noted that our Fisheries and Agriculture Industries shall be given the boost they desperately need in order to ensure that Seychelles can become self-sufficient. He explained that both industries shall be managed by young Seychellois technocrats who are knowledgeable and experienced in these respective fields. Further, more sustainable and innovative fishing and farming practices shall be implemented, and they shall work to ensure Seychelles can sustain itself food-wise for generations to come. He said that, under his leadership, Seychelles would have their own tuna fishing trawler within a year of him taking office.
He added that, under his leadership, there shall not be any foreign military base on any islands in the Seychelles archipelago. Furthermore, IDC shall be brought back within the control of the Seychelles Government to allow Seychellois to actually benefit from the islands that comprise our Archipelago. He finally expressed the Party’s intention to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana, in a bid to curb the demand for harsher and harmful illicit drugs in Seychelles, and to take it out of the black market and legitimize a potentially viable industry.
Mr. Sinon took to the podium to remind the candidates that they cannot do what past MNAs have done, which is to neglect the electorate for four years then return on the eve of the elections to grovel for another term of five years in office. He stated that voters have the opportunity next month to give these non-performing MNAs the red card and send them packing for non-delivery.
The ONE SEYCHELLES political party expressed their intention to back the candidature of Mr. Holbert Jean in St. Louis, who is standing as an independent candidate in the upcoming National Assembly election for that district. They stated that they resonate strongly with the philosophies and priorities espoused by Mr. Jean and feel that he is a worthy candidate for that district. They do not wish to contest his candidature accordingly.
Mr. St.Ange explained that the underlying goal of their Party is to unify the Nation, and to elect capable and genuine individuals within the Executive and Legislative branches of Government. The Party believes that supporting a viable candidate who is not aligned politically, serves to realize that goal.
Mr. Sinon ended by congratulating the candidates on making history. He stated that a third force has finally been born and the entrenched duopoly of red and green, which is not a sign of a healthy democracy, can at long last be challenged. He commended the candidates on their patriotism and on their willingness and dedication to do what is right, not what is easy.
One Seychelles would be concentrating on electoral districts where a first pass the post win was a possibility.