The announcement that election 2020 is set for October 24 has prompted a speedy appearance by political foot soldiers in electoral districts across Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. Even party leaders are, all of a sudden, back on the scene. With many asking these career politicians where they have been for the past four years, their promises and assurances that the next four years will be different hold very little water. These leaders and their shiny activists frequently leave each district with a sour expression, having encountered unprecedented resistance from voters they had previously taken for granted.
Voters are now quick to point out that the problems they had aired years ago, and that were tabled as agendas during the last elections, were merely shelved when LDS and US came into power, destined to collect dust and fungus. Individuals who were once promised the moon by veteran politicians were left with the remnants of broken dreams following the elections, and very little to sustain their belief that things would be any different this time around.
ONE SEYCHELLES has been tirelessly visiting the districts every day for the past two years, myself personally included, and we have recently launched our comprehensive manifesto comprising innovative ideas to salvage our economy. Our manifesto has been inspired by the countless people we have engaged with in the districts, and we trust that they will find something in there that resonates with them.
Meanwhile, other political parties saw fit to dust off their old-favourites (waste not, want not) and took to the campaign trail once again following a protracted leave of absence. They were undoubtedly dumbfounded to find different stickers plastered on the front doors of familiar houses, for when their activists started to express concern over their mounting lack of support in various key districts, they mobilised the party leaders into action.
Anse aux Pins was notably one district that caused them some alarm. In a bid to secure more airtime on SBC in the election period, some political parties appear to be abandoning all pretense of a unified front; perhaps they are even dusting off their old flags for the occasion. Hopefully, they can remember which flag to fly in October.
It is only hoped that each registered political party brings to the debate their very own manifesto, and not borrow from that of one another when it suits, in the interests of fair play and integrity. On our part, any unbecoming attempts by others to scramble for more air time than their competitors on SBC, or more voices in the televised Presidential debate, do not trouble us, for we are committed to upholding the sanctity of the democratic and electoral processes, and do not seek to undermine them in any shape or form.
Our actions shall separate us from the pack, and we shall always lead by example. While some are finding ways to bend rules that only serve to even the playing field for the presidential debate and the over-arching electoral process, the plight of many struggling Seychellois families has fallen well off their radar. More and more people are facing unemployment, many families are struggling to put food on the table, and many households have had their electricity unceremoniously cut recently, with little possibility of affording to have the service reconnected. This is despite sweeping claims by Government that they would assist Seychellois in weathering the storm, and the injection of SCR1.2 billion into the budget to further this goal. Seychellois have metaphorically and literally been plunged into darkness, and strong leadership is so desperately needed at present to steer the Country into the light.
As the elections draw even nearer, the outdated go-to strategy employed by uninspired political parties of launching smear campaigns on social media have kick-started with a vengeance. Fear has settled over the handful of die-hards who troll the internet daily, undermining their ‘belief’ that 2020 shall be the year their ‘team’ makes it. Achieving little else other than to give their Party lawyer indigestion, tactics such as these only serve to backfire on the desperate political parties that resort to them.
Politics should not be treated as lightly as sport, for it rarely abides by the rules of fair-play as staunchly upheld in any key sporting event, and the outcome of a democratic election should not be viewed as flippantly as a win or a lose in any game. Real people are struggling on a daily basis; their pain and suffering should not be treated so casually or with any contempt by those who are fortunate or privileged enough to be sitting at home behind a keyboard all day in an air-conditioned room, while others are facing unthinkable hardships and challenges. This is not a game, so it should not be treated as such by those who cannot appreciate the gravity of the situation our Country finds itself in, and the sacrifices being made by so many who are working diligently to better the lives of all Seychellois, not just a select few.
The 2020 Presidential election has the capacity to change the lives of Seychellois who have been overlooked for years, to eradicate needless and senseless poverty, to empower the youth, to free the marginalized from oppression, to rebuild our tourism industry, to give value to our fisheries and agriculture sectors, to end monopolies and corrupt practices by those in positions of power, and to save our crumbling economy. These are worthwhile objectives; they are serious matters that cannot and should not be downplayed by rival politicians and their virtual henchmen.