Friday, 21 April 2017

Former President James Michel gives up party leadership Speaker Patrick Pillay stepping down

The former president has announced that he will not seek re-election for the post of party president for Parti Lepep. This announcement came at the extraordinary congress held on Saturday 08th April at the ICCS.

“However, I would like to reassure you that I will always be there with the Seychellois and I will always be SPUP, SPPF or Parti Lepep. I will never abandon my principle and conviction and it is because of this that I love my party  and those who believed in me, which have made my decision that the time have come to allow the new generation to lead the party and our country. It is with much pride, honour and a clean conscious that I am moving aside…….”, President Michel said.

Political observers are saying that President Faure will now take over the leadership of Parti Lepep. All things considered this is a natural progression anything else will be a disaster for Parti Lepep. If we are to go with the results of the last National Assembly elections Parti Lepep is still the biggest political grouping outside the LDS, which many believe is a loose coalition that is certain to disin-
tegrate before the next election, be it presidential or legislative.

There are a lot of bickering going on in both camps; LDS and Pl. The LDS has done a better job at masking their differences, however, evidence has now surfaced to suggest that LDS is also on the same collision course. We are publishing here a letter sent by email from Speaker Patrick Pillay to the LDS chairperson, Mr. Roger Mancienne. We have titled it: ‘Beginning of a split’. It is clear that Patrick Pillay has had enough both physically and mentally and will not last the duration of his mandate as Speaker or even as elected member for Anse Boileau. Even if he praises Wavel in the letter, we all know his disdain for the man.

The fact that Pillay is now proposing Philippe or Alexia as the new Speaker; one proportionally elected LDS member will have to leave the National Assembly. The question is who? If Philippe is appointed as the new Speaker then Jany will have to make her exit. However, if it is Alexia our money is on Flory who will have to be ejected from her seat. Is the LDS strong enough to sustain this kind of rupture at this early stage of its unification? Time will tell!

Beginning of a split!

Monday, April 10, 2017 6:30 PM

Dear Roger,

I am writing this after much soul searching, meditation and prayers. Lately I have been feeling
my age under the pressure of the speakership of the National Assembly. I turned 68 last Saturday!! I know you are one of the LDS leaders who will understand where I am coming from because I have been observing you and you are also tired… I had promised myself that I would fight to the end to see the back of SPPF/ Parti Lepep and to get them out of State House. Lately however, the attacks on my integrity and my reputation coming from my side of the political divide has become unbearable and has deadened my appetite to fight the common enemy. I have done my best. Wavel is doing a sterling job as LOTO and I am proud of him.

The little energy that I have can carry me through as MNA of Anse Boileau until the next NA elections.

I would like to suggest that that during the assembly recess which starts this Wednesday, the LDS Executive Council should consider and decide to appoint either Philippe or Alexia as a PR MNA in the Assembly and vote him/her as Speaker. Alexia would do well as the first Woman Speaker. She is a lawyer after all and has the necessary competence and knowledge to lead the Assembly to greater heights.

On another note, I do not feel comfortable sitting around the same table as somebody who is bent on smearing my name to gain stardom or martyrdom….. I hope you do not read more than what my simple intention is in taking this decision. I am aware that I will disappoint some people in taking the decision that I have. However, if I do not look after myself, nobody will.

I am copying this to all the LDS leaders so they are in the loop with regard to my decision.

With best personal regards
Pat


Independent

Biggest Crime against the People so far by this Administration

In our last edition two weeks ago on the front page, we published an article in regards to a ruling by The Constitutional Court. That same week, the court ruled that the amendment to the National Assembly Members Emolument Act that provides the MNA s and Ministers with early pension as soon as they vacate their position was illegal.

It held that the 2008 Amendment was ultra vires the powers of the National Assembly and therefore falls to be declared unconstitutional and void.

The court made the following order:

a. The provisions of sections 2(1) (c), 2(2) (d), 3(1) (c), 3A (1) (d) and 4(d) of the National Assembly Members Emoluments Act are unconstitutional and void.

b. This order will have prospective effect. No order is made with regard to payments already made under the Act.

c. Notice of this finding of unconstitutionality is to be served on the President of the Republic of Seychelles and the Speaker of the National Assembly in terms of Article 130(5) of the Constitution.

After, the ruling both Wavel Ramkalawan of LDS and Charles Decomarmond of PL wasted no time in igniting the process to amend The Constitution of the Third Republic to overcome the latest hurdle between them and an early special pension for MNAs and Ministers. When the ruling that declared the amendment void and unconstitutional was being made at the ‘Palais De Justice’, the National Assembly was in full session and someone had texted Wavel to inform him of the Court’s decision. According to a member of the National Assembly, Wavel tried desperately to get Charles to look at the text message he had sent him informing of the Constitutional Court’s ruling. They got together to discuss the matter straight after the National Assembly. It was agreed that they will move quick to amend the Constitution. It was done at neck breaking speed without following proper procedures and with the full backing of the Cabinet of Ministers.

The amendment was not on the “Order Paper” for the 11th and 12th April, with absolutely no debate or mention of it during the last two (sessions) days of the National Assembly deliberations, before they went on vacation. It was all a hush-hush affair between them. This is how Parti Lepep and the LDS are repaying the people who voted for them. The cohabitation is now one big conniving exercise between PL and LDS to look after their own interest and that of their friends and associates.

Independent

Friday, 7 April 2017

National Assembly Pensions STOPPED?

The generally accepted definition of a pension is the payment at regular intervals paid to a person or the person’s dependents, as a result of past services, age, merit, poverty, injury or loss sustained, etc.   These payments are drawn from a fund setup specifically for this purpose comprising of contributions made by the person to whom the pension is payable.

Seychelles Pension Scheme is supposedly setup to work along these lines.  Seychelles citizens in employment make contributions both legally stipulated and voluntary to the pension scheme.  Based on these contributions the contributors can expect to receive a monthly pension at the end of their employment tenures or working lives.

Whilst this is the generally accepted norm in the Seychelles, there are a group of people who expect everything for nothing and more for less.  The group is lead by non-other than Honourable Wavel Ramkalawan who believes that there are people who are above the normal provisions of the law and deserve extra-special treatment.   It would in normal circumstances be considered an abomination coming from a man who, amongst others, took a vow of humility.  His actions are appallingly and far from humble and make a mockery of service to the people.
Wavel Ramkalawan

When the perks and privileges of people - who have over the last forty years paid practically no taxes, made no sustainable contribution to the wellbeing and economic sustainability of our Island  Nation – caught red-handed in the plunder and squander that plagues us are being effected they can thank the millionaire priest to come to their aid.

The non-election of Wavel Ramkalawan to the National Assembly was for a good reason.  He did not deserve the confidence and trust of the people and they spoke at the ballot box.  Against this back drop another defeat has been handed in another bastion of our fragile democracy.

The Constitutional Court has reversed a decision made by the National Assembly to enact a law, led by Honourable Wavel Ramkalawan, to pay pensions to former members of the Assembly.  Like his previous defeat at the ballot box, Wavel will not take this lying down.

In the first instance, he used numbers to get him the post of Leader of the Opposition.  Current opinion is that the Honourable member will try to deploy numbers again to amend the constitution to suit his ambitions. It is dishonourable that a person uses the Constitution for personal ends and means – and will revert to changing it when events and decisions run counter to those ends and means.

As the Constitutional Court confirms that payments for political appointments have received specific attention in the Constitution, any act adding to the provisions of the Constitution is unconstitutional.  The only solution to get friends and acquaintances perks and privileges is to amend the Constitution.  The national interest or economic sustainability of such an action is of no importance.  This is especially so, when the pride of an election loser has again been bruised. He will stop at nothing to get his way.

Independent

OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT DANNY FAURE – FROM THE RESIDENTS OF PORT GLAUD

Dear President Faure, We the residents of Port Glaud have read of the forced return of the 10 plots of land which were sold by government to an investor.

Now we are openly requesting that you summon Hon Patrick Pillay and request that he returns to the Seychelles government and the people of Port Glaud the property at Port Launay, which is protected land being a reserve of the “Sou Souri Banann” nesting place.

When Mr. Pillay applied to purchase from government the prime beach front property at Port Launay, the MNA for Port Glaud in the National Assembly, Mrs. Gamatis, raised strong objections because Mr. Pillay had previously already benefitted from buying several government properties and did not therefore qualify for government land and was not a resident of Port Glaud and there were several Port-Glaud residents on the list waiting for land. It was a clear case of abuse of his privilege and position.
Mr Pat Pillay

However, the sale was sanctioned and the MNA’s voice was not heard. On top of that Mr. Patrick Pillay also purchased the plot mentioned above which falls in the reserve of the protected ‘Sou Souri banann’. There was a condition that he would not develop this property but use it as a buffer and for landscaping. As it is well known Mr. Pillay later sought permission to develop this same reserve (it is there on record) and he applied lots of pressure on the authorities because he had found an Arab buyer for the land. The Ministry of Environment and the Planning Authority stood by their decision and he was not given permission – something which angered and frustrated him very much.

We the residents of Port Glaud therefore do not trust Mr. Pillay to honour his agreement to keep this land as a protected reserve in the future when he can use his position of influence AGAIN to get permission to develop the land.

We therefore now appeal to both you Mr. President and Speaker Patrick Pillay to do the honourable thing and return this reserve to the people of Seychelles – more specifically to the people of Port-Launay.

Speaker Patrick Pillay has already benefitted from the purchase of prime beachfront property to which he was not entitled, plus 4 to 6 plots of farming land which he then sold to a Belgium naturalized Seychellois, plus ex Savy house at Fairview. We believe he has received enough favours when he was holding high positions in the government.

Let him now lead by example and return the protected land to government and take back his money which he paid – AND NO MORE PROPERTIES IN EXCHANGE PLEASE.

Residents of Port Glaud

Independent

No More Special Pension for Politician



This is the ruling given on Tuesday in a landmark case before the Constitutional Court  brought by Ian Delorie and spearheaded by his Attorney, Frank Elizabeth, to challenge the amendment to the National Assembly Members Emolument Act that provides the MNA s and Ministers with early special pension as soon as they vacate their position.

The Court held that the 2008 Amendment was ultra vires the powers of the National Assembly and therefore falls to be declared unconstitutional and void.

The court made the following order:

a. The provisions of sections 2(1) (c), 2(2) (d), 3(1) (c), 3A (1) (d) and 4(d) of the National Assembly Members Emoluments Act are unconstitutional and void.

b. This order will have prospective effect. No order is made with regard to payments already made under the Act.

c. Notice of this finding of unconstitutionality is to be served on the President of the Republic of Seychelles and the Speaker of the National Assembly in terms of Article 130(5) of the Constitution.

Now - and it is a very big NOW - is the LDS and Wavel going to try and persuade the President to put through an amendment to the Constitution of the Third Republic with the sole purpose of pleasing him and his friends?

We need to point out at this stage that this pension for ex-ministers and MNAs is a sordid affair in the sense that these people has never contributed even a single rupee towards any special funds to be getting such a hefty pension from the National Assembly. In all the countries (UK & Canada, etc....) with a similar scheme the members have to contribute to a special pension fund when they are in office so that they can draw on a separate pension when they eventually retire.

In our case in Seychelles the ex-MNAs and ex-ministers are drawing two pensions; one from the National Assembly, where they contributed absolutely nothing and another one from the Seychelles Pension Fund where contributions were made based on their salaries, when they were in office. It is a grave injustice that has been put right on Tuesday by the Constitutional Court. We applaud the judiciary for standing with the people of this country and not siding with the voracity of crooked politicians.

Independent