Divorce on Valentine’s Day: Seychellois political party Lalyans Seselwa leaves opposition coalition
The Lalyans Seselwa leader Patrick Pillay. (Lalyans Seselwa)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychellois opposition party Lalyans Seselwa has broken away from the opposition coalition Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) saying that cohabitation is not working.
Party leader Patrick Pillay, who last month resigned as the Speaker of the National Assembly and the elected member for Anse Boileau district, said there are two main reasons for what he said was a divorce on Valentine’s Day.
“There is some time now that I have been calling for fresh presidential elections as I believe in an elected president and not a selected one,” said Pillay, adding that “I have not received the support of the rest of the leaders in LDS. I was calling for elections to be held in 2018 whilst they wanted to wait until 2020.”
The second reason that Pillay gave had to do with the cohabitation. “Cohabitation is working for the President – President Faure, whom I have nothing against – and some leaders in the LDS. For me, it is not working, as I was looking for the wellbeing of all Seychellois and a robust democracy.”
Pillay was talking in a press conference on Thursday at the headquarters of the party after he sent a communiqué on Wednesday announcing his decision to remove his party from the opposition coalition.
After the 2015 presidential elections, Pillay's party joined LDS with three other parties -- Seychelles National Party (SNP), the Seychelles Party for Social Justice and Democracy (SPSD) and the Seychelles United Party -- to contest the National Assembly elections.
LDS won the majority of seats -- 19 out of the 33 -- putting Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, in a position of cohabitation as the government, is headed by the President’s Party Lepep.
In a separate conference on Thursday by some members of the Lalyans Seselwa’s national executive committee, Ahmed Afif -- the secretary general -- said Pillay’s move is not in conformity with the constitution of the party.
|Ahmed Afif is secretary general of the Lalyans Seselwa. (Facebook) Photo License: CC BY|
“Within the party -- Lalyans Seselwa -- there are ways that decision at this level should be taken. This is laid out in our constitution and such decision should be taken by the executive committee of the party,” said Afif.
He added that “I want to confirm that the committee never met for any meeting where the party’s exit from the union was an item on the agenda and was not voted on.”
Afif said that the executive committee never took such a decision and “if the committee never took this decision, any announcement that the party took this decision is false.”
The secretary general of Lalyans Seselwa said that Pillay’s announcement was a surprise to them and he affirmed that the party will remain an integral part of LDS.
On his side, Pillay said that the secretary general cannot call a meeting without the leader’s knowledge.
“I am the leader of Lalyans. As party leader, I can confirm that the majority of the national executive committee agrees and consented to us leaving LDS,” said Pillay.
The leader of Lalyans did confirm that some members were not consulted.
“Yes its true, when you are a leader, there are some people that you consult and some that you do not. Decision making is not about communicating with everybody,” said Pillay.
“I consulted with the majority as some members were already backstabbing me. And was having a meeting behind my back, breaching trust and loyalty,” he added.
Pillay said that the secretary general cannot make decisions on behalf of the party and that if Afif and the other four members currently in the National Assembly want to remain as LDS, it is their choice.
Afif together with Terence Mondon, Clifford Andre, Wavel Woodcock, Francois Adelaide all members in the National Assembly together with another committee member Simone Decomarmond have decided to remain in the LDS.
Pillay said his party remains strong and all that is happening is a distraction to cover up some pressing issues.
“Assumption is one such issue, Seychellois has had enough. Seychellois will take to town and protest saying that the island is theirs and that they do not want a military base on our territory,” he said.
“That is the only reason, a distraction from the real issues, such as the cost of living, unfairness practice in government and complacency and non-performance by the executive – the government of the Lepep party,” added the leader of Lalyans Seselwa," said Pillay.