This year’s Presidential ballot paper features three choices for Seychellois to choose from:
- Mr. Ramkalawan, a regular feature on the ballot paper for nearly 30 years (we note that Albert Rene was actively involved in politics for approximately 27 years, by contrast). He spent a lot of effort in the first Presidential debate trying to distance himself from Government and the system’s many failings, overlooking the fact entirely that the National Assembly is a main branch of Government, next to the Executive and the Judiciary. He also seemed deeply annoyed when Mr. St.Ange pointed out that he had not brought, during his four-year term in office, any Private Members’ Bill to alleviate poverty or to otherwise push the agendas now included in his party’s shiny new manifesto. He has widely polarized the voting population, with some of his own supporters confessing to be voting for the party, not the individual.
- Mr. Faure is also not a few face on the political scene. Never having won a Presidential election himself before, it is the first time he appears on the presidential ballot paper. He infamously created ripples of unease in his founding party and its devout followers that had sustained former regimes when he tried to alienate himself from it and create an entirely new party (US). However, as elections drew nearer, he back-pedaled and sought their support once more. He advocates strongly for keeping the state of affairs as they presently are, and never misses an opportunity to paint a bleak picture of our future as a result of COVID-19. Fear-mongering is his party’s calling card, touting “change” as scary and uncertain, and something to be wary of.
- The best for last. Mr. St.Ange is a seasoned technician within the field of tourism, world-renowned on the global scale for his innovative approaches to solving problems – something which earned him the appointment as President of the African Tourism Board and a spot on the ‘Project Hope’ taskforce to rebuild the Continent’s tourism industry. It also recently prompted his recognition internationally as a “tourism hero”, particularly in sustainable tourism. While Mr. Ramkalawan tried to allege in the Presidential debate that Mr. St.Ange’s experience within the public sector was a negative, it can only ever be a strength. Not only has Mr. St.Ange worked within, and experienced for himself the constraints, of Government, but he has also worked extensively within the private sector – an advantage over his competitors. Having experience in both sectors has helped him to sculpt his action plan moving forward, and makes him well-rounded as a candidate.
His expertise within the field of tourism cannot even be denied by rival camps. As politician Gervais Henrie himself stated in court on 7 June 2018:
“No one can deny that St. Ange would have had a real chance at winning this [UNWTO] election. He [is] charismatic, energetic, friendly and [a] guy who get[s] things done. He has proven himself working tirelessly to get Seychelles Tourism on the world stage. Under his leadership in 2016 Seychelles welcome[d] over 300 000 tourist[s] which is a record…There were plenty of warnings that the [African Union] and Zimbabwe for that matter would not have take[n] Seychelles’ deception lightly but for Faure and his Cabinet to wait until the last minute while St.Ange was already in Madrid after a five month grueling campaign to pull the plug on his candidacy for the UNWTO’s top job shows a lack of long-term planning and that it is still standing in the dark. [Faure’s] administration has totally blind sided and humiliated St.Ange at the same time has tarnish[ed] Seychelles reputation in Africa.”
Seychelles desperately needs real change. With both green and red camps making the election pitch for “national unity”, despite all their recent actions contradicting the notion, they seem to have lost sight of the fact that voters no longer trust politicians whose actions do not match their words.
One Seychelles did not enter the race for higher office to split the opposition vote. They came to change the culture of local politics, and to bring REAL CHANGE for Seychellois by taking the reins and saving our crumbling tourism industry, and our weak agriculture and fisheries sectors, by doing what no other political party can: they shall be giving effect to a technocrat-led government, comprising qualified Seychellois at the helm of their respective departments and ministries who have been selected on the basis of MERIT, and not favoritism or favor-returning. These technocrats hail from both sides of the political divide. Political persuasion shall no longer taint governmental appointments.