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LDS stands firm on citizenship

El-Materi - case in point

The granting of Seychellois citizenship to foreigners at the prerogative of the President has opened a new battleground between Danny Faure and Parti Lepep on one side against LDS and its majority in the National Assembly on the other. 

The rift has opened with the revelation that President Faure has granted 59 persons citizenship over the past two years. This is a shocking number and the whole country is outraged. In its objection, LDS reflects the concern of a large majority of Seychellois. 

Some of the recipients of citizenship, such as the Tunisian businessman Sakher el-Materi and two young persons recruited to the national swimming team, have been revealed. These demonstrate how the constitutional principle on citizenship has been abused. But most other cases have yet to be known by the public. 

President Faure has shown a gross abuse of his presidential privilege in granting these citizenship under the principle of meritorious service to Seychelles. As the National Assembly made clear in debating the issue on the two swimmers, no meritorious service has been rendered yet to permit the President to use this justification. 

El-Materi is the case which has aroused controversy also over who supported or ‘sponsored’ the application. He is a fugitive from justice in his native Tunisia and there is the suspiciaon that a lot of money has changed hands in his bid to secure a safe haven in Seychelles. Accusations have been made and the National Assembly has declared that it is keen to investigate the case further to settle the questions.

LDS has reaffirmed its policy that Seychellois citizenship should not be sold or granted and only the most exceptional cicumstances can justify any other consideration. 

In order to deal with the critical issue of spouses of Seychellois who need to work to maintain their families, LDS is in favour of granting residency with work permit, but not citizenship.

Danny Faure and his predecessor James Michel have abused the presidential privilege which they should have held in absolute trust. 

The National Assembly has pledged to look further into the abuses and to call for action to correct the past abuses and prevent further cases.


LDS Secretariat

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