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LDS is the true champion of unity. We can rightfuly claim to have forged the sense of reconciliation and national unity that exists in our country today. 

The obstacle to national unity in Seychelles has always been our past history of coup d’etat and authoritarian government. The party which came to power in the coup d’etat has never adhered to democratic norms. It has maintained power by using the authority and resources of the state. It has only conceded political space to the opposition when it was obliged to do so. 

The LDS majority in the National Assembly in the 2016 elections made a difference. 

The main Opposition in Seychelles has always been responsible and patriotic – always putting the good of the country above party politics. LDS is doing so today, which is why the country has avoided bitterness and recriminations. 

The work of LDS today is focused on priorities for the country. It is engaged in bringing honesty and transparency in the management of state finances – to eliminate the corruption that has permeated the government under the Parti Lepep and its predecessors. It is also committed to securing all the rights of the Seychellois people which include the right to information and expression, access to opportunity and effective service delivery from government. 

LDS remains determined to bring better government for Seychelles. 

LDS was out in force on Praslin Sunday.

Supporters gathered on the Marie-Jeanne beach front for one of the best ever rallies on Praslin.

Party leaders addressed the current themes, especially the call for early presidential elections.

The musicians and performers were there with party songs, old and new.

Another scandal on the Land Bank Scheme has been shown up publicly.

The interrogation of the citizenship granted to the Russian Prokopyev couple has revealed that they have become owners of 3 plots that were originally in the scheme to provide Seychellois families with home building plots. These plots were in a scenic area of Port Launay.

The plots were not purchased by the couple directly. The had initially been sold to other Seychellois, including a well-known fix-man for the Pari Lepep. But the persons concerned transfered their modestly priced plots into million rupee deals. According to reports, the Prokopyevs paid up to R3.6 million for two of the plots. 

What went wrong? The people who were granted the plots did not need them to build homes. They already had homes and other properties. They wasted no time in selling the plots for big money. The scheme appears to have been operated as a favour to notable party supporters or sponsors.

Last year, it was revealed that a number of plots at Glacis had been sold to the representative of the Kempinsky hotel. Whether for his own use or for his patrons, it has not been clear. 

These are at least two cases. The likelihood is that there are many more.

The Land Bank scheme holds the dreams of many Seychellois to be able to build a home of their own. It is unforgiveable for the scheme to be misused to grant favours or allow unscrupulous speculation in land. 


SNP leader Wavel Ramkalawan after police assault

October 3rd is the date that symbolizes the struggle for freedom of expression in Seychelles. It commemorates a brutal crackdown on an opposition gathering in front of the National Assembly Building in Victoria in 2006.

The back ground to the event is this. 

The opposition Seychelles National Party had started moves to seek a licence to operate a private radio station. In response, the SPPF (now Parti Lepep) government had brought an amendment to the broadcasting law to ban a broadcasting licence to political parties and religious organisations.

The SNP called for people to sign a petition to object to the amendment. On the day that the law went before the NationaL Assembly, SNP leaders and supporters gathered in front of the National Assembly Building (also the National Library) on the Esplanade in Victoria for this purpose.

The gathering had not obtained police permission. Police forces, in particular the anti-riot Special Support Unit (SSU) surrounded the building and with around 50 people gathered at the steps of the building, the police charged with teargas and batons. Some live ammunition was also fired.

SNP leaders Wavel Ramkalawan and Jean-François Ferrari were beaten up by police. SNP Secretary-General Roger Mancienne was arrested and taken to police jail. Several other persons were assaulted and some suffered significant injuries.

President Michel, who had been overseas visiting the Pope, returned to Seychelles the next day and straightaway applauded the police violence. 

The incident was the single most brutal case of police violence and in a way was a turning point in Seychelles history. In response to strong criticism, including from other countries, Michel accepted to appoint a commission of enquiry into the incident, which was conducted by a retired Irish judge. The Commission made a number of recommendations in respect to freedom of expression and for police conduct. Most of the recommendations were ignored for a long time but have since been taken up in reform measures, including the right to peaceful assembly. 

The opposition has marked the anniversary of this date with a gathering for a commemorative photograph. 


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