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Pointe Larue is unique in many ways. The International Airport is the gateway to and from the country. It is also the district in which the SPPF Government bought the first large plot of privately-owned land to start its housing programme after the Coup D’Etat. Today, the Nageon Estate is one of the largest government-built housing estates in the country and home to many Seychellois families. This may be one of the reasons why Pointe Larue is a district where the Party has never lost any election since 1979 till to date.

This week, we interview Jude Valmont, the elected MNA for Pointe Larue and he is also the Chairman of United Seychelles’ Baz. Robin Julienne and Chantal Marguerite are both Baz members.

The People: How would you describe the political atmosphere in your district and in the country in general ?

Jude: Everything in politics is hot at the moment. We can compare it with a young lad leaving the house of his parents in search of a female company. It is a time when people are exploring different avenues. We can say that democracy is at its best at the moment. Everybody wants to partake in our politics and want to see our country moves forward. Therefore, the constituents are becoming more interested in politics and even their participation in political activities has increased. They also have the desire to know what is happening at national level. This is what I see.

Robin: We have not yet reached our peak. We are ‘hobbling’ a little bit, if I may use that word. Our supporters want excitement and adrenaline to come together. They are asking questions as to what we are doing and are of the view that we are a little bit inactive.
Across the country in general, the atmosphere is different. Everything is heating up. But United Seychelles is a bit quieter than LDS. Our Party has always been active and I would like to see it remain as such. Our supporters would like more activities and gatherings, and we are dragging our feet. There are many speculations as to why we are not being noisy because we can, even more than LDS. But at the same time, we have intelligent leaders and we totally trust in their judgement to do what is right and at the right time.

Chantal: Politics have always been calm at Pointe Larue, but everyone knows which political party residents support. Country-wide, there are certain things which no one would like to see in politics. We are already seeing signs of violence and the use of abusive language at their public gatherings. It is not a good example for our children.

The People: President Danny Faure is commemorating 3 years in office. How would you describe this period for him?

Jude: President Faure is a much disciplined person. He has shown consistency in promoting certain principles and has kept them. Those are: Good Governance, Transparency and Accountability. He has conducted a nationwide brand of politics that has allowed him to include everyone, without consideration for the political affiliation of that person. Despite all evidences, few still say that he has preferences. I personally do not believe in what is being said about him at all. I have watched him closely and see how he works. He is an exemplary President.

Robin: He is a President for all Seychellois. This what he has shown. He is someone who is very simple, approachable and very understanding. He is trying to navigate a ship faced with countless obstacles. But he is spreading the message that we need to continue to work in solidarity with one another. We must build a nation for the future of our children.

Chantal: Many things have improved across the country. If we take youths who are presently on drugs. Before you were able to see them idle everywhere, nowadays there is this Methadone program which can at least stabilize their behavior and get them to lead a trouble-free life. Some of them if not most are in employment. In my district, especially in Nageon Estate, we know it only too well. We know how it was then and we know how it is now.

The People: What do you appreciate the most with his presidency?

Jude: He has been able to unify the country. After the Opposition won the parliamentary elections by a score of 15-10 in 2016, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers and friends all turned against each another. Everyone was manifesting his or her own political affiliation. To get the country out of that awkward situation is a big achievement. He has been able to come in and quieten all the political noises. Today, the political climate has been temporized a lot compared to how it was before.
It is a very impressive legacy for someone who has been in office for just three years.

Robin: His work approach and his dynamism in making things happen. The way he can bring people together as part of one big family. Also, the way he finds solutions to existing problems in the country.

Chantal: President Faure is not afraid to face any group of people and interact with them.

The People: It is equally three years since the Opposition has been in control of the National Assembly. Has it been an improvement for our country or has it regressed?

Jude: The answer for the question is very simple. Our country is being held hostage. Things we could have done together as a National Assembly, LDS members are not seeing eye to eye with those from our Party, United Seychelles. At first those LDS MNAs in the house pretended to be good guys and talked a lot about cohabitation, but now we are seeing them for who they truly represent as Opposition MNAs. They have pulled the country backwards. For example; they talked about putting money in the pockets of Seychellois. In the process, they used the story about the 50 million dollars presumed stolen and the Irish which they said were robbing our government to make their point. But to this day, they have not been able to do anything to put more money into the pockets of Seychellois. By contrast, our government has come up with initiatives to make all Seychellois more comfortable financially.
However what do we see ? The proposal by the government to give all public sector employees a 5 % increment on their salaries is still in court. The only reason is that LDS, with its majority in the National Assembly, did not approve the corresponding legislation to make it happen. It is simple. The Opposition is using its majority in the house to obstruct what the President and his government would like to do for the country and its people. My constituents, who the majority of them support United Seychelles, say it clearly. The sixth National Assembly is just a waste of time. If both sides were to put aside their politics and agree on what is good for the country, then we would have achieved a lot.
A majority for LDS in the National Assembly means that control and the direction in which things enfold rest with them. So its members do everything to prevent us from working for the people in the districts. Why ? The Opposition has never conducted a campaign in which its members go out in the district and meet constituents. How have they campaigned during the last 40 years ? Now they are spreading propagandas in their newspapers and social media. They are not used to going on the field as we do to interact with residents. They now want to keep us inside the National Assembly building, take all our time so as to prevent us from doing certain things we would have liked to do in our districts. But that does not stop us from visiting our people. Where there is a will there’s always a way. At any time we remain available to them. The Opposition can only conduct boring politics in the National Assembly and make maximum use of live coverage. They believe that elections are won inside the house.
As the elected MNA for Pointe Larue, I have been prevented from helping my constituents by the LDS majority. I will state a typical example: I once brought a motion for ordinary workers to be able to benefit from a small general purpose loan in their places of work so as to ease the pressure on the state fund. Nowadays we know that the expenses for a funeral service are no less than R 8’000. Let us say the parent of a single child has passed away. What does he or she do if money is not available ? Obviously they will knock on the door of our welfare system. As we know, in our welfare system, not everything is automatic. It is provided based on a series of criteria. If that is so, where else the does this person gets the necessary support? If my motion for the general purpose loan was approved, then the effort of the employee would have been recognized in his or her workplace, then a sum of money would have been made available to him or her which would have been repaid in monthly instalments. It would even have enticed the employee to work harder because he or she knows that there is a commitment. Such a commitment would have guaranteed that the employee’s performance is improved and that he or she stays in employment. The important point, however is to put money in the pockets of workers. I promised Pointe Larue voters that I would seek ways to make it happen during my campaign and I tried to. But it did not happen because of the LDS majority. As we know, motions passed in the National Assembly are not binding, but however LDS destroyed the spirit of the motion.
Even the LDS supporters themselves are now seeing these good initiatives being blocked by their party.

Robin: There are aspects where we have made progress and there are other aspects where the country has lagged behind. If we look at the work being done by the Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission, to me it is doing more harm to people than good. We have a National Assembly controlled by an LDS majority which is not interested in finding ways to make the country prosper and give a better life to all Seychellois. It is only interested in what the government has done wrong in the past. It is only interested in punishing whoever has done wrong over 40 years ago. They should focus themselves on bringing the people together for more development. In that respect, we have regressed. LDS is in politics for one reason only. It wants to remove United Seychelles from power. In order to try and achieve such an objective, its leaders are dragging us back to our past. They could not be bothered in looking at what we can do to move the country forward. They want to fool people into believing that United Seychelles and its predecessors have done nothing good for the country. What they should realize is that the country has such a high standard of living today precisely because of United Seychelles and its predecessors.

Chantal: We have been put so far backwards by the Opposition controlled National Assembly. A lot of work could have been done then, but everything is delayed or rejected by LDS. The party said during its election campaign that it was coming to put more money in the pockets of the Seychellois, and they’ve failed. I no longer watch National Assembly deliberations. I am simply disgusted.

The People: The Presidential Election is drawing nearer and already we are witnessing some not very exemplary behaviours from some people in the Opposition. What would you like to see when the Electoral Commission announced election dates?

Jude: It would be good if all Seychellois show loyalty to their respective political party. We cannot go on switching sides every time, because infidelity creates division and frustration. No one no longer trusts anyone. This is not healthy politics and it results in violence.
Since the parliamentary election result of 15-10, we have seen what has happened in schools. We have also seen how some people behaved. The Opposition political parties conduct campaigns based on negativity because it is the easiest and they agree that their role is to oppose and not support government. But they should know that the majority of people want a unified nation. We come down, support the political party of our choice, listen to what the leaders have to say and participate in every other way. But we should not harass and fight against our political opponents. Above all, we should respect whatever result the election yields. What we are seeing today is that LDS is trying to instill fear within supporters of United Seychelles. Because it won the 2016 National Assembly Elections, now its leaders want everyone to believe the party will win again. But, it is far from the truth. In United Seychelles we know that Danny Faure will defeat Wavel Ramkalawan very heavily in the 2020 Presidential Election. There is no doubt about it. United Seychelles is still by far the biggest political party in the country. LDS was an amalgamation of four opposition political parties with different agendas. After the 2016 elections, its leaders have gone in four separate directions. LDS, or should we say SNP in disguise, is trying too hard to show that they have no internal conflicts especially among the leaders. But soon it will become evident for all to see.

Robin: I would like people to return to the way we were before. In the past we had some differences among us. The division was there. But yet we recognized one another as a member of this great Seychellois family. Nowadays it is a situation whereby blood relatives are fighting one another because of politics. If left to LDS, the country will be divided into two groups.

Chantal: I would like to see all Seychellois behave themselves in a decent manner. We remain friendly with each other. We enter the campaign period and then everyone goes back and wait for the result. We should avoid getting on the nerves of the next person. We should be peaceful throughout the whole campaign period.
I firmly believe that our laws should be improved significantly to ensure a peaceful election. I remember a political rally taking place at Pointe Larue during the last election. All vehicles taking supporters to attend were parked on the pavement. I came back from work on that day and there was no place for me to walk in order to reach home. On that day, I asked myself where are the police officers? Those vehicles were aligned on that particular pavement from the start to the end of the rally. It was the owners of those vehicles who put themselves in the line of trouble and the Police Officers were not doing their work. The Police Force needs to be more professional and alert in times of election campaigns. It needs to enforce the law. Naturally they all have a political opinion, but they should not show it during a rally and in their uniform. When on duty they should remain neutral.

The People: Are you really confident that United Seychelles will win the 2020 Presidential Election ? If yes, state why ?

Jude: I have no doubt whatsoever that President Danny Faure and United Seychelles will win the 2020 Presidential Election. We have a very strong candidate. We have a candidate who can govern this country. There is a big difference between him and his main opponent who has lost Presidential Election battles 6 times already. Wavel Ramkalawan has a dream of one day becoming President, but he has no experience at all as to how to go about governing a country. So I believe in the political maturity of the Seychellois as a nation. If someone is attempting for the 7th time to become President in a country where United Seychelles and its predecessors have always won, then there must be something good about our Party and that our people want to maintain that at all cost. With all our accomplishments, a fantastic leader and a new generation of politicians in United Seychelles, surely victory is guaranteed.

Robin: I am very confident. But we will not win the election by just sitting down and doing nothing, We must go out and visit our people who are waiting for a message coming from us. They want to see us. I know that our people are fed-up with the kind of politics brought about by the LDS after the 2016 National Assembly Elections. Residents of Nageon Estate in Pointe Larue should follow closely what is happening within the Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission. The way things are enfolding they might one day find themselves without a house and a place to stay. Everyone is claiming something back from another. The Nageon family can one day claim the property which was bought by the government on which houses have been built for residents of Pointe Larue. The Government delivers for the people while the Opposition burdens the Government.

Chantal: I have full confidence in President Danny Faure. Many people like the way he is working. I know he will win the next election.

The People: What are your final words for the people of Seychelles ?

Jude: They should sit down, open their eyes, ears and listen carefully to messages which their political leaders convey to them. Be able to recognize whether they are sincere in what they are saying. Compare one political leader to another. It is very important to know what one leader has already brought for the country and what he is proposing to bring in future. It is equally important to know what another political leader has never brought for the country and what he is only promising to bring in future. We should also assess the performances of members of the National Assembly, especially those who were elected. What have they done for their constituents during their mandate. LDS MNAs claim that the government prevents them from doing their work in the districts, but the reality is that they do not do anything in the districts even though 15 of them were elected. So I would caution everyone to take a close look at what not only themselves have achieved under the United Seychelles government, but also what their children and close ones have also achieved. Those who have succeeded in life because of free health care and a very good education system. Just take a close look at what we have done to fight social scourges. Look at what we have together accomplished at district level. I would like to see all Seychellois interact with one another and also the district authorities. I would like to see them participate in whatever project their respective district is undertaking. With such a positive political outlook, the victory will be for all Seychellois.

Robin: I would like to say two things. Sit down and reflect on how far back the country and its people were. How far we have progressed and where we would like to go in future. Which political party can make the country prosper even further based on governing experiences. Everyone falters at one stage or another in life. The same applies to a political party. Nothing is perfect on earth. It is through mistakes that one learns how to do what is right the next time around. A mistake needs to have been made in order to be corrected later. Do not allow ourselves to be fooled by false prophets who want to make us believe that tomorrow everything will be perfect. In Seychelles, we are lucky to be benefiting as much as we are today. It is thanks to United Seychelles and its predecessors. Think about the future of your children before casting any vote.

Chantal: As final words, I would like to advice the people of Seychelles that we must give Danny Faure the vote of confidence in 2020 and by a large majority too. It will be for our country and for our children. He is the only politician right now who can work to continue to develop this country and improve the living standards of the people especially those less vulnerable.