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This week we welcome United Seychelles Roche Caiman. The team is led by the Chairperson Audrey Vidot, Gerina Dorby- activists/supporters Joyceline Valentin, Allen Barbe and Rebecca Jeannevol.

Audrey Vidot
She was born and raised in the district of Mont Fleuri, but then her family relocated to Roche Caiman. Since the age of 7 till to date she has been living there. She is married and has a child. Mrs. Vidot has always been active in the district- with SPPF, Parti Lepep and now United Seychelles.
She has been working alongside Mrs. Jeovanna Charles who was the previous MNA and now NEC member.

Gerina Dorby
She is originally from Anse Royale, but since 1995 she has been living at Roche Caiman. Following her elders in all political activities organized by SPUP and SPPF, she then became very active especially when she moved to Roche Caiman. She is part of the United Seychelles structure in Roche Caiman as a Section Secretary.

Joyceline Adrien
A Praslinois by birth, she moved to Mahe and lived at Les Mamelles for a while before moving to Roche Caiman in 1999. An avid supporter since the beginning she is present at all activities.

Allen Barbe
Encouraged by his wife and MNA, he joined politics hoping to make a difference for himself and his district.

Rebecca Jeannevol
Rebecca moved to Roche Caiman in 1996. She has spent her entire childhood in Roche Caiman.
“In Roche Caiman we have a youth force that is very active. Whenever there is an activity, I call my neighbor and best friend and together we go. Even as a child I encouraged my friends to attend rallies because I’ve always known that there is a bright future with Parti Lepep, now United Seychelles,” she says.

The People: For over forty years we’ve known this government. The country has known enormous progress. Now under a new name “United Seychelles”, what do we have to do in order to consolidate on the progress and not allow the country to go backward?

Audrey: “We must first of all continue to work hard. This is in terms of participating actively with proposals that we feel can contribute towards the development of the district, party and country. We must also as individuals try to see how we can contribute in the development of the country. We have to consolidate on the progress made over all those years. It is not the time to allow ourselves to be discouraged. Yes ! There are changes within the party, but also a revolution is taking place. From Parti Lepep whereby we were saying that Seychelles is a country for all Seychellois. We all have a share in it but at the same time we all have a role to play in making the country move forward. Now as United Seychelles, we are calling on all Seychellois to come together so as to improve on what that Party and the country have been doing for us over many years.”

Gerina: “We cannot allow the progress made just to vanish in thin air. We have known slavery, colonialism and struggled for what we’ve become and what we’ve achieved. We simply cannot go back. Even if some youths are talking about life evolving and that we must look forward. I say that we must also know where we come from and who made the difference between the past and now. We must know that so as to know how we can make things better for tomorrow. If we return to where we were over half a century ago, it would be a catastrophe. We must never lose sight of what the country looked like then. Therefore, together as a people, we must continue walking along the road of progress.”

Joyceline: “I know my youth. I started to work at the age of 14. Even with a low salary, we had to work. I feel comfortable with the policies of United Seychelles. I am a retiree but I receive social security benefits. I am content.

Allen: “I have witnessed lots of development under the political party now in power. It is also doing a lot for young people who have become victims of drugs and alcohol abuse.”

Rebecca: “We should never allow what we have achieved to slip out of our hands. I can be relied upon to uphold the flag of United Seychelles for years to come. I am still young and willing to do it.”

The People: United Seychelles is a rebranded political party and has a new Constitution that stipulates its functions. What are the expectations of people, especially the supporters?

Audrey: “We are a political party that has changed its name again. We did not do so only because we wanted it that way. We felt that we had to focus on the future putting into context the present political climate. Our country can only continue its progress if there is unity, and we also need unity among our own supporters. We are welcoming new supporters especially the youth.
In life there are ups and downs. No political is perfect, including ours. So we took the decision to correct any errors, so we can move on with our work for the country and people of Seychelles. Through the new Constitution of United Seychelles, we have addressed many issues. Today what stands out clear is that there is a brand new way of doing things in United Seychelles. There is new energy and hope.
We have also rebuilt the trust that we had with our people. There is more consultations so that we can work together for the betterment of the Party and the Seychellois nation. We have to valorize the contributions we get if we want to improve our work, the reputation of our Party and the well-being of our country.”

Gerina: “It is true. We have changed our name to United Seychelles. But in terms of principle and what we stand for, our objective remains the same. We have to continue walking along the same road we started upon. We only have to reconsider certain things that we were not doing properly at district level. At that level we have so many groups. We must all sit down together to see how one group can help another.”

Joyceline: “The problem with some people sometimes is that they only want to receive without giving. They want to cook an omelette without breaking the eggs. They want to sit down and do nothing, but expect everything in return. In short, we want everything for free.
A political party starts with a very small group of people. Then the group enlarges. Leaders come and go. But the political party with a real vision stays. It is the principle and the vision that is important. Today in Seychelles, if people ask for a safe filled with money, they expect to get it just like that. If they do not receive it then it is a problem. They switch sides. We are losing the culture of working hard to get what we want in life.”

Allen: “United Seychelles is doing O.K. We are here to help everyone, but everyone must also understand us.”

Rebecca: “One cannot expect to succeed in life if one is not willing to help him or herself. Youths need to rise up and work. They cannot sit at home and do nothing, but expect to get everything. It simply cannot be.”

The People: For over 40 years we’ve had a government and a National Assembly controlled by the same political party. The country was not perfect, but there was progress and less hassles for the people to move on with their life. Today the situation is different with LDS in the National Assembly with a majority. What are your comments?

Audrey: “I am speaking as an MNA, district chairperson, and also as a Seychellois citizen. We expected to see a group of MNAs fighting for progress and the future of our nation, but regrettable we are seeing a bunch of politicians who are only interested in seeking revenge. They humiliate and shame people. Anyone can be their victim. They do this using their immunity as parliamentarians. They know they cannot be brought to Court, to be made accountable for what they say, so they say just about anything. This is not nice and civilized.
There have always been diverse views in the politics of Seychelles. We are after all a democracy. But before elections 2015 there was less hate and divisions. The National Assembly deliberations are broadcast live on both radio and television. Everyone can hear what is being said and everyone can see the expression of hatred on the faces of some of the MNAs while they denigrate and disrespect others.
This situation does not guarantee progress for a country. I am proud to note that my Party encourages me to deliver and not fail the people.
On the other hand when we see LDS which campaigned under the slogan “Fer Li Ou Lasanble”, they are the opposite. The mistakes they claim we made as an Assembly in the past, or as a Party, now it is them making those mistakes. I guess when they do it is not considered mistakes. But I am glad that we have moved on and are wiser.
We cannot live in the past. We can only use our past to propel us to the future. Dwelling on negativity and all that have gone wrong in yesteryears is simply a waste of time. It does not do justice the young generation we have or our country considered a paradise by visitors to our shores.”

Gerina: “Whenever United Seychelles come forward with a proposal, it is always met with scorn from LDS. It doesn’t mean that we are wrong and they are right. It is just a political game. This is not the way a country will move forward. We can never add one and one together in order to make two. We only circle around and return back to where we started.”

Josline: “LDS believes it can do better than United Seychelles. The way its members are behaving in the National Assembly clearly shows the opposite. They should learn to listen before taking a critical approach to everything. It is what we call “kankan”. Most of the time, I myself refuse to listen to the National Assembly deliberations. I find them useless and a waste of time.”

Allen: “Many people in LDS have benefited under the SPUP, SPPF and Parti Lepep governments. Now they are the same ones criticizing everything. We all know who they are. It is really disgusting to see such a situation.”

Rebecca: “LDS is propagating a negative vibe amongst the young people. Rebelling against everything is not a good example for the youth. They should teach the youth that there are solutions to all problems instead of making them believe that there are problems everywhere without solutions.”

The People: What do we have to do to ensure that United Seychelles keeps sailing steadily and will guarantee us elections victories in future?

Audrey: “We need to continuously work hard. In fact we need to double our efforts. When I speak about working hard, what I really mean is that we must continue to listen to the people. We must listen to all contributions that will ensure that United Seychelles will remain the best political party to guarantee a better future for all Seychellois.
In our Party we must continue to promote respect among ourselves and for those who have a different political opinion. We are all of us Seychellois. In our Party we have to support each other on issues that are positive or benefit our purpose. If there is a problem, we should always remember that dirty linens get washed within the family and not in the streets or in public. We can talk and reach an agreement as to how we should move forward.
The name of our political party is United Seychelles. We must therefore unite and have the heart to forgive. We know that we lost some supporters in the last two elections. We have to find out why. There are others who may have left us because of our mistakes. We must strive to win them all back. We need to regain their trust and support.
There is something else we should remember. When former President France Albert Rene started politics, he did not look for people with money, good family background and a lot of academic qualifications. He looked for simple individuals who were ready to work in order to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Gerina: “We must identify and rectify the mistakes we have done in the past. We must not allow our leaders who will come later to deal with the same mistakes of the past.
On the other hand, I will say that there are people who have to consider changing their mentality. If the party doesn’t give them what they want and not necessarily what they need, then they get angry. They should first of all have a heart for the Party based on their belief in its principles.
Some of our youth today do not believe in working hard to achieve something in life. They have hardly become an adult; they want to own a house. Life is about working to build a future. Whatever comes by luck is a blessing, but we should not depend on it.”

Joyceline: “We need to keep our ship afloat. When President France Albert Rene started the struggle, he did not care about skin colour, class and family background of people. He looked for any Seychellois who wanted to make sacrifices in order to build this country. I built my house by taking bank loans and not relying on favours from anyone. When I think about Mr. Rene, I feel very sad. We, Seychellois, had no identity and dignity. He refused to accept that so he fought for us and after that he built this country so as to give us a steady future. Today we are still not appreciative of what that man did for us. Some of us want to ruin everything.”

Rebecca; “As a youth, I am determined to keep this ship afloat. I have just started my adult life, therefore I do not yet have a house of my own. But I will continue to work so that one day I can realize my dream.”

The People: President Faure is doing everything to make the country progress, but the LDS majority in the National Assembly keeps doing their best to obstruct. What must he do in such a situation ?

Audrey: “President Faure is an exceptional man. He should continue to work as he is presently doing. He became President during a time when politically nothing is easy. He is running the government, but the National Assembly is controlled by LDS- an opposition party. Whenever he comes up with something, if the opposition finds it to its advantage then it is O.K. But otherwise everything else is wrong for them. All boils down to winning votes with the opposition. Winning the presidential election and getting total control of the country is all that LDS cares about and not the bettering of the lives of the Seychellois.
President Faure is being blamed for everything that goes wrong in the country. At times he is overseas, but yet being blamed for what is happening on domestic soil. So when will the opposition assume it responsibility and do something good for the country instead of blaming its political opponent for what is going wrong?
President Faure has the responsibility to look after the country and ensure its progress. He cannot be distracted whilst performing this huge task. We must instead contribute our part by allowing him to know our views on different subjects and our aspirations.
But there is something else. There are also people in the government who do not support the ideology of SPUP, SPPF, Parti Lepep and United Seychelles. It also means that they do not support the ideology of President Danny Faure as well because he became President on the ticket of Parti Lepep. Therefore some of those people are not doing their job a 100 % correct or as they should. That is simply because they have another political agenda. So whenever President Faure is doing something to make the people happy, there are always others blocking him along the way. The end result is that people become frustrated and start blaming the system. But what they do not know is that they are being encouraged to blame the government by the same civil servants who are the source of their frustrations. On the other hand the majority especially are working hard to win with President Faure.”

Gerina: “It is obvious that LDS in the National Assembly is doing their best to make it difficult for President Faure. There are also a small group of people in the government who are doing the same thing. It happens even at district level. We are supposed to be working in line with the vision MNA Audrey Vidot has for the district. But it does not always reflect that way.
LDS tries to score political points against President Danny Faure because they are fed with information coming from those who are unfaithful at both district and government levels. But what they should remember is that no man is perfect. What may be happening to President Faure today, will happen to whoever comes to power in future!

Joyceline: “They are simply trying to frustrate the President. He knows that and he is not playing their game. Take for example the issue of salary increase. A budget is a budget. A President is the head of the executive. He has to work according to his plan. He cannot work according to the calendar of LDS, which is in the Legislative. When LDS tries to decide how workers in the public service should be paid, that is what we call interference.”

Allen: “I see that criticisms make President Danny Faure stronger and not weaker. We can all see that.”

Rebecca: “I also see things the same way. He knows how to deal with criticisms. It does not disturb him at all. In fact his demeanour is a great cause of concern for the opposition. In their newspaper, they ask why he is so cool.”

The People: Our newspaper also knows that many Seychellois believe that Danny Faure is an excellent President. Say some more.

Audrey: A 100 %. He is not only a good President, but also a good person too. He knows how to listen and put into value all opinions presented to him so that he can make our country progress.
What I admire the most about President Faure, is that even if he is absorbing all those criticisms, he remains very diplomatic and does not even bother to answer his enemies. He disposes all negative remarks but picks up those he believes are constructive and worthy for him to work with. His priority is Seychelles.”

Gerina: “We certainly need him as President for another 5 years. He can see from afar and he is strong mentally. His surname (Faure) in Creole means someone who is strong. The surname describes his character very well.”

Joyceline: “Even though it was originally said that he was not elected and came into office through (Pas Baton), that is not a problem. We must now appreciate what the man can do. We have seen enough and we will probably see much more before his mandate comes to an end. If there is someone who is worthy of a fresh five year mandate, then it is Danny Faure. Whatever he says, he puts it into practice. He is honest and sincere.”

Allen: “He is standing strong for all Seychellois and United Seychelles is proud of him.”

Rebecca: “He keeps his promises and that is something which I value a lot in the personality of someone.”

The People: By contrast the opposition is losing a lot of popularity. Do you agree?

Audrey: “Definitely! I have spoken to some core supporters of the opposition and LDS recently. They have told me why they are against the government. But what they have also told me is that the opposition is in no way capable of handling the presidency. They are simply not ready and perhaps will never be ready. They criticize but cannot propose solutions. Those same opposition supporters say that there is only one man who can deal with the current political situation in the country. His name is Danny Faure. They will vote for him for a new mandate. Then those who can and are willing to work alongside him will see what they can do. Those are words coming from the opposition.”

Gerina: “I can confirm that many previous LDS supporters now want to vote for Danny Faure. They say that LDS has not kept a single one of its election promises.”

Joyceline: “We must always beware of some of the opposition supporters. They can say many things when there is no election but change their tune within seconds. They are in politics for what they can get and not supporting a set of principles and an ideology.
When elections are over and United Seychelles has won; then they all pretend to support the government. There is too much hypocrisy in politics.”

Allen: “Most supporters who are faithful to LDS are people who are well off and they big businesses. Others just follow blindly because they are frustrated for one reason or another. They are the ones who one day may give LDS power and will also be the ones who will suffer the most thereafter. It was how LDS won 15 to 10 in the 2016 National Assembly Elections.”
Rebecca: “Most of my friends are supporters of United Seychelles. In fact I try to make them see that there is nothing better anywhere else.

The People: What are you doing personally to advance the agenda of United Seychelles?

Audrey: I continue to work. I visit my people during both the happy, as well as the sad times. As MNA, my door remains open to welcome all residents of Roche Caiman. It does not matter whether someone voted for or against me in the last election. A Roche Caiman resident remains a resident. In the same way, a Seychellois remains a Seychellois wherever he or she may have voted.”

Gerina: “I am helping my MNA in the district. If she has given me some assignments to do, I ensure that I carry them out to the best of my abilities. In that way we are supporting her and she in turn can also support President Danny Faure in his work. “

Joyceline: “I propagate the philosophy of United Seychelles within my family. I know where I stand and why. So I talk to people around me.”

Allen: “I give my support in whatever way I can. My wife is very supportive and encourages me a lot.”

Rebecca: “In my work, I remain very professional. But whenever there is an activity organized by United Seychelles, especially at district level, I am always there to give my support.”