Fears over Political Instability

Concerns are growing in the country with regards to long term social, political and economic stability. After the win of the opposition coalition at the National Assembly elections, it was assumed that the political tensions and divisions now sweeping the country would subside. The expectation was that the political leaders call for calm would be respected and that the country would return to normal. But this does not seem to be happening to the worry of many people.

The LDS opposition leaders themselves have chosen to propagate this state of uneasiness by challenging the constitution at a time when political tension is high. Ironically this is the same constitution which they swore to defend and uphold only a week or two ago. They are now insisting that the Vice President cannot take over from the President who has resigned, that is in spite of the fact that the constitution makes provision for such an orderly transition.

The current Vice President was elected on the same ticket as the outgoing President. This in itself gives him a degree of legitimacy as people voted for a joint ticket. In trying to force the hand of the new incoming President, the opposition is playing a dangerous game of attaining executive power at all costs. While they are caught up in the euphoria of victory and the appetite for never ending street protests, they are oblivious to the fact that investors are watching developments with a degree of uneasiness.

The Seychelles has attracted a lot of investments under the Presidency of James Michel as he presided over a stable political environment. The risk of some people now pulling out or freezing their investments is starting to tax the brains of some in the business community. The Seychelles economy is extremely fragile and any sign of political instability inadvertently conveyed to the outside world, could prove disastrous for all of us.

Political instability can have an even greater impact on business and it may make them reluctant to invest in new capital or enter new markets. It may even encourage relocation of activities to a more stable and predictable area as business owners hate risk! Political instability in an area where a firm operates will mean that the firm has to be very flexible and adaptable; ready to change their operations at very short notice to reflect changes in the political environment.

Many of our citizens who have lived in unstable countries are fully aware that political instability causes uncertainty and at its worse complete economic breakdown. Extreme instability leads to poor economic performance, high level of poverty and low standards of living. While the LDS opposition leaders legitimately push their tunnel vision agenda of change, they must not allow themselves to be blinded by the past while reality stares them in the face; they still need to see the woods from the trees. In the pursuit for power under the guise of pursuing a perfect democracy, let us not give rise to a dead economy.



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