Keeping it in the Family

Not many ponder upon Seychelles precarious political situation ahead. Neither is there any discussion about how the country comes to be in such a tight spot did? In large part the answer lies in the massive number of political parties active in the National Assembly, which has led to a particularly fragmented assembly.  In Brazil the term “coalitional presidentialism” - a system by which the president must form and govern over a multiparty coalition, which becomes more difficult the more parties are involved.

The Linyon Demokratik Sesel (LDS) comprises of a number of political parties with varying agendas who have come together with the stated objective of curtailing the excesses of the ruling party.  What it has led to is a system where the Executive has been weakened to manage the various interests of the political parties and in the same instance try to unify the various interests into a coalition for national development.

Maintaining balance in such a heterogeneous environment becomes more difficult in times of social upheaval or political crisis. The looming crisis is the failure of delivery by both the National Assembly and Executive on a number of fronts, which is simmering into social unrest.

A number of issues like that of land or the misuse of public monies could lead to trial of big business or social elites and their families.  The actual decision to take to trial will of course be a political one.  A weak President will have to succumb to such requests whilst a weak national assembly with divided interests will attempt to block suchlike happening……

One case in point is the recent citizenship request that sailed through the National Assembly without proper diligence.  The reasoning behind the decision was ulterior and motivated the political machinery into acceptance.  It could have easily gone the other way.

These manipulations point to further budgetary mismanagement and corruption scandals being covered up.  An open clash between the various factions within or outside the National Assembly will be the final nail in the coffin.

With various political interests and agenda being promoted, the objective of having a system of political cohabitation becomes more and more difficult with each passing day.  The priority to build a ruling coalition has seen various appointments in the public sector and state owned enterprises. 

At a first glance, this can be hailed as a good thing.  This vision will soon change when public perception turns to public criticism on non-service delivery and broken promises.  Alliances will be built on flimsy excuses - such as protection for dodgy land deals – these do not last in the scrutiny of daylight.  Things will reach a stage where there will be a tit-for-tat fight in the background with ammunition being “fake news” and rumours.  There are tried and tested strategies of many in the forefront of Seychelles politics. 

Whilst the situation dizzily dances towards this conclusion, the growing chasm will need to be filled.  On takers that can stand up to the test – a guess is as good as a miss!



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