Liberation Seychelles 5 juin 1977.Liberasyon SESEL 5 zen 1977 5th june 1977

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Liberation Seychelles 5 juin 1977.Liberasyon SESEL 5 zen 1977 5th june 1977 Empty Liberation Seychelles 5 juin 1977.Liberasyon SESEL 5 zen 1977 5th june 1977

Post  Sirop14 on Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:35 pm

Liberation Seychelles 5 juin 1977.Liberasyon SESEL 5 zen 1977 5th june 1977
August 7, 2013 ·

Andre Pool- Deputy Speaker, son of Anse Boileau

Andre Pool, who two weeks’ ago marked 20 years as a parliamentarian, shares several things with President James Michel and Vice-President Danny Faure.

Like President Michel, he is also "un garcon d'Anse Boileau" and he won his first election under the Third Republic, in 1993, when the Head of State was CC Member for that district.

Mr. Pool went to university in Cuba, where he studied social sciences at the same time as Vice-President Faure (1983-86) and later on he became Vice-Chairman of the SPPF Youth League, under the leadership of the former.

Interviewed at his office, National Assembly at Ile du Port, Deputy Speaker has several interesting anecdotes to share.
Twenty years down the line, he calls the experience both "highly interesting and enriching."

Andre Pool has won Anse Boileau- at one time the district with the largest voter population- four times for his Party. After 1993, he was to repeat the performance again in 1998, 2002 and 2007.
In 2011, it was left to Bernard Arnephy to contest the Anse Boileau seat for Parti Lepep and Andre Pool was given a proportionally elected seat and made Deputy Speaker.

He recalls the 1993 election as being the toughest."But with the guidance of Mr. Michel, solid structures were set up in the district. We maintained close contact with the constituents and closer to the election, it was apparent that I was going to win. This built up my confidence".

Mr. Pool recalls that through Mr. Michel, he learned that some specific issues were very important. One is the first time voters, whose aspirations must be familiar to the candidate and obviously, the MNA.

He also wants to put on record his appreciation of President France Albert Rene who had offered him the window of opportunity to prove himself.

Mr. Pool went into politics rather early- after he left Seychelles College, where he was schooled at the same time as Minister Joel Morgan, SNP leader Wavel Ramkalawan, top businessman and VCS owner Marc Hoareau among others.

He became a member of the Anse Boileau SPPF branch committee as youth officer, before being put in charge of political education.
Andre Pool is the nephew of the late Simone Arnephy, a headteacher, whom he succeeded in the district and from whom he learned a lot.

After his studies in Cuba, he stood as sole candidate for the People's Assembly- under the one-party state. Just before the switch to multi-party rule, he was elected as chairman of the District Council.

It was during a sitting of the People's Assembly in 1990, that Jean-Francois Ferrari sitting in the gallery, threw his passport down, shouting curses at the members, in protest at a vote they had just taken. A few weeks later, he was to claim the same passport back.
After 8 political parties had vied for seats in the Electoral Commission in 1992: the SPPF emerged with 14 seats, with 58% of the votes and Mr. James Mancham's Democratic Party (DP) had 8 seats and 34%. Parti Seselwa and other parties failed to get 5% to clinch even one seat.

Mr. Pool sat as a delegate for the first Constitutional Commission, under the leadership of the then Minister Joseph Belmont. The DP delegation was led by Mr. Paul Chow.

The Commission was characterised by frequent walkouts by the DP delegation. It is often said that the ruling party "bulldozed" the draft constitution, which when subjected to a referendum, failed to obtain the required 60% of the votes for it to pass.

The lesson, to be drawn from this episode, Mr Pool said with insight, is "Do not rush things. Listen to the other side and take well calculated decisions that will be accepted by most."

Looking back, at the elections he has contested, he recalls that opposition opponents can become quite aggressive at election time. But the district is a calm one, with few clashes. "There is always a "bonne entente", he says adding that Anse Boileau has a rather stable population.

He remembers getting on very well with parish priests, such as Gustave Lafortune who recently celebrated his Golden Jubilee and also Roger de Commarmond.

He has over the past 20 years visited no less than 35 countries. That includes all Indian Ocean littoral states, as well as Ethiopia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Togo and Benin in Africa. He has formed part of five election observer missions; Tanzania, Malawi, Comoros, Namibia and earlier this year- in Kenya.

At regional level, Mr. Pool has always promoted exchanges, especially between Island States. He signed the twinning accord with Riviere Noire, a rural district of Mauritius with Anse Boileau. A Mauritian delegation is presently in Mahe under this "jumelage".
He notes that as the exercise necessitates travelling around the countries a lot, it has been highly interesting to observe their varied landscapes. In 2009, in Malawi, for instance, he and his colleagues, chose to travel overland from the capital, Blantyre in the south to the north - by jeep, rather than by plane and the journey took 14 hours!

In Europe, Mr. Pool has been to the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Holland and Belgium.

He travels to the Belgian capital, Brussels rather frequently, because it is the headquarters of the European Union. Besides being Deputy Speaker and chairman of the Assembly's International Affairs Committee, he also sits on the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) Parliamentary committee, as well as the ACP - European Union (EU) joint Parliamentary Assembly.

He often attends the latter's quarterly meetings, accompanied by Vivienne Fock-Tave, our Ambassador in Brussels.

The meetings alternate between a European capital and a country of the ACP group and one such mission took Mr. Pool to Surinam. He is probably one of very few, if not the sole Seychellois to have travelled to what is also called Dutch Guyana.

Mr. Pool also represents Seychelles on the European Development Fund (EDF), which recently allocated 30 million euros for our islands' development, mainly fishing.

He says he uses such forums to lobby for Seychelles and interact with his peers from different parts of the world. They are always interested to learn about little Seychelles and all that is in line with President Michel's "Pro-active diplomacy".

How does Mr. Pool feel as Deputy Speaker?
"It is very challenging. But I sometimes feel rather lonely up there". He hastens to add that this has prompted him to be very well acquainted with the Constitution the Assembly's Standing Orders, as he often has to give rulings accordingly.

"Though, there is presently only one opposition MNA, it is apparent from the deliberations that most members carry out a fair amount of research."

Through their commitment and enthusiasm, he can see himself 15 to 20 years ago, applying pressure for Government to deliver. "We know that it is not always easy. Often, there are budgetary constraints."

Andre Pool is married with three children. The eldest son, Trevor has just graduated as a mechanical engineer, Mario is in his second year at UniSey, doing business studies, and specialising in hotel management while Julia is presently in S3.


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