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New Ombudsman Sworn Into Office

Legal Affairs

New Ombudsman Sworn Into Office

Fri, 31 March 2017

Mrs Nichole Tirant-Ghérardi was sworn into office as the new Ombudsman in a ceremony held at State House yesterday.

Her appointment as Ombudsman follows the recommendation made to President Faure by the Constitutional Appointments Authority and in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, Hon Wavel Ramkalawan, in view of the prevailing spirit of transparency and working together.

Mrs Tirant-Ghérardi took the Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution and the Oath of Office before the President, in the presence of the the Vice-President, Mr Vincent Meriton, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Patrick Pillay, the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Francis MacGregor, Designated Minister, Mrs Macsuzy Mondon, Attorney General, Mr Rony Govinden, members of the Constitutional Appointments Authority, and other distinguished guests including members of Mrs Tirant-Ghérardi's family and senior officials in the Office of the President.

In an interview with the national media, Mrs Tirant-Ghérardi explained that the role of an Ombudsman is very difficult, but she is honoured by her appointment. She said that her responsibility is like being a watchdog, looking over the rights of people, and ensuring those constitutional rights are not infringed by those meant to be working and taking care of its citizens.

"One of the big roles is also to watch over the laws that are passed in the name of citizens. It will be important for me to look at how those laws can affect the rights of the people, and if it does affect our rights, then it's the Ombudsman's responsibility to do something about it. My priorities are primarily to look at some of the laws that have been passed - I've been unhappy with some of the laws that have gone through previous National Assemblies and even one in particular that has gone through this National Assembly. I would want to look at those laws again and maybe challenge the constitutionality of those laws, on the basis of parameters that prove those laws are not as good as they should be," said the new Ombudsman.

She remarked that she intends to work closely with the civil society, primarily through the Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS), and the media to give more awareness of the role of the Ombudsman.

The Office of the Ombudsman will continue to be based at Aarti Chambers, Mont Fleuri.

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