Speeches

State House

Address By President James Alix Michel At His Inauguration Following Election As President Of The Republic Of Seychelles 24th May 2011 State House

Wed, 25 May 2011

Dear Seychellois Brothers and Sisters,


Members of the International Observer Missions of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth, l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, et la Commission de l’Ocean Indien, Electoral Institute of Southern Africa - EISA
Dear friends and representatives of countries accredited to Seychelles and international partner organisations,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,

We have arrived at the summit of the mountain that we started climbing seven years ago. Our paths were filled with challenges.
Some people had given up hope.Many joined us along the road. Many gave a helping hand to the weaker ones, and inspired others to continue.The majority of people held firm despite all the challenges.


And as a people, in unity, we closed ranks and overcame the most difficult moments along the way.
But we have also celebrated our successes which have made the Seychellois nation proud.
Today we stand proudly at the summit, and we see a New Seychelles. It is a defining moment in our history and will determine our future.
Our work was not in vain. After our date with destiny on the 21st of May, the people of Seychelles have delivered the mandate to build this New Seychelles.
Yes, in this great democratic exercise, the people of Seychellois have once again conferred on me the task of leading them in the construction of the New Seychelles.
They have done so because they share my conviction that, together, we are creating, and we shall continue to create, a better future for our country.A better future for this New Seychelles. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. I thank them for this great testimony of their confidence in me.
Thank you, Seychellois brothers and sisters.You have judged me by my actions. In this New Seychelles, I renew my pledge to remain connected with my people.


Members of the International Observer Missions,
I wish, on behalf of the people of Seychelles, to express my gratitude to you for having observed the electoral process and the presidential election itself. You have noted that they were free, fair and credible. Your assessment is testimony to the resilience of our democracy. It is a tribute to our political maturity and to our spirit of tolerance  and harmony. It is, once again, a great achievement for our small nation - and we are justifiably proud of it.


Democracy is a dynamic process. In the New Seychelles we shall continue to put in place and strengthen our legal and institutional frameworks to ensure the progress of our democracy.  It is my aim to improve on our achievements and to reinforce the rule of law, good governance and transparency. Seychelles is determined to provide a shining example of the development that is possible when good governance is prioritised.


Mesdames et messieurs les membres des missions d’Observation internationales,
Je voudrais vous exprimer toute ma gratitude pour votre implication dans le processus electoral and dans l’élection présidentielle elle-meme. Merci a  vous pour votre engagement  a nos cotées et merci aux organisations que vous représentez pour leur soutien aux institutions démocratiques dans notre pays.


I would like to thank all those who have participated in this election: the Electoral Commissioner and his staff, as well Election Officials; all staff of the essential services, religious organisations, and civil society organisations - and the people of Seychelles as a whole.Your participation has ensured that the elections took place in ideal conditions. Thank you.

I thank President Rene and my loyal collaborators who supported me in this endeavour. To them I say 'Thank you'.
I extend my thanks to President Mancham for his support.
I thank all my family who have surrounded me with love and affection. I owe them a debt of gratitude that I’ll never be able to pay.
Thank you.

Dear Seychellois Brothers and Sisters
We have obtained a victory for a New Seychelles. It is not a personal victory for James Michel, but a victory for all Seychellois.  A victory for the future, a future which we are creating together.
You know my commitment to the people. Today I would like to renew this engagement to the people of Seychelles. I shall always remain connected with you. For me, my work comes first.  It is the aspirations and the hopes of the people that will guide me in my work. The importance of remaining connected with the people is paramount.
I shall continue to serve all Seychellois without discrimination. I shall continue to devote all my efforts for the service of our people.  I would like to reaffirm my what I have said repeatedly: I am the President of all Seychellois.  I believe sincerely in this mission, and together, united as a nation, with stability and a spirit of solidarity, we shall  do it.


There is no place in Seychelles for division, for bickering, grudges, hatred, or xenophobia.  More than ever, our country needs all its children.  We need men and women of goodwill to overcomes the challenges that lie ahead.  We need to put aside our political and ideological differences so that we can progress as a people. It is time for us to stop mixing politics with everything that we do. It is time for us to consider our brothers and sisters who may not share the same opinions as we do, not as our enemies, but as Seychellois who are also contributing to the future of our country, even if we remain political adversaries. Adversaries where it concerns certain things, but also as colleagues with whom we can work; a brother or sister Seychellois with whom we can share much and who can work with us for the good of our country.  We must, all of us, in the spirit of national unity and solidarity, put shoulder to shoulder and work towards one goal: a better future for this New Seychelles.


The Vice-President and I sincerely believe in this.  We believe in this principle with conviction and passion.  I have devoted my entire life for the accomplishment of this principle.  And I shall continue to do it.  For me, this is a noble cause, a national cause.  I beg all Seychellois to rally around this cause.  I put Seychelles before all else.  Work within the diversity of our differences. Work hard for a better future for Seychelles.  I call on the Opposition to join us in this task.  I repeat: there is no place in this small blessed country of ours for division.  Let us work together for a better future for our country.  Seychelles needs all its children.  This New Seychelles deserves the best.  It deserves our courage, our determination and our sweat.  Let us do it together for Seychelles.  Let us unite for Seychelles. Let us earn more victories for Seychelles.


Dear Seychellois brothers and sisters,
Over the last seven years we have achieved much together.  Our task does not end there.  There remains much to be done.  During the last mandate that you gave me, we had one over-riding priority, and that was the restoration of the economy.  We have passed through much difficulty.  We were not alone.  All countries in the world have had to face economic turbulence.  But we have weathered the storm.  Our efforts have borne fruit, and today our economy is solid.  We have managed to resolve the most pressing problems, and we are continuously seeking solutions for the remaining ones.


But our successes in the economic sector will be at risk if we are not careful, and unless we take strong actions against negative types of behavior in our society.  During the new mandate you have given me, we shall all have to find lasting solutions to the serious problems threatening the fabric of our society - consumption and trafficking of drugs, crime, delinquency, anti-social behavior and others. We also have to give more support to the agencies  responsible for law and order, security and peace, to enable them to perform with greater effectiveness, discipline and professionalism. Our children must be able to live and walk freely in our beautiful country, without us parents being worried about them becoming victims of drugs and alcohol. The main cause of anti-social behavior is linked to the abuse and trafficking of drugs. This is one of our major challenges.  In the New Seychelles, this fight becomes our common fight. Let us do it for the love of our children.


In the next five years we will continue to consolidate our economy, work hard together, create new opportunities, increase productivity and encourage innovation for greater prosperity and the wellbeing of our people. But apart from the economy, we will also concentrate our effort in one particular sector, and that is the social sector. It is a sector that encompasses several aspects.
I realise that considerable work remains to be done to improve our health service, maintain the continuity and sustainability of our housing programme, create more employment opportunities and boost productivity, and  ensure that the cost of living remains affordable.


These require the efforts of all citizens. It requires discipline and hard work. It requires both individual and collective responsibility. It requires that we all assume our responsibilities for ourselves, our families, our communities and our country. It requires that we prepare for our future. I have always asked that we should pick ourselves up and strive. Let us seize all the opportunities our country has to offer. And there are plenty of opportunities. We, as a responsible government, have to remain close to our people. Our work has to be founded on the aspirations of the people. Government will continue to create and facilitate even more opportunities, put in place the conditions and measures that will promote the creation of more employment opportunities, and raise productivity. The only way we can succeed as a people is through hard work, and the responsibility we assume for our own lives. This is what is called Seychellois resilience! This is what is called the New Seychelles!


In the New Seychelles there is no place for mediocrity and laissez-faire. There is a lot of fixing to be done. There are many weaknesses, not only in the public sector, but in the private sector, too. The expectations of our citizens are high, and rightly so, because for as long as I am President of Seychelles, I shall always insist that we aim as high as possible.
And we have to give our citizens the possibilities to take on more responsibilities. It is for this reason that I am reviewing the system of district administration, in all it aspects. The time has come to give the district inhabitants more power to take decisions on what they believe is best for the development of their communities. Giving more power to the communities means greater participation in the decision-making process of their districts. The people of Seychelles want better services - and they are right. We cannot disappoint them. We have to redouble our efforts to find remedies where there are weaknesses. We will undertake a clean-up wherever there is a need for it. Let us give our citizens more hope. Let us remain connected. Let us, together, create a society that is even more dynamic, more innovative, more caring and more prosperous.
Dear people of Seychelles, these are my main priorities during the new mandate that you have given me. But these are not only my priorities, they are also the priorities of all Seychellois. We all have to come together to realize them. I know we can do it. I know I can count on all Seychellois in this task.


Dear people of Seychelles,
Seychelles, our country, is not a big country, nor a rich country. But it is a country in the world where it is good to live. It is a beautiful corner of God’s land. And its real wealth is its people - we the Seychellois - and our way of life, the relationships that bind us, the values we share …
We have to preserve and enhance the natural and cultural treasures that we have as a country and a people. We have to promote positive values and raise our children properly, away from environments that could lead them to bad influences. While we remain open to the world, we also have to avoid negative influences and temptations, and we must strengthen our values and our good way of living.


During this new mandate as President, I pray that our people never forget our social values, moral and spiritual. I see this as a renaissance that touches the lives of all people - children, the youth, adults, the elderly. This moral, social and spiritual renaissance should involve everyone. It cannot be the concern of government alone. For too long, some have built up the perception that it is government that is responsible for everything. But government is the servant of the people. Therefore, it is we the people who are responsible for the work and to make a difference in our own lives. The civil society, NGOs and other groups in the community, the churches and religious groups, as well as the private sector, and businesses, have to be concerned and involved.


In 2020 we will commemorate 250 years of human settlement in our Seychelles. When we mark this anniversary in 2020 we want to celebrate it as a people who have achieved progress in all aspects; as a people who have made economic and material progress, and also social and spiritual progress; as a united people who are prosperous and happy, who are a true example to the world. This is the legacy I wish to leave behind with the Seychellois people.
Dear people of Seychelles,

Let us undertake the task to realize this vision. Let us work together for this New Seychelles.

I thank you once again for the confidence you have placed in me. I will remain close to my people. Today I launch an appeal to all people who work in the public service, in the New Seychelles; we will have to remain close to the people who have put us where we are now. There is no other way.
Together, with the grace of God, we can do it! May God continue to bless our beloved country!


Thank you!

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