Speeches

State House

Address by President James Alix Michel at his Inauguration following Election as President of the Republic of Seychelles

Sun, 20 December 2015

Dear people of Seychelles,

President Mancham,

Vice-President,

Mr Speaker,

Chief Justice,

President of the Court of Appeal,

Ministers,

Honourable Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius,

Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission,

Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly,

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly,

Chairman and members of the Electoral Commission,

Your Excellencies Heads and Representatives of Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations,

Representatives of religious organisations,

Members of the National Assembly,

Heads and members of foreign and local observer missions,

Representatives of political parties,

Ladies and gentlemen of the consular corps,

Representatives of the media,

Distinguished guests,

Democracy is the winner in this big exercise whereby Seychellois were called upon to choose their leader for the next five years. It is, above all, the Seychellois people who have come out victorious. A victory for our democracy. A victory for all Seychellois who trusted us. And who renewed their confidence in me. For a third and final mandate.

I salute this brave, courageous and resilient nation. This nation who knows how to rise to challenges and overcome them in the most difficult moment. This nation who knows how to appreciate the values of freedom, justice and democracy. This nation who believes in national unity and stability.

For me, the result of this election does not mean that our people are divided. We have always lived together in harmony, worked together, in spite of our diverse opinions. And this will continue under my new administration.

The result of this election shows the maturity of our people. The maturity of our democracy. It indicates transparency, tolerance and respect for diverse political views. It is a dynamic process which I accept. A process which reinforces my determination to work even harder for the Seychellois people. I will always work in the best interest of the Seychellois people, even if certain decisions could have cost me support. I remain determined to continue putting order. I remain determined to rally the Seychellois people, to work together, under one flag, for the progress and prosperity of our country.

Some are not happy with the result of this election. We, too, feel a bit disappointed. We wish we would have received more support. But we accept the decision of the people. It is the decision of the people which, above all, first of all, and before everything else, counts.  The people of Seychelles have decided to rally under the banner of “Together”, and not  “Trample them”. Seychellois, do not let your disappointment, your discontent, lead us into the circle of destabilisation and violence. There is no place for violence in our society.  The people of Seychelles reject violence in all its forms. And we will not tolerate violence. We can express our differences of opinions in a pacific manner, using the democratic structures that exist.  If there are people who have doubts about the result of this election, they should bring their case to court, and let the court decide.

Dear Seychellois,

I want to thank all the people who helped me and Vice-President Danny Faure in our electoral campaign. I want to thank all the people who participated in this presidential election -- the presidential candidates of different political parties, the electoral commission, all electoral officers, all the services for ensuring the good conduct of the elections, so that order, peace and security reigned and prevailed during the polling. I also wish to thank the religious and civil organizations for their contributions in the democratic process we’ve been through together.

I wish to express my deep gratitude to the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Ivan Collendavelloo and to Mr Jean-Claude de l’Estrac, Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission. Your presence here today bears strong testimony to our mutual bonds of friendship and cooperation, and to the values we share. I thank you most sincerely for being with us today.

I would like to thank the heads and representatives of diplomatic and consular missions who are here today for their support. Your presence is a strong gesture of friendship and solidarity, in the spirit of the democratic values we share. I thank you deeply.

I wish to thank the international observers, as well as the local observers, the  national and international media.

Thank you all.

Dear people of Seychelles,

My most heartfelt and warmest thanks are for you, all the Seychellois people. You have exercised your right and performed your duty. You have demonstrated your maturity. And you have made a choice. You have chosen to continue on the path we have begun together. You have chosen national unity, stability, even more progress. You have shared my vision. You have put your trust in me. I thank you.

You have elected me as your leader for a third and final mandate. The president of all Seychellois. I will continue to gather our people. Listen. Consult. Stay connected with the people. I will continue to spread the message of peace, unity, stability, patriotism … Because this country is our only cradle. Because Seychelles needs all its children. Seychelles is our only homeland. It needs peace in this sadly divided and unsettled world.

I did not come before you for a final mandate because I wanted power, because I am attached to power. No! It is because I have devoted 50 years of my life to helping build the Seychelles that has reached where it is today. It is because TOGETHER with you I want to consolidate the progress we have achieved together. TOGETHER we build on this progress, without throwing away our gains and abandoning our fundamental principles. This last mandate allows me to continue devoting the next five years of my life to serving my people and country. To bring more stability in continuity and change. To improve where there is weakness. For us to go further and higher. You have put your trust in me. I will not disappoint you.

We have to continue working hard TOGETHER for us to accomplish our aspirations. We all have to take our own part in this big national enterprise: ownership of our economy and development; empowerment of all Seychellois, especially our youth; individual and collective responsibility; taking the initiative and striving. We need to continue putting in place the framework for wealth creation, wellbeing and prosperity. We have to continue creating opportunities for the training and the empowerment of our youth, to prepare them to take over. We have to continue creating the space for the development of small and medium enterprises. We need to continue to progress, help our people who take the initiative, to help them stand on their own feet, and discourage dependence on welfare.

You know my plan of work for the next five years. I have spoken about it during my electoral campaign. It is in the Parti Lepep manifesto. It is this “TOGETHER” manifesto that will guide my government and myself. For me, this five-year mandate you have given me represents the opportunity to continue building on the work we have started together.

Dear Seychellois people,

During this election you sent a very loud and clear message. I have heard you. I have understood you. You have given me another five years to put even more things in order in our country. In all sectors. More order and development in the districts, in our communities, to improve the living standard of all our people. To ensure an even more equitable distribution of opportunities and national wealth. For a better socio-economic equilibrium in our society. A government of the people, for the people. A government that will continue to strengthen the state and democratic institutions. To promote good citizenry, solidarity and compassion, good service, productive work and mutual respect.

There are several priorities that require urgent attention.

The first one is the issue of drug abuse. We all admit it is a major scourge in our society. It is more than time for us, together, to find the solution and help the victims of this scourge, without blaming anybody, without politicising the problem. At the same time, we have to redouble our effort -- all of us together -- to continue apprehending and severely punish the traffickers who are ruining our society. Combating drug abuse and drug trafficking is one of my first priority actions during the first 100 days of my new mandate. There is the necessity for us to coordinate and unify our efforts with our neighbours in our sub-region, so as to render this fight more effective and intensive. It is for this reason that I am going to propose a regional structure within the Indian Ocean Commission for intelligence gathering, coordination and operation against organized drug trafficking.  We need to fight this scourge the same way we tackled piracy with the  cooperation of neighbouring countries and international partners.

The second priority in the first 100 days is service delivery. Our people have had enough of poor quality service. They are frustrated with all the bureaucracy which causes loss of resources, time wasting, low productivity, laziness and mediocrity. My government is action driven.  And I demand that appropriate actions are taken. I demand that all ministries undertake a special audit, and take corrective measures where necessary. They have 100 days to do it as from Monday. At the same time I am intensifying our effort to implement certain measures aimed at improved conditions in the public service. The objective is to increase productivity and retain the service of our young professionals. These measures will be part of my priorities during the coming 100 days.

Another series of measures will make available more loans for housing and better access to home credit. Housing remains at the centre of our preoccupation during the next five years because we believe that all Seychellois have the right to a decent home, but they must contribute towards that.

During the next 100 days I will also put emphasis on the creation of more job opportunities for the youth, through the “My First Job” programme. This will also boost the creation of small enterprises.

The private sector remains our privileged partner in our enterprise to build the New Seychelles, to build a better Seychelles. I have said it before and I repeat: Government is not in the business of doing business! This is the function and responsibility of the private sector. I give you the assurance today that my government and I will continue to work towards the greater empowerment of the private sector.  This is what our country requires. This is what we will do together.

People of Seychelles,

We have no time to waste. Work awaits us. Hard work. There is neither space nor time for complacency. The future of our country, the interest of our family, our children, require all our effort. I have no doubt that we are all ready for it. We are ready to do it together. Together and always together, for a better Seychelles.

I ask you all, Seychellois brothers and sisters, to join with me to continue working for our beloved Seychelles! Our only Seychelles!

Dear Seychellois people, in a few days we will be celebrating Christmas. Let its message of peace, love and reconciliation inspire us. Let this message guide us in our daily lives.

I wish you all a joyous Christmas.

Long live Seychelles. Long Live the Seychellois people.

May God continue to give us grace and bless our country.

 

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