President James Michel
President James Mancham,
President of the Court of Appeal
The Speaker of the National Assembly
Members of the National Assembly
Your Excellencies Heads of Diplomatic Missions
Dear Seychellois Brothers and Sisters
It is with much humility that I address you today. Today is the start of a new chapter. A new chapter because a new generation is taking the helm from the generation that fought for our Independence, built the Seychellois nation, and created a modern society.
I appreciate that for us to reach where we are today, many people have worked hard and made many sacrifices. We have come from quite far. Indeed from very far. Today I say to you a huge Thank You. On behalf of the Seychellois Nation, I pay my respects to President Mancham, President Rene and President Michel for their leadership roles. I also take this opportunity to salute the people of Seychelles for their contribution in making Seychelles what it is today.
President Michel, this month it will be exactly 31 years since, as Minister of Education at the time, you gave me the opportunity to share my knowledge with the children and the youth of Seychelles. Thank you, President, for that opportunity, which allowed many other opportunities, not just for me, but for thousands of young people today.
During the course of our journey filled with many challenges for our small country, I have learnt from you to always keep our sights focused on the issues greater than ourselves: that is, the welfare of the people of our country.
Under your Presidency, Seychelles has witnessed an unprecedented economic transformation. You worked very hard to give Seychelles its rightful place in the world. Much has been said about what you have done for Seychelles and Seychellois. In time, much will also be written. What is clear to me is that your work and legacy will speak for itself with the passage of time.
Today, after you have completed 39 years in the Cabinet of Ministers, including 12 years as President, I salute you for your personal sacrifice, your hard work and your dedication in the service of the people of Seychelles. I join the entire Seychellois nation in wishing you all the very best in your retirement, and to accord you the respect that you deserve.
Dear Seychellois Brothers and Sisters, I believe in our Nation. I believe in Seychelles. I believe in a Seychelles that will remain forever united, and in a free and proud Seychelles.
Today, the Seychelles that we all love, offers us an extraordinary opportunity to view the future with confidence and optimism. Our Seychelles that we all believe in, calls each one of us to join together to overcome the differences and obstacles that still divide us. Often, without realising it, we become victims of our past, and we feel trapped in the politics of the past. I understand this.
During these 39 years, Seychelles has developed. Seychelles has progressed. For many of our citizens, Government has done much to make their lives happier and better. Nevertheless, there remain other brothers and sisters who believe that Government is the reason for their pain and suffering, and to them, I present a sincere apology.
As your President, I believe that for Seychelles to really achieve national unity in every sense, we must undergo a process of true reconciliation.
We stand to achieve much more as a nation and as a people if we overcome that which divides us. Let the differences in our political opinions be a source of strength that dynamises our democracy, and not one that chokes it. We must see the diversity within our unity as a new force that strengthens this National Unity that we truly want for our Seychelles.
Dear Seychellois Brothers and Sisters, Seychelles is greater than us. Seychelles is our true homeland. We all have a place within it.
Each one of us can interpret election results in different ways. What is absolutely clear is that through the will of the people, Seychellois have asked us to engage in dialogue and to work together. So today, more than ever, we must work together for the benefit of our people and Seychelles.
I am ready to work with our National Assembly. I have informed Hon Patrick Pillay, Speaker of the National Assembly, that in accordance with Article 92 (1) of our Constitution, on Tuesday October 18, 2016, I shall address the National Assembly, that institution where I started my political career 23 years ago. I shall use that occasion to speak about the work of our Government.
Dear Seychellois Brothers and Sisters, I am a child of SPUP, the party of the poor, the party of workers, the party that struggled to bring Independence. We have not yet achieved all of the vision that SPUP had for Seychelles. The development of Seychelles must remain focused on its people, it is the only way to eliminate poverty.
The principles that will bring greater vigour to the implementation of our development are: fairness, equal opportunities, social justice and a fair redistribution of wealth. I shall do everything to ensure that our policies reflect these principles.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, People of Seychelles, I believe in the principle of doing good for our brothers and sisters. When each one of us also does good, collectively our society becomes a happier one. On this journey, we must all remove ill-will, remove malice, remove injustice, and remove insults that lower us in the eyes of our Creator.
I believe in a Seychelles where none of our citizens is left behind, in a society which is compassionate. In a nation where true human dignity is respected. That no one is above the law, and the law applies equally for all.
I believe firmly in a system of universal social protection which is the basis for the maintenance of social cohesion and harmony, and which is also a condition for lasting peace.
I believe in a Seychelles where there is room for different ideas to co-exist, and as a nation, we are ready to create more space where diverging views and ideas can be heard and respected. And as our Constitution requires, we shall provide our citizens access to information.
I believe in honesty, integrity, and frankness. If any of our citizens have any complaint, or any evidence of wrong-doing where laws are not being respected, or where someone’s human rights are being violated, or abused, he or she should, without fear, approach the relevant authorities for redress. In this regard, all citizens must take responsibility for their actions.
I believe in the strength of our Seychellois workforce, and in its capacity to move Seychelles forward. I believe in discipline, hard work, and a society where all work is valued and recognised. Irrespective of our political opinion, religious beliefs, whether we are in the public or private sectors, the important thing is that you do the work that you have been assigned, and you discharge it with all the necessary responsibilities. As employers, we pay workers their due salaries in accordance with the law. And we treat all our workers well, without exception. Along this line, the partnership between public and private sectors and civil society must show greater engagement. It is only through a more solid partnership that we can have greater shared prosperity among our people.
Dear Seychellois Brothers and Sisters, I have reached where I am today because there have been many alongside me. You know who you are. I know what you feel. I am the product of the opportunities that, 52 years ago, SPUP had set off to provide for the youth of Seychelles. Today I say to them Thank You. I thank my parents: my mother Violet Samson, my father Jean Faure. Both Seychellois. They cradled me, brought me up to appreciate obedience, respect, discipline and hard work. I thank my two brothers and my three sisters who have always been by my side. A very special thank you to my family who have given me unwavering support throughout.
I say thank you to Father Lafortune for the guidance that he gave me as the altar boy in the Anse Royale Church.
I salute the generation of the children of 1962, especially my school friends and teachers.
Each one of us has been inspired by different people, by different personalities. Me, I draw my inspiration from President René. Today I would like to say a Big Thank You to him. His principles, such as liberty and social justice which fuelled our struggle for Independence and the creation of a more fair society.
As President of the Republic, I am more determined than ever to create that society, ever more fair, ever more fraternal, ever more united, ever more prosperous and ever more humane. Today I call on you, my Seychellois brothers and sisters, to hold hands and scale our next phase. Where, together, we do not abandon peace and freedom, and where we remain forever united and together.
I stand as your servant, ready to serve the people of Seychelles and Seychelles.
Long live the people of Seychelles!
Long live Seychelles!