New ministers sworn in


15-March-2012

A family photograph of the new cabinet with President Michel after the new ministers had been sworn in

They took their oaths of office, allegiance and secrecy before President James Michel in the presence of Vice-President Danny Faure, chief justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Herminie, president of the Court of Appeal Francis MacGregor and fellow ministers.

Also present were the ministers’ family members and former ministers Bernard Shamlaye and Dr Erna Athanasius.

Those who were sworn in are the Minister for Finance, Trade & Investment Pierre Laporte, Minister for Employment and Human Resource Development Idith Alexander, Minister for Health Mitcy Larue, Minister for Environment & Energy Rolph Payet, Minister for Land Use & Housing Christian Lionnet and Minister for Tourism & Culture Alain St Ange.

In an interview after he was sworn in, Mr Laporte called his appointment a big challenge but “as with all other challenges one has to look for ways of handling it”.

He talked of the need to maintain the economy stable, noting the importance of ensuring his ministry delivers, so as not to negatively affect the government’s programmes in other ministries.

“It never was my ambition and neither did I expect to be named minister, but I appreciate the confidence the President has shown in me and I look forward to doing the job” he said.

He said he is committed to ensuring the continued independence of the Central Bank of Seychelles, noting that he welcomed such independence while he was governor, adding he best understands the need for it.

“In the same way as the President and former Minister for Finance respected the independence, I have assured the new governor that I will not even once get into the operational aspects of the central bank and it is critical that the bank continues to have its independence.

The newly appointed Minister for Employment and Human Resource Development, Idith Alexander, said her appointment is a new challenge which she is looking forward to taking on.

She said she plans to address the issue of the many people who do not work.
“We heard in the state-of-the-nation address the vision of the President and that he wants to address the issue of unemployment. As the minister I have to come up with new plans and strategies to address problems associated with dependence on social welfare,” she said.

“We have quite a number of people who are not working so I expect to sit with other ministries to work out solutions to this problem.

“All kind of jobs come with their problems so what this situation requires is analysis that will allow us to map out a solution,” said Minister Alexander.

She called on young people to work with dedication and love for what they do, adding she was sure it was because her former bosses’ appreciation of her work that led to her being appointed minister.

“I take this opportunity to call on our young people to take up the opportunities available to them,” she said.
Health Minister Mitcy Larue agreed the ministry is not an easy one to lead and she was initially a little taken aback, but said she will take it on will all her determination.

She said being a non-medical personnel is not a problem as the professionals in the ministry will play their roles as she guides the ministry through the right policies.

“Together with the principal secretary we will closely study how the ministry works and decide which policies we need to put in place or change, where necessary.

“Where change is required it has to be made quickly so as to satisfy our population.
She said the attitude of some staff members is a big challenge in the ministry.

“We need to cultivate in them the attitude to work hard among those who do not,” she said, talking of staff shortage especially of doctors and nurses, which needs to be addressed.

“I’m definitely ready to join the staff of the ministry and not just to make changes but to discuss issues with them and come up with solutions so as to deliver better,” she said.

As announced in his state-of-the-nation address and following the recent government restructuring, the President now holds portfolio responsibility for Defence, Legal Affairs, Information, Youth, and hydrocarbons, and the Vice-President’s portfolio comprise Information Technology & Communications and Public Administration.

Besides the six new ministers, the other Cabinet members and their re-structured ministries are as follows: Vincent Meriton (Ministry of Social Affairs, Community Development & Sports and Designated Minister); Joël Morgan (Ministry of Home Affairs and Transport); Macsuzy Mondon (Ministry of Education); Peter Sinon (Ministry of Natural Resources & Industry). Jean-Paul Adam remains the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

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