A Man of the People: A Collection of Speeches

From the bare-footed schoolboy, teacher, trade unionist, journalist and government minister, James Alix Michel had come a long way. His inaugural address upon assuming the highest office of the land set out the guiding principles of his presidency, his style of leadership, his unflinching belief in the Seychellois people, his creed and ethos. They are resumed thus: national unity, transparency, consultation, dialogue and mutual respect, the sanctity of the family, hard work, respect for the rule of law, public-private sector partnership, zero tolerance on corruption and all the scourges afflicting society, in particular, drug abuse and trafficking. An easy-going and affable man, Michel is uncompromising on those issues. They are at the heart of every speech he has delivered since assuming the presidency. He reiterates them with a passion borne out of conviction, bordering on stubbornness, secure in the belief that in the time allotted to him he has a mission to accomplish. This collection of speeches made between 2004 and 2010 encapsulates the thoughts of James Alix Michel – a consummate politician and statesman – on a wide range of issues. They reveal his moral and intellectual honesty, his abiding trust in the resilience of his people in the face of adversity, his grasp of discourse amongst nations and his capacity to translate into simple terms complex concepts easily accessible to one and all.

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