27th Annual Congress of Parti Lepep, Speech by party president James A Michel
Wed, 22 May 2013 | State House
May 22, 2013 -- 27th Annual Congress of Parti Lepep, Speech by party president James A Michel
Members of the Central Committee,
When we are gathered -- like we do every year -- it is to reaffirm our conviction in the ideals that form the basis of our Party: unity, solidarity, patriotism, democracy, the rule of law, hard work …
It is to show our confidence in and respect for the people who put us where we are today. It is to renew our commitment that we will continue to work hard for the people.
That we will continue to remain connected with the people.
That we will continue to defend and promote the great principles of our party, which are centred on social justice.
It is an annual rendezvous which signifies hope in the future.
Hope in the future, thanks to a responsible and dynamic leadership.
Hope in the future, because WE are the party of the future.
A party of the future founded on a glorious past, which will forever inspire us. And guide us to continue building, together, the New Seychelles.
We share the same conviction. And it is for this reason that we have in this congress assembled. To do an assessment of our achievements from the time of the last congress. And also to examine our weaknesses, and fix them in order to do better. To enable us to progress further.
This congress demonstrates our strength, our vivacity, our dynamism. It shows our unity. It shows the continuity of our work. It also holds a very important significance for our party.
It is taking place one year after the election of the central committee of Parti Lepep.
There are several major dossiers we will examine together. We will have to take certain decisions or adopt certain resolutions.
One of the main subjects is amendment of the constitution of our party. This proposal follows consultations at all levels in our party: the branches as well as other mass organizations. Following this democratic consultative process, the secretariat has received several recommendations. The central committee studied these recommendations thoroughly and integrated them in the amendment proposals which we, the central committee, have approved. We are now submitting the text of the proposed amendments to congress for ratification.
These amendments reflect the evolution in the internal structure of our party and take into account the process of modernization we started on 2nd June 2010. They take into account our determination to remain connected with the people. They also uphold our determination to remain relevant. Relevant to the realities of the 21st century. Relevant to our place in today’s world.
A second important dossier which we will study together is the 50th anniversary of the African Union, which before was called the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The Golden Jubilee of our continental organisation will be celebrated during a historic meeting of African Heads of State to take place on 25th May, in Addis Ababa.
It is 50 years following the creation of the OAU. There were a lot of sacrifices to liberate our continent and take it to where it is today. As the political party which fought for Seychelles independence, we recall the support the OAU gave the SPUP during our struggle for our liberation.
We should never forget the contribution made by the OAU in our fight to achieve an independent Seychelles. We should not forget that our history is closely linked with the struggle for the liberation of Africa.
Today, with due respect and reverence, we salute this historic role the OAU has accomplished. At the same time, we reiterate our support for and commitment towards its successor, the African Union. After 50 years, our vision is an Africa that is economically and socially transformed, and integrated. Where resources are better developed, well managed, and the wealth utilized for growing improvement in the quality of life of all its peoples. A prosperous Africa. An Africa at peace. A new Africa.
Here in Seychelles, it is the appropriate occasion to pay tribute to the courage, vision and determination of our leaders, particularly the founding father of SPUP-SPPF, President France Albert Rene and his companions-in-struggle who together led the march to independence. They campaigned actively for our independence and our liberation. They devoted all their energy to the progress and wellbeing of our nation. We express our profound gratitude to President Rene for all that he has done for the Seychellois people. We also thank all the veterans, the party militants, who right from the beginning joined the struggle and later accompanied us in our task of nation-building. We also have a special thought for those who are no longer among us.
Another significance of our 27th congress is that it’s taking place at a time when we are preparing for the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of our Third Republic.
Yes, it is already 20 years. During this relatively short time we have made enormous progress in the economic, as well as the social fields. We have accomplished a lot in spite of the resource constraints and certain financial difficulties.
We have continued building houses for our people. We’ve continued maintaining free education and free health care services, in spite of difficulties.
We have maintained and strengthened the policy which puts people at the centre of development. Our social system has allowed us to have an equitable and sustainable development that has raised the standard of living of our people.
It is important that we realize that we have worked hard and continue to work hard for our Seychelles. During the 20 years our party has led the development of our people and country. And we have done it in a serious and sustainable manner.
Our party rallied our people to make Seychelles what it is today. As a political party we have to be proud of our achievements and be more determined in facing the new challenges.
Our role is to inspire others through the setting of good examples in our daily lives. Human beings are not perfect, but we -- as leaders and militants of the party -- should ensure that society never points fingers at us because of certain negative behaviours, because of controversial actions that compromise our reputation. We have to remain clean and honest. I repeat: we have to be seen and accepted as good models who lead by example. Our role is to promote national unity, patriotism and solidarity. Without unity, all our achievements, all our successes, will be washed away into nothing. We may have differences of opinion, have divergent views. This is healthy in a democratic society -- as long as we express them in peace and mutual respect. Let us place Seychelles’ interest first, above all else. I keep telling the Seychellois people that this is what will build the greatness of our nation. The pride of our children and their children.
Our party has always played a primordial role in the transformation of our nation. To build a nation in which unity, equality and fraternity reign. To create a society where there is greater social justice. To create a Seychelles that offers all its citizens a life of dignity. Thanks to our efforts, our transformation has been rapid. We have succeeded because the majority of the Seychellois people supported us. And today, the majority of the people continue to support us. They will continue to support us because it is we, Parti Lepep, the party of the Seychellois people, that represent their interests, that represent their aspirations. They will continue to support us because we are the only party with a clear vision, with a coherent plan, for the Seychellois people. This should make the pride of the Seychellois.
Next year our party will celebrate its golden jubilee. Yes, it is already 50 years since President France Albert Rene and his close associates launched our party on Seychellois soil.
The congress today is the opportune occasion for us to launch the programme to commemorate the 50th anniversary of our party.
During the coming 12 months, the structure of our party and all the organizations affiliated to our party will have to start the mobilisation to engage our members and supporters in the realization of activities which we are planning to mark this historic event.
This will be a great moment of jubilation. An expression of renewal in unity.
It will also be a time for our party to reflect on its role and responsibilities at the service of the Seychellois people in the next decade and beyond.
Our party is a living party. It is stronger than ever. It has a clear vision and programme for Seychelles’ progress. We have to always remain connected with the people. We have to preserve our unity and discipline. We have to discharge our responsibilities towards the people. We have to reinforce our conviction in our principles, live it in our daily lives, and renew our determination to work harder. A strong and solid party is not afraid of challenges. It is the challenges that are the strength, dynamism and resilience of Parti Lepep. Parti Lepep is experienced in confronting and overcoming challenges. It will continue to do it for all Seychellois. It will continue to do it for the New Seychelles.
I have the great pleasure to officially declare the 27th Congress open.