100 days in office for President Michel: Drug court, wage increase among accomplishments
Marking the first 100 days of President James Michel's final term, the Seychelles' vice president on Tuesday told the National Assembly that a highlight of the president's first three months in office is the creation of a special court to deal with drug cases.(Mervyn Marie Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Marking the first 100 days of President James Michel's final term, the Seychelles' vice president on Tuesday told the National Assembly that a highlight of the president's first three months in office is the creation of a special court to deal with drug cases.
President Michel had asked for 100 days during his swearing-in on December 20 for his third and final mandate to implement some of the reforms in the public sector for the well-being of the nation.
One of the priorities of the Seychelles’ government is the fight against drug trafficking.
Vice-President Danny Faure confirmed the establishment of a special court which will deal specifically with cases related to drug trafficking, and an amendment to current law to help drug addicts.
"On Wednesday, March 23, the Council of Ministers has agreed to a modern bill which will oversee these measures. The bill was gazetted and will be submitted to the National Assembly for its approval," said Faure.
The vice-president explained that the country must also invest in programs to help drug addicts and project aimed at prevention.
The island nation has already put methadone under medical supervision to assist drug addicts.
|Vice-President Danny Faure confirmed the establishment of a special court which will deal specifically with cases related to drug trafficking, and an amendment to current law to help drug addicts. (State House) Photo license: CC-BY|
Faure said many measures announced by the president in his State of the Nation address have already been addressed. These included an increase in minimum wage for workers in Seychelles from around $287 to $358 monthly, an increase for pensioners from $255 to $358 as of April this year and an increase in housing loans.
Other measures Michel announced were a 13th month salary for workers in the public service, a new gratuity plan for public sector workers, payment of compensation to the former members the Defence Forces, the ex-gratia payment of members of the Royal Fleet Auxilliary and the introduction of the program "My first job."
Michel also announced a cut in pensions received by members of parliament and ministers, who will now receive pensions at the retirement age of 63. The bill was adopted by members.
The head of state had given 100 days to various ministries and Government departments to make an audit.
The vice-president said that the audit of ministries and public department is completed and that the results will be announced in April.
"The leaders of these departments will have to move forward by explaining to people through various mechanisms the various measures to improve the service. We have a high level of service... and service delivery is one of the priorities of the Government," said Faure.
The vice-president said the people of Seychelles must be informed of what is happening in the country.
"We cannot leave information aside, saying that the public did not know. We must ensure that information reaches the people and government agreed that the policies that are implemented also reach the public."
The National Assembly in the coming weeks will look at a possible reduction in the number of terms a president can serve and the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the country as announced by President Michel.