In New Year message, Seychelles' president drops controversial June holiday, adds Easter Monday
Seychelles’ President Danny Faure (State House)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles’ President Danny Faure in his New Year's message said the Monday after Easter will become a new holiday, essentially replacing a controversial day in June that will revert back to a normal working day.
President Faure in his message wished every Seychellois a Happy New Year, saying, “I hope that this year brings everything that it should for each and every one of you.”
In his broadcast on national television on Sunday, President Faure said after having done a lot of thinking he has come to two conclusions.
“We need to make a greater effort to follow a spiritual and moral compass that will give direction and enlighten us on the meaning of our lives,” Faure said.
Following that line of thinking, the head of state of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, announced that the Monday following Easter will become a public holiday.
The island nation has a population of 93,000 and according to the National Bureau of Statistics 76.2 percent of the Seychelles population is Roman Catholic, 6.1 percent Anglican, 2.4 percent Hindu, 1.6 percent Muslim, and 13.7 percent other faiths.
Another amendment aimed at reinforcing the country’s national unity is that June 5 will become a normal working day.
“I believe that all of us, including myself, we need to work harder to bring unity to our country,” Faure said.
The public holiday on June 5 'Liberation Day' had been a point of contention between the Government and the opposition, as it was marked by a coup d'état where the president at the time, James Mancham, was deposed and France Albert Rene took over power.
For the first time since the start of multi-party politics, in September this year, an opposition coalition -- Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) -- won the majority in the National Assembly.
LDS won 15 out of 25 directly contested constituencies, while the ruling Parti Lepep secured the remaining 10 districts.