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President Ramkalawan’s First Press Conference; Air Seychelles, Drug trafficking and more.

Tuesday the 2nd of February 2020 marked 100 days in office for the newly elected President of Seychelles H.E. Wavel Ramkalawan. He marked this by day organizing a press conference on Thursday the 4th of February 2020 following in the steps of the previous administration of President Danny Faure who aimed at bringing more accountability and transparency to the people.

The press conference was greatly anticipated as it comes following the deportation of a Kenyan national on drug charges which spread like wildfire on various social media platforms and continued discussions about the future of the small island nations national airline Air Seychelles as it is shrouded in uncertainty.

President Wavel Ramkalawan in his address once again gave warnings to those involved in the illegal drug trade, stating that his cabinet would take sever and strict actions to anyone participating in such activities.

With respect to the rumours surrounding the deportation of a Kenyan national, President Ramkalawan said that all procedures were followed.

He labelled the women as being “one of the biggest drug traffickers in our country” adding that “the police arrested the woman in an operation and after procedures were followed she was deported,” adding that communication between Seychelles police and Kenyan authorities had been ongoing and once the women landed in Kenya she was handed over to local Kenyan law enforcement.   

(President Wavel Ramkalawan addressing the Press at State House)

With regards on the national airline Air Seychelles, President Ramkalawan expressed his sincere appreciation my members of the countries National Assembly as well as the media and news outlets who assisted in giving a broader and more in-depth understanding of the current state of the airline to the members of the public.

Air Seychelles is currently 38 million dollar in debt and has been previously labeled by the head of state as unsustainable.

continuing on the topic of Air Seychelles, he said he appreciated the debate on Air Seychelles by members of the National Assembly and that news reports by various media houses have also helped inform the Seychellois public.

President Ramkalawan stated that regardless of the progress made on the topic of Air Seychelles, at this current point in time no official decision has been taken.

The President added “I would like to ask the media to go further in your investigative work find out if there are any Seychellois who would be interested to invest in this airline and other investors who would like to inject their money in the airline,”

With regards to the heated topic of Seychellois citizenships, the head of state said “I will not be issuing any citizenship” with only one exception that is “if the person gets married to a Seychellois and are settled and stable.”

He added: “The issue of citizenship is very important. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Seychellois cannot enter the United States without a visa. This is a point on my agenda with the US government.”

Further matters including GOP’s (Gainful Occupation Permit’s) were put forward to which he stated “we know exactly how many foreign workers whose contract have terminated in January, but are still in the country.”

“We are reviewing the certificate of entitlement allowing tourism establishments to have a certain number of foreign workers who are not available on the labour market. We want Seychellois to be the priority and occupy those posts… We are going to be more serious with giving new GOPs, but if Seychellois does not want to work, automatically businesses will seek out for foreign workers,” added the President. 

Jim Libanotis

Freelance Writer for The Seychelles Times email : libanotis@theseychellestimes.com

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