His Excellency Charles Angelo Savarin was officially installed as the Dominica’s Eighth President on Wednesday October 02nd, 2013.
The ceremony which was held at Dominica’s House of Parliament was attended by Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, members of Cabinet ,former presidents, speaker of the House of Assembly, Members of Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps, members of the Savarin family and other invited guests.
His Excellency Savarin in his inaugural speech thanked Dominicans for conferring the dignity and responsibilities of the office of the President on him.
“At the outset, I want to say to you the members of Parliament and to all citizens and residents of Dominica, that I assume the office of President without malice or ill will toward anyone, without fear of intimidation, and with respect for the traditions, laws and Constitution of Dominica which I am sworn to uphold” he said.
He said “while all of us, whether part of the political establishment or not, are concerned with matters such as reducing debt, alleviating poverty, providing access to education and health services, creating jobs, developing our physical infrastructure and providing a safety net for the less fortunate, the prosperity and happiness we seek as a nation will be more easily and successfully achieved if we pursue them collectively”.
Indeed, he said “progress in that regard will be more rapid with the restoration of civility and decency to public and private discourse, cooperation in matters of national importance and with greater respect for the institutions which are the pillars of our democratic society”.
He said that “after some fifty (50) years of public service, during which he played various roles in the social and political transformation of Dominica, it is clear to him that what should be part of the ongoing public discussion, is an honest attempt to grasp the strategic interventions necessary to build a more dynamic democracy which provides opportunity for all.”
His Excellency Savarin suggested that “It is healthy for there to be a continuous dialogue on various points of view, but in doing so, we must strive against creating the impression at home and abroad that we are a people at war with each other”.
The new head of state noted that in the Parliament we are trustees of the people and cautioned that the discharge of this entrusted responsibility is not to be taken lightly.
He said “While the majority has the responsibility to propose and to decide, the minority has the responsibility to analyze, and where they disagree with the majority to put forward alternative proposals. They must also see themselves as an alternative or replacement, in due course, to the Government and not as a second or parallel government.”
“This means that the minority must at all times be well informed on the critical issues of the day. It is only if they so inform themselves that they will be able to advance credible alternatives to the important issues and so engage and even persuade the majority to reflect upon their points of view and modify and/ or adjust their decisions where such modification can be shown to be in the interest of the people,” remarked His Excellency Savarin.
He concluded his speech by saying that “All Dominicans, at home and abroad, as well as temporary residents, are to be engaged in this endeavour to create a more prosperous society for all. We have the solemn and collective responsibility to perfect our democracy in an atmosphere of peace, respect and goodwill toward all of our citizens and residents alike”.