Here are some of the things she said in her inaugural address:
In our political history, it is a rare opportunity to be given a second chance to lead. It is also a sobering experience. But, I have been strengthened by the experience of going through the first phase of the journey. And, I have emerged like the steel in “It Takes A Mighty Fire” which H.D. Carberry, our Jamaican poet, wrote about in his poems of discovery and self awareness. And, after being tested and tempered, I stand before you, today, a stronger and better person, who is prepared to be of service to my country and people.
A Call to Action
I know that we face an awesome task. There is greater debt, increased poverty levels, tighter fiscal space.
My administration will not engage in a blame-game. We will present the facts to the Jamaican people, based on rigorous analysis. Our approach must be to right the wrongs and insist on accountability.
The Jamaican people have sent a clear message. They want a more accountable and transparent government which consults them; and, they should expect nothing less.
On my watch, I pledge that the rule of law will be paramount; and we will serve with humility.
On my watch,I pledge that we will honour the faith and trust of the Jamaican people.
On my watch,I pledge that we will reject governmental extravagance and be vigilant in eliminating corruption.
Our policies are based on the principle that the private sector is a major participant in shaping the economy of our country. However, in a time of crisis, government must act to stimulate growth and to restore confidence in the country’s ability to pay its way. Hence, in the short and medium term, we will use state resources to stimulate employment through the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP). We will do so in a transparent and non-partisan manner, to improve critical areas, such as the infrastructure and the environment, which support economic growth.
Our Administration will be marked by greater Openness in Government and frankness in our relations with the global community. This candidness will also be seen in the meetings of Parliamentary Committees, which Members of the Opposition will continue to chair; and, to which the media and the public will have full access.
We will restore the vibrant and vigorous participation of our country. Previous PNP Administrations have given quality time and expertise to this Regional Integration Movement.
One important agenda item will be to establish the Caribbean Court of Justice in its final appellate jurisdiction; and in this way, end judicial surveillance from London. We must fully repatriate our sovereignty. And, in going forward, we invite the Opposition to follow through on the statements which it recently made that we were “not far apart” in our respective positions. Let us, together, complete this aspect of Regional Integration within the life of this Administration.
I call on all Jamaicans to take responsibility for our lives. Be the best student you can be; the best parent; the best teacher; doctor or nurse; politician, public servant or private business person; athlete or entertainer; designer, dressmaker, hairdresser or barber; and strive to improve ourselves by reinvesting in our personal development.
In the face of these dramatic winds of change, I am calling for all hands on deck. This nation requires the strength, the creativity, the innovation and the steely courage of every Jamaican man, woman, youth and child to place this vessel on a path to prosperity. Today, I invite you to hold my hands, as I hold yours. Today, I invite you to hold your neighbours’ hands. Let us form a strong bond of patriotic unity and let us move forward together on this journey into our collective future.