The Aneerood Jugnauth Government, swept into power two years ago by a landslide when electors rightly rejected the Labour-MMM alliance’s project for Constitutional change giving even more power to the executive Branch of government, has, in turn very quickly come up against difficulties. On 15 November, Parliament came back after its holidays only to go back on holiday 5 weeks later. And on the first day, the Prime Minister chose to absent himself; he was in India on a visit that was neither clearly official or private. Nobody knows why he had to be in India on the first day of a very short Parliamentary season.
Many Ministers Away
Just before Parliament was back at work, there were at least six MSM Ministers and MPs away, attending the Chinese Communist Party Congress. (The MSM’s socialism is about as socialist as the Chinese CP’s communism is communism!)And just after Parliament was back, another big delegation (3 Ministers who are leaders of the three parties in the Government alliance, plus three other Ministers) set off to the Vatican where Bishop Piat was being made Cardinal.
And as Parliament starts its work, including new draconian amendments to the already draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act), we do not really know for sure whether Aneerood Jugnauth will still be Prime Minister when the session ends on 21 December. Nobody knows – except perhaps Aneerood Jugnauth and his son, also Minister, Pravind – who will read the end of the year message. It is already clear that Aneerood Jugnauth is on a kind of pre-retirement light job, while the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation gives Pravind Jugnauth more coverage then an ordinary Minister could expect.
Meanwhile, all the in-fights in Government remain intact. There has recently been a campaign against the President of the Republic by some in the Lalyans Lepep, including by Minister Gayan who is an ML member, and it was the ML who proposed her. In fact, she has been abroad at the expense of hosts, which in LALIT we agree is not normally ethical for a Head of State. Now she is closely associated with the Bill Gates Foundation, which risks putting more commercial pressure on public bodies to use the privately owned systems that Bill Gates made his fortune from.
The conflict between Ministers Lutchmeenaraidoo and Bhadain is also still there. In fact, when as Finance Minister, Lutchmeenaraidoo was borrowing money so as to speculate on the value of gold, his exposure was widely attributed to Minister Bhadain. In any event, there was a very public conflict between the two, with Lutchmeenaraidoo calling Bhadain the “KGB Minister”!
Minister Ivan Collendavelloo calls Bhadain a “Rottweiler”, and Bhadain retaliates, calling Collendavelloo a “sleeping Chiwawa”. All this abuse in public!
Ministers Soodhun and Duval fight so much, they even manage to fight over a banner. But, at the basis of their conflicts lies the harmful clientelist politics of the Alliance.
On the issue of Heritage Smart City, there was a huge confrontation between Ministers Pravind Jugnauth and Bhadain, through Advisor Sanspeur. This battle Pravind Jugnauth won.
When drug traffickers get exposed, the first thing some Ministers, like Aneerood Jugnauth and Soodhun come up with is the death penalty. Xavier Duval is, rightly, totally opposed to the death penalty.
The electoral reform for Rodrigues Island Council that Duval and the Lepep Government are proposing has produced a great deal of opposition from Rodrigues. On electoral reform for the general elections, too, there are divergent views: Duval and the PMSD are in favour of keeping the Best Loser System, even if it means a new communal census; the MSM and ML are against the Best Loser in its present form. And it is Duval, from the PMSD, who is presiding the Ministerial Committee that is supposed to come up with the reform.
In general, Minister Anil Gayan seems to annoy Government whenever he speaks or acts on anything. He is the proverbial mixed metaphor, the one who only opens his mouth to put his foot in it.
Former Minister Raj Dayal has been rather quiet since the episode of the “bal kuler”, but from time to time he appears to say how much better he would have resolved a problem had he still been Minister.
Meanwhile, selling off the land of the country
Such an array of conflict would make a field day for caricaturists and that would be that, but we are in times when there are all sorts of very serious problems in the country: there is a total halt in investment in production; there is nothing but land speculation and real estate business taking place, around IRS villas and supposedly Smart Cities; there is no political will to develop a diversified agriculture nor for the kind of industrial sector to preserve and transform the food products from the land and from the sea; there is no proper fishing industry even, and no plan to address the serious, and worsening, housing crisis. In general, the Government has no plan at all for the economy to be organized around large scale job creation, jobs that are stable over time and reasonably paid.
So, it is in the context of the gravity of the economic and social crisis that all these personal conflicts turn out to, in fact, be a real menace for employment creation, housing and food security.
It is for this reason that it is more important than ever to denounce the bankruptcy of the Lepep Government and to build a movement to propose a proper socialist alternative.
4 Dec 2016