In 2005, after the Balancy Judgement which allowed the 11 candidates of Rezistans ek Alternativ to stand in the General Elections without inscribing their so-called “community” on their Nomination Papers, both Paul Bérenger, the then Prime Minister, and Yousouf Mohamed expressed their approval of the Judgement. But it was already widely known that both of them were in favour of retaining the Best Loser System. Indeed, in spite of the Balancy Judgement, the abhorrent exercise of allotting all elected candidates their “portion of electors” on a communal basis and then proceeding with nominating 8 communal Best Losers, went ahead after the 2005 General Elections, after Balancy.
Bérenger and Y.Mohamed could see that the elimination of the constitutional obligation to state a candidate’s community on the Nomination Paper could actually stabilize the Best Loser System, by allowing “conscientious objectors” to participate by opting out of the system, as long as they represented a marginal electoral force.
So, it came as no surprise when Bérenger and Y.Mohamed, last week, expressed their disapproval of that part of the Carcassonne Report which advocated the elimination of the Best Loser System, while at the same time, this week, Bérenger declares that he is in favour of removing the obligation for candidates to state their so-called “community” on the Nomination Paper (www.lexpress.mu 29 Dec 2011). The MMM Government decision to exclude the “community” question from the Population Census of 1982 while, at the same time, retaining the Best Loser System in the face of massive mobilisation, reflected perfectly Bérenger’s past and present position on the subject of “communal nominees”.
Bérenger is certainly not saying that at the next General Election, MMM candidates will refrain from going ahead with the distasteful exercise of classifying themselves in order to benefit from Best Loser seats, if the obligation is removed from the Constitution and the Electoral Regulations.