Ram Seegobin, in a declaration to Top FM on Friday said that the Government’s position at the Supreme Court hearing on the new constitutional challenge on the declaration of community on Nomination Papers for general elections should not surprise anyone. It is the same position that Government took when the White Paper was made public. Acting Attorney General, Satish Faugoo, said that the Government would ensure that by the next general elections, candidates would not be obliged to declare their community on their Nomination Paper.
What is, however, absurd is that no-one is drawing attention to the fact that, in the course of just one month, Prime Minister Ramgoolam has taken 3 positions, each diametrically opposed to the previous one, on whether or not he will soon be bringing a Bill before Parliament on electoral reform.
When Navin Ramgoolam presented the White Paper, and with more precision when he met Paul Bérenger at Clarisse House on 17 April, he made it clear that there was a 5 May deadline for comments on his proposals and that Parliament was suspended until 13 May, precisely because he would present a Bill before Parliament in the briefest delay.
Then, when negotiations at Clarisse House came to an abrupt end a week later, on 24 April on the basis of one or two very weak pretexts, Navin Ramgoolam did a 180 degree turnabout and announced that he would not bring a Bill before Parliament on electoral reform before the next general elections, and that that had never been his intention. He even argued this new position, saying it would be unthinkable to bring important changes like this without a popular mandate.
Then, the Minister of Justice Faugoo just comes and announces before the Supreme Court that it will not be mandatory to declare one’s community, that there will be some reform before general elections, but he continues to bind this to the broader issue of constitutional amendments for power-sharing between President and Prime Minister and the need for a 3/4 majority.
Then Paul Bérenger informed us that negotiations between the MMM and Labour Party are continuing, though through go-betweens.
For Paul Bérenger to denounce Rezistans as “complaisant” for giving the State one month before asking for an early trial, it is clearly because this one month delay is messing up his plans for negotiations with Ramgoolam.
However, it is somewhat bizarre for Rezistans and their legal advisor to need one month to decide whether or not they want an “early trial!”. The RA case is becoming a little pawn in negotiations between Ramgoolam and Bérenger.
And these caudillos are treating the people of the country as if we were unthinking imbeciles.