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How Little Democracy in Mauritian State: Power of the executive Accidentally Exposed


If you visit the Mauritian Government’s official web site, you will find that it is quite difficult to locate the elected National Assembly. So, while propaganda has it that you elect your representative who only then gets to rule over you, the web site proves otherwise. What you elect has little power. The Government’s own web-site proves what is generally known, and it is generally known because it is true: Those you elect have infinitely little power. The reign left by colonialism, slavery and indenture is still in place. With a democratic pressure valve: the National Assembly. It is vital. But however vital as the distinction between “dictatorship” and “democracy”, it is a very weak institution.

 On the Mauritian Government Home Page, there are 7 “headings” and 21 “quick links” to various parts of Government. The National Assembly is not amongst these 28 possibilities offered on the Home Page. But, it must be somewhere. Maybe it comes under “Government Directory”? This would be strange because often the Opposition is almost as big in the National Assembly, as the Government. Anyway, you might as well try it. So, you go to “Government Directory”. No, the National Assembly is not there. There are only four headings:

- Ministries

- Departments

- Parastatal Organizations

- Other Bodies

 It can’t be a Ministry or a Department. It can’t be a parastatal body. So,  maybe it has been relegated to Other Bodies. So, you go to “Other Bodies”. In other bodies, you go through the list in disbelief:

Electoral Commission.

Equal Opportunity Commission

Local Government Commission

Officer of the Director of Public Prosecutions

President of the Republic [The head of State sits a bit oddly under “other bodies”]

Ombudsman’s Office

Rodrigues Regional Assembly [An elected body]


Employment Relations Tribunal

Independent Commission Against Corruption

That is already 10 “Other Bodies” still no National Assembly.

Then, there it is: Number ELEVEN in a list of Other Bodies of the Government!

And then we have to believe we live in a democratic country? Well, compared with no National Assembly at all, it is democratic to have one that is relegated to number eleven in "Other Bodies" on a subsidiary page of the Government web-site. But clearly the unelected bodies, full of nominees, most of them in the Permanent State apparatus, are considered by the Powers-that-Be to be more important. In fact, it is them that are the Powers-that-Be.

This means that it is no wonder that all the good arable land and all the capital produced by generations of workers remains in the hands of a tiny group of rich people. It's simply because there is so little democracy. What you elect is so puny.

So, it is difficult to challenge any injustice or inequality in society. Unless, of course, you organize and built up a proper program for revolutionary change of the whole system.