LALIT presented its program for the coming snap general elections to the press yesterday 10 October. As usual, LALIT is the first party – there are 42 Registered by midday today, on the last day of registration - to present its program. Just before going and registering for the purposes of the coming election, five leading members presented the 56-page program at the LALIT headquarters in Grand River North West.
The Program, entirely in Kreol except for LALIT’s international petition for reparations for slavery, which is in the original English, is in two parts.
The first part is to do with broad democratic and strategic questions, replying basically to the issue of how come participation with candidates in a General Election can help a party like LALIT that aims to bring into being a socialist society through mobilization and through the ultimate defeat and dismantling of capitalists’ control over the means of survival. Part I is thus in about 15 different articles, outlining these issues, and the importance of mobilization for change.
The second part is more like a mainstream party’s presentation, that is to say, by theme: what is our program for education, for health, on the land question, on the issue of the sea, for housing, including for urgent housing issues like asbestos houses, on Diego Garcia, on the Kreol Language, on the drugs question, and so on. But here again there is a difference: we include a report-back on what we have done as a Party on these issues over the past five years, and indeed since our inception.
The hard copy will be one of our main mobilizing tools for the electoral campaign, Alain Ah Vee explained, introducing the Program. We will distribute it via our branches and our emerging structures, and through our members’ distribution of our bimonthly REVI LALIT magazine. Rajni Lallah, presiding, said how often, but not always, elections have stakes that become central. For example, the general election of 1967 was over the issue of Independence. Another, in 1991, was over the issue of the country becoming a Republic. The 2014 elections turned out to be a vote for or against the PT-MMM “Second Republic”.
We would like this election, she said, to be over the issue of the land question. In particular, firstly, we would like the stakes to be about the importance of pivoting immediately away from cane and sugar into massive agricultural diversification into food crops, with preservation and transformation factories being built from Day One, thus creating jobs, freeing up the land from colonial monopoly production for Europe, and getting money in foreign exchange by selling the goods. Mauritius’ climate permits up to three crops per year of food products. Secondly, we would like the stakes to be putting a halt to the selling off of land to rich people from abroad, in a new wave of colonization, around villas and golf courses, linked to permanent residence and even nationality.
The Program will be uploaded into the Documents Section by 12 October, if not before.
Present at the Press Conference were Le Defi, MBC TV, Le Mauricien, Radio Plus, Zordi and ION News. Notable for their absence was the L’Express group. It is perhaps relevant that this last-mentioned press group is in the business of real estate, i.e. selling off land, so our program does, it must be admitted, directly oppose their business interests. So much for the “freedom” of the press.