Galleries more

Videos more

Dictionary more

Analysis of Municipal Election results: Ram Seegobin on Radio-Plus today


In "Les actualites commentes", where Kadress Pilay and Ram Seegobin were invited by Jimmy Jean-Louis to analyse the political situation, Ram Seegobin said that there is a totally new political situation. He said that the general election and municipal election results show that MMM is in decline, but had managed to disguise its decline by its various alliances, its so-called "winning formula". Its real decline has been exposed in the two elections: its non-renewal of political ideas, non-renewal of its programme and even the non-renewal of its "staff". It is at the same time, a party that no longer has any real historical significance.

Jimmy Jean-Louis asked why the MSM-MMM-PMSD had broken up. Ram Seegobin explained how a winning formula is an electoral formula. If the alliance wins, then the formula works. If the alliance doesn't win, then the formula by itself, cannot hold the parties together. These parties did not hold together between 1996 and 2000. The "winning formula" is only of relevance for "winning" elections. "Apart from 'winning' the elections, what else could keep the MMM, MSM and PMSD together?", he said. Now that these parties have been defeated in the elections, they are stating that they need to reorganise their respective parties separately. Ram Seegobin said that re-organisation cannot occur within the framework of an alliance. He said one has only to look at what happens when the PMSD starts recruiting members. It recruits, Eric Guimbeau, an MMM member. Where else would the MMM recruit, if not in the MSM or PMSD ranks? The break-up is not really surprising. It follows an inexorable logic.

In response to Jimmy Jean-Louis' question as to whether the MMM is still viable, Ram Seegobin said that MMM does not understand what people understand by "progress" (the MMM-MSM-PMSD slogan in the last general election). People view price control, job security, universal pension rights as being progress. These measures are the very measures that got eroded by the MMM-MSM-PMSD government. It is tragic mistake to separate what some people call the "economy" from what they call "social". Berenger is really cut off from reality. His comment some time ago about how the supermarkets being full of people is proof of everyone is really well off shows just to what extent he does not understand reality.

Ram Seegobin says that it is true that the MMM now has only 10 Members of Parliament and only one municipal councillor, but he said that he didn't think the MMM would just disappear. He said that the MMM will be tempted to make a populist right wing opposition. For instance, recently, a few youth smoke ganja in the Pierpolzak concert, and Berenger was prepared to make this become a State issue.

Ram Seegobin said that we, in Lalit, do not trust Ramgoolam - we know what the Labour Party is. There have been "100 day measures". However these are only measures - the Labour party and social alliance has not exposed their economic strategy yet faced with the sugar and textile crisis and the rising price of petrol. "What is necessary today", said Ram Seegobin, is a opposition of the Left. The kind of opposition the MMM-MSM-PMSD represents is very different. The PMSD, for instance, has already declared that it will represent what the PMSD, itself, calls the "traditional" bourgeoisie.

In response to questions about whether the Ramgoolam regime might be tempted to become "totalitarian", he said that what is perhaps more precise to say, is that in Navin Ramgoolam's declarations, he shows indications of a style of government that is aiming for "hegemony", for "hegemonic power".

Jimmy Jean-Louis asked the question whether there is any space for a political alternative to the government and opposition, for a third force? Ram Seegobin said "I don't think that these existing parties can "recycle" themselves. If they do, then they lose even more credibility". "What is needed", he said, "is a movement with Left parties that are not in Parliament, grounded in the trade union movement, youth, and women's movements". He also said that the social alliance won the elections on the basis of its "ideological platform". So it is not true to say that ideology has died and buried. "Ideology is still very much alive". Ram Seegobin also said that "globlisation" is also an ideological construct and it is being challenged everywhere in the world.

Jimmy Jean-Louis asked a question about Jack Bizlall's concern about the future of the MMM. Ram Seegobin said that he did not think that the MMM has the capacity to oppose the Labour Party on the same basis as it challenged the Labour Party in the 70's. "It is certainly not a question of five or six leaders sitting around a table and agreeing to "turn around to the Left" ("amors enn viraz agos"). He explained that there was already a working together of Lalit, Nuvo Lizur and PMT (in which Jack Bizlall was a member). This platform organised a series of "indaba" sessions on what MMM had become. Jack Bizlall was present, participated and formed part of this process. Now Jack Bizlall is proposing the same exercise while expressing concern that MMM will disappear. What our real priority should be is to build a movement based on existing organisations. The real qurstion is how do we go about forming a real opposition, not a "symbolic" one.