Friday 30 March the Full Bench of the Supreme Court annulled the election to the National Assembly of ex-Minister of Health, Ashock Jugnauth, for "bribery". His campaign was marked by offers of jobs on condition of "showing your face" at his pre-election meetings in his Constituency, and he accelerated the buying of land for a religious association in order to get votes.
He has announced he will appeal to the Privy Council.
In a shock move that has flawed political commentators, Paul Berenger, ex-Prime Minister has announced that he and his MMM party will support the disgraced ex-Minister. They will campaign for him if he stands for re-election. However, in the meantime, the MMM has made no reference to possible criminal charges against "their" candidate. If found guilty in a criminal case, where there is a higher burden of proof, then Mr. Jugnauth will not only be liable to a fine and imprisonment, but will be struck off the Electoral Register for 7 years, and be barred from standing as candidate. Both Paul Berenger and Ashock Jugnauth recently attempted to mend their damaged political reputations during their recdnt anti-worker term in Government, by getting public support from some union federations and even left parties on issues over which their reputations were particularly disgraced. The MMM has two members of the National Assembly, one an ex-Minister, and the MSM one, who have petitions against them for electoral bribery.
The day after the Supreme Court Judgement, Ram Seegobin, Lalit member, was on a Radio Plus program, with Ashock Jugnauth's lawyer and party colleague, who conceded that criminal charges were "theoretically possible". Nad Seewaramen, Editor of Express, was also on the program. Ram Seegobin also referred to the points about the role of a "care-taker Government". Once the National Assembly is dissolved, there are no longer elected deputies, or "onorab" (honourables) as people call them. And yet the Ministers, who come from the elected deputies, remain as Ministers. As Ram Seegobin said in a Lalit meeting held on Saturday 7 April, while referring to the widespread corruption by Ministers once out of any democratic control, it's not surprising they become "dezonorab" (dishonourable).