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MAURITIUS MEDIA at a glance: 24 March, 2008 - The "Le Defi" Agenda

24.03.2008

Subash Gobine, a very close political ex-collaborator of Aneerood Jugnauth has recently started writing "Opinion" articles in the "Le Defi" weekly paper: since then the paper has definitely started exposing a clear political agenda. Not only its main front page articles are of a purely party political nature, but they even expose a very clear and active political agenda. Three weeks running, the front page of "Le Defi" has carried large pictures involving ministers and MP's from the Social Alliance in government who are apparently hesitating on the diving board. The pictures also have Berenger very much in evidence.

"Le Defi" 8 to 14 March: Face to face montage of Berenger and Reza Issack, with as title: In the night of 23 February, Secret Meeting between Berenger and Issack. Shortly afterwards there are major upheavals in the Labour Party, but Reza Issack decides to stay. A sort of "lev pake, reste". "Le Defi" 15 to 21 March: Front page picture of Reza Issack and Madan Dulloo, with as title: A Berenger emissary visits Dulloo. Monday 17 March: Minister Dulloo is revoked by PM Ramgoolam.

"Le Defi" 22 to 28 March: Face to face montage of Berenger and Anil Bachoo, with Dinesh Ramjuttun as an inset. The title is this time: Six meetings between Berenger and Bachoo, according to Ramjuttun.

The latest "Le Defi" describes in great detail the role of the mysterious emissary Shyam Oodith, who seem to be responsible for single-handedly exploding the Social Alliance government. But in that particular edition, there is an unsigned article on page 8 which actually credits the newspaper with bringing about the political upheavals: "Les revelations du Defi-Plus precipitent les evenements" . In the same edition Subash Gobine starts exposing the political agenda behind all those "Le Defi" revelations: he sees the MMM strategy to precipitate and welcome all the government defections as a strategy to isolate the MSM of Pravin Jugnauth. He even suggests that the response to that strategy will be the reconstitution of the old Blue-White-Red Alliance as in the early eighties, with the Labour, MSM, and PMXD getting together to resist a Berenger "All on Board" alliance.

The recent more-than-thaw between Navin Ramgoolam and Aneerood Jugnauth seems to be pointing in the same direction: the President of the Republic seems to have had no difficulty forgetting the humiliation on the swearing-in ceremony of 2005: he is even prepared to congratulate Ramgoolam and Gokhool for their demolition job on the education reform that was one of the few achievements of his previous government.

But most plans and strategies also carry in their womb the exact opposite: if the hemorrhage continues in the Labour controlled government, Navin Ramgoolam might easily decide that the only way to save himself is to offer the MMM a coalition, an outcome which is definitely favoured by the bourgeoisie. Pretexts for such a coalition are plentiful: Chagos, electoral reforms, new labour legislation, and the systemic crisis which will deepen as world recession gets nearer.

RS