By Dr Samuel Nicholas Duymun
This forthcoming by-election in Constituency No 18 won’t be an election like other by- elections as we had in the past. It will be an election-referendum for a second Republic against this government and other traditional political parties. The electorate tends to get fed up with new strategies and policies implemented and adopted by all the main political traditional parties year in , year out to update their structures. Time has changed and people too have changed. People tend to be shy off with traditional political parties which are going nowhere in the political field. So they are left with a vacuum in the political field where a general reflection needs to be done in an endeavour to adopt and search for an ideal political party that is answerable to their needs. No wonder, why many of the voters have had enough of the same old wine which are put in new bottles.
According to certain political analysts, we may have many abstentions in this forthcoming by- election in Constituency No 18 as the voters have lost faith in most politicians and had enough of political alliances that do not last. And for many other voters, they will not vote for reasons best known to them. So we have today a match between ‘Modern politics in the making led by Roshi Bhadain and traditional politics led by the Jugnauths, Duval and Ramgoolam. It is difficult to even forecast which of those two types of politics will be the winner. It is high time for politics to change from traditions to transitions.
A short analysis shows that neither the MSM ,MMM, nor the PMSD are in the good book of the electorate. People have no choice but vote a political party by default just to fulfil their civic duties. Labour party under Ramgoolam too is not doing any political impact unless Ramgoolam steps down and leave his place to Dr Arvin Boolell who is a die hard labourite who commands respect. Perhaps time will change the traditional political system of our country and a new brand and genuine political party will emerge as an alternative.
On the other hand, if during the past two and a half years of this Jugnauth government and nearly ten years of the Ramgoolam’s government in power,nothing has been done to alleviate poverty, is it today that the PM is saying loud and clear on roof tops that he would combat poverty and find a solution to alleviate this poverty malaise. In the same way Navin Ramgoolam once promised in his electoral campaign 2010, that he would change poor people’s lives in 100 days. The voters are neither dumb nor deaf and let us not underestimate them! Past and present governments have never answered the basic needs of poor people. There is an urgent need for the electorate to get rid of traditional politicians and concentrate on transitional politicians if ever we are lucky to find them rather than to invent them
No government, whether the Jugnauth or the Ramgoolam ones, has brought development in certain outskirts of Mauritius. In fairness to both Ramgoolam and Jugnauth as head of their respective governments, there has been some social and physical development in urban areas across the country but such developments do not answer the needs of the poor but only of the rich. We have a system of capitalist development only for aristocracy to enjoy but not for those below the poverty line that can not even afford two meals a day.
What are the priority of voters in this forthcoming by election and the general elections 2019? Many will stay at home. Those who will go to the polling stations will have to choose between the Devil and the Deep blue sea to vote. Communalism and sectarism are still forming part of the voting game. So I fear that in this forthcoming by- election, there won’t be neither any winner nor any loser, it will be just a continuation of our lame duck system of politics. On the other hand, who knows ? It could be an election of unexpected surprise.