It must be recalled that the BLS was included in the Constitution in the wake of the discussions on the independence of Mauritius in 1965 to protect the right of the minorities which was considered vital to ensure stability and a harmonious coexistence of the different segments of the population.
Following the pronouncement made by the UNHRC, the government has now no other option than to amend the Constitution to come up with a political reform acceptable by at least three quarters of the National assembly. And this can only be attained if the rights of the minority as stressed by the Human Right Council of the United Nations and the European Courts are ensured by the amendments.
We have to understand that the UNHRC did not condemn the BLS, but has only given a verdict that the BLS cannot be based on the 1972 census and consequently a fresh exercise will have to be conducted if ever the BLS is to be maintained.
It seems that the bone of contention in the present proposal for electoral reform is mainly the BLS. It must be noted that the issue of the BLS was raised by SHARM who was the leader of CAM, a communal party, to ensure the protection of the rights of the minorities. Are the present MLAs sitting in the general assembly that are supposed to defend the rights of the minorities really in a position to do so or are they bound to follow the party lines? For example, the pertinent issue of religious marriage allowed in the Civil Status Act 1981 and re-amended in 1990 is still pending penalizing innocent widows and orphans from their rights of receiving their long overdue pension and lump sum with no one daring to raise a small finger, apart from a frail lip service. BLS is then for what?
Mauritius, after 50 years of independence, nevertheless, is now ripe enough to come up with a political system which is not based on ethnicity, but which will at the same time ensure that the rights of the rainbow nation are safeguarded so as to allow everyone to live in peace, justice and liberty.
Find hereunder a few proposals to ensure the above:
- All official institutions be run by a Board of competent persons recruited after an open selection.
- The judiciary, the EOC and ICAC be given full authority to work in all independence and these institutions should ensure that justice is seen to be done within a reasonable delay.
- Nominations and promotions at all levels be done in a transparent way by revealing the particulars of all concerned on line and aggrieved parties be given all assistance to contest doubtful cases in an appeal court.
- The various cultural centers and the language unions to create a forum to work together and come up with programs for a better understanding of different cultures and traditions of our beloved motherland.
- The political parties to abstain from giving any support to the various “voices” so as to eliminate their influence in propagating hatred and violence.
- The Electoral Boundary Commission to take into consideration the sensibility of the minorities in redefining the electoral boundaries.
- Create a senate consisting of apolitical personalities for ratifying the laws passed by the National assembly before their promulgation.
Post 1983 events have shown that divine justice always prevails for the oppressed.
Long live Mauritius.