The by-election victory of the Labour party is full of significance and meanings. This 17th December 2017 by-election is different from all other by-elections we had in this country.
If one has to analyse this by-election in Constituency No 18 (Belle-Rose-Quatre Bornes) and does a real post mortem on the result of such an election, one will definitely come to the conclusion that the electorate has no option than to choose between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Only 3 years ago the same electorate rejected the Labour-MMM alliance in favour of an MSM-PMSD-ML Alliance and really hailed the latter as the heroes of the day. Today, 3 yrs, later there is a triumphant return of the Labour party candidate who won a good score of votes in this by-election thus, making Arvin Boolell an MP .
The questions one needs to ask: why did Ramgoolam choose Boolell for this Constituency No 18 in the first place? Was there a hidden agenda on the part of Ramgoolam for this choice ? Why did he not have the guts to be a candidate himself and send Boolell as a scapegoat with the hope that Bollell would lose? Let us not forget that there has been a sort of cold war between Boolell and Ramgoolam over the leadership of the Labour party for quite some time now.
Today such dissidence over the leadership is still an ongoing affair. Does Boolell, now as a winning candidate, pose as a threat to Ramgoolam’s leadership? If Boolell would have lost this by-election, won’t this be a great relief for Ramgoolam! It is clear and obvious that the electorate in Constituency No 18 has voted to make Boolell a legitimate candidate for the leadership of Labour party? There is no doubt about that! We all know that Ramgoolam wants to stay as leader of the Labour party by hook or by crook ! What sort of future Labour party has today now that Boolell is back in Parliament? WHAT NEXT !
In this by-election,45% people did not vote. The number of voters that have done their civic duties amount to 23,112. So it is obvious that Labour party is not that strong enough to shout victory over the government of the day. When one does a bit of mathematical exercise by adding all the votes of the MMM, PMSD, Reform Party, Mouvement Patriotique,and Rezistance&Alternative their total of votes exceed or surpass the figure of 10,000 votes. Therefore, it is clear that the Labour party has got only its traditional electorate which has been loyal. So Labour party is not in a position to claim that they are that strong with only 7,990 people who have voted their candidate over 42,500
What has gone wrong with our electoral system? For years now, we have been saying that it is high time that we get rid of the ‘caste’ system. Elections should never be based on Caste and yet certain people still believe in this discriminatory system which is quite unfair on the meritocracy of others. Let us hope fixed deposit is thing of the past, the caste system also to be likewise one day. Traditional political parties are gradually disappearing in time to come making way for a new generation of political parties where there won’t be caste, discrimination, nepotism and communalism.
The victory of the Labour party in this by-election in Constituency No 18 will not make any difference over the future of this government. The labour party won that election over the other opposition parties and not over the team of the actual government which did not take part? One can’t compare a mere by-election with a general election! Ramgoolam is a non event in this by-election as the electorate is less enthusiastic to support and give him the importance of a leader.
Still there is room for improvement within the government over different national issues. Pravind Jugnauth is the only PM in history who has visited victims of cyclone refugees in various parts of the country. This exercise is very much appreciated by majority of the population.
Both the MMM and the PMSD have completely lost their credibility and find themselves with no political bargaining power to form an alliance with the MSM. In time to come, there is no doubt that the MMM will disappear on the political scene because its leader does no longer have the confidence of his members and activists. As for the PMSD it will always be regarded as the “5 sous noir” on the political scene as Xavier Duval feet is getting bigger than his boots and this reminds us of the French fable of “ la grenouille et le boeuf”
I think, the next general elections will be between the MSM of Pravind Jugnauth or who knows, a Labour party with Arvin Boolell as leader if ever Ramgoolam steps down which I hardly believe he would do so. This will be an aggressive political tug of war !
By Ahmad Macky