Speculation is rife over the first Private Notice Question (PNQ) of Xavier-Luc Duval, leader of the opposition, when parliament resumes on Tuesday 24 October. He could go a number of ways based on the headlines over the next few days.
If the cleaners earning Rs1500 per month are still on hunger strike when MPs make their way back to parliament, it will offer the leader of the Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate (PMSD) the perfect opportunity to score some political points. However, unionist Reeaz Chuttoo, who is also on hunger strike with the cleaners, has been particularly harsh against Duval, blaming the current state of affairs on the former Labour Party-PMSD government.
Another route that Duval could take would be a focus on Showkutally Soodhun, vice prime minister and minister of housing and lands. The director of public prosecutions recommended criminal proceedings against the minister following death threats that he made against the leader of the opposition. He may also choose from a variety of scandals ranging from Kalyan Tarolah’s sexting, Ravi Rutnah’s abusive language or even the Yerrigadoogate.
The leader of the PMSD could also make use of his moment in the limelight to attack opposition parties rather than the government itself in a bid to strengthen his party’s position in the Belle Rose-Quatre Bornes election campaign. An easy target would be his former ally Roshi Bhadain, who was also a prominent member of the Alliance Lepep government before eventually creating his own party and resigning from parliament back in June.
Duval's fellow MPs will also have the opportunity to ask parliamentary questions that have piled up over the last few months while they were on holiday. Among the dozens of questions on the list, there will be queries about the Fact Finding Committee against Vijaya Sumputh, the overseas missions of ministers since December last year, the advisers attached to the office of the minister mentor and five questions pertaining to the BAI scandal.
It also remains to be seen who will take the crucial position of chief whip ahead of what promises to be an eventful return to parliament.