With only a day left before parliament resumes, Bobby Hurreeram has been chosen to replace Maneesh Gobin as chief whip for the government. The nomination capped an eventful day for the ruling coalition – Kalyan Tarolah also stepped down as parliamentary private secretary (PPS) with Raffick Sorefan stepping in – as it sought to cut its losses after three highly controversial months away from the National Assembly.
Hurreeram, who started off as a backbencher in the Alliance Lepep government, was already promoted to PPS when Pravind Jugnauth took over as prime minister earlier this year. He officially resigned from his position as PPS before accepting his nomination as chief whip. The current deputy chief whip, who could have taken over, is Ravi Rutnah. However, the Muvman Liberater MP was most likely overlooked for the insulting speech he made against women recently.
Another person stepping down as PPS is Kalyan Tarolah, albeit for completely different reasons. Embroiled in a sexting scandal, he hogged the limelight for a few days after almost two years of anonymity in parliament. There are also suggestions that Tarolah might take an extended break from parliament following the controversy. With only two months left before our MPs go on break again, we could possibly wait until March 2018 before seeing Tarolah back in parliament again. That would be approximately nine months away from his role as member of parliament.
One man who has benefited from this whole situation is Raffick Sorefan, who is taking over as a PPS. Sorefan had been initially elected under the Mouvement Militant Mauricien (MMM) banner in the 2014 general election, before moving to the Mouvement Patriotique (MP) and eventually switching to the Mouvement Socialiste Militant (MSM). Another turncoat likely to be rewarded is Zouberr Joomaye, who could take over from Bobby Hurreeram as PPS.
MPs will be back to parliament on Tuesday 24 October after months of rest and with only a few weeks left before a crucial by-election in Belle Rose-Quatre Bornes.