Xavier-Luc Duval, leader of the opposition and of the Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate (PMSD), is facing an uphill battle to get his party’s by-election campaign back on track after the incident involving Mahmad Khodabaccus. As a matter of fact, the latter has been asked to step back from his role as general secretary of the party.
Earlier this week, Khodabaccus made aggressive and insulting comments against Speaker Maya Hanoomanjee because she had suspended the party’s leader from parliament. The likes of Koomaren Chetty and Salim Abbas Mamode, who were on stage during the speech, were even seen laughing at the comments made against Hanoomanjee.
In a press conference today, Friday 3 November, Duval noted that his former right-hand man used an unfortunate language but apologised almost immediately – after a few media outlets called out Khodabaccus for his language the next day. According to Duval, the PMSD’s reaction to the incident, which was to ask Kodabaccus to take an indefinite political holiday, made the party stand out.
To justify this argument, he pointed out to other similar incidents involving his political adversaries, ranging from Minister Showkutally Soodhun to leader of the Mouvement Militant Mauricien (MMM) Paul Bérenger and leader of the Labour Party, Navin Ramgoolam. He also mentioned the most recent examples of Kalyan Tarolah and Ravi Rutnah, who were involved in scandals of their own. According to him, there were no sanctions for any of the other incidents.
Kodabaccus, who was one of the major PMSD campaigners for the Belle Rose-Quatre Bornes by-election, is expected to be replaced as general secretary of the party by next week.