The election date was to be 22 June 2014. All the work had started with the Electoral commission to finalise the electoral lists in order to meet the deadlines. The ministers started saying that they can work with Bérenger as a Prime minister and even the incomparable Pandit Baichoo, the very one who was attacked by Bérenger as being íntellectually limited, declared that he was looking forward to working under him.
The Leader of the Opposition who is paid out of public funds to do the work that the Constitution entrusts to that person was more interested in carving the Constitution to suit his own ego and ambition. So he went to Clarisse House to caress the thought that he would soon be the Prime Minister with increased powers, including that of revoking ministers. The sitting Prime Minister would become the directly elected President with power to appoint the present Leader of the Opposition as the Prime Minister. In fact this was a major constitutional arrangement being worked out behind the back of the people and those people proclaim that they are the upholders of democracy. They were lost in the mists of hallucinatory Rolls Royces and bullet-proof BMWs. Something went wrong and they were jolted back to reality. The smile of Bérenger when he walked into Clarisse house last Thursday had vanished when the door banged as he left.
It is only in this country of ours that we can take “plaisir” at amending the Constitution in such a cavalier way and with such levity. It is significant that the talks broke down not on electoral reform but on the hunger for power. It is also deplorable that the two leaders did not address the most important issue on electoral reform, i.e. the fi nancing of political parties. Unless this issue is dealt with at the same time no amount of reform in the area of elections will matter. At least Sir Anerood Jugnauth was frank enough to say that he had put in the Sun Trust part of the funds that he had received. But where are the funds of Bérenger and Ramgoolam? The law relating to fi nancing of political parties is already in draft form and we can easily borrow from the experience of countries like France to fi nalise it.
What comes out of the political events of last week is that the Leader of the Opposition has run out of steam and Yvan Collendavelloo in his interview in Weekend has hit it right. Bérenger is in a rush to become Prime Minister and he cannot wait for the 3 years which the Remake has granted him. In his rush he has fumbled – once again- and he seems not to realize the irony of his own words any more.
He claimed that Sir Anerood has his faults but he , unlike Ramgoolam, is a man of his word. Bérenger does not realize that he is condemning himself as not being a man of his word.
Bérenger now wants to remake the Remake – but on his terms. That is until the time when the Prime Minister dangles another “bonbon” in front of him. He will then be courted by the “courtiers” who simply want to protect their assets obtained from Governmental favours.
We had a narrow escape and the time has come to sweep them off.