Another U turn from Paul Berenger and another setback

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Paul Bérenger has once again made a spectacular U turn. After a few hesitations of whether it was on or off, we settle with the fact that it is now ‘off’. If you think you are confused then this is only the beginning. In normal circumstances at this rate even a light bulb would give up. By uttering these words Paul Berenger has unavoidably caused another setback to his credibility and his seriousness in the political scene. However, this is not the first time that he has sent mixed messages. Sadly a politician of such calibre and experience has demonstrated, in the eyes of the public, he cannot be taken seriously anymore. He is not on his own in this series of uncertainty.

Rajesh Bhagwan famously reiterated his appreciation for the Prime Minister suggesting that his intention to ‘boire poison’ was a circumstantial statement which is no more valid and he has henceforth full faith in Navin Ramgoolam. It took only a couple of hours for the MMM leader to dismiss Mr Bhagwan. Although the subversive Rajesh Bhagwan will not have to consider that poisoned chalice he has, nevertheless, in many ways discredited himself and in this circumstance he would have been better off keeping his mouth shut. Please note the euphemism. Perhaps a valuable lesson to learn from Abraham Lincoln who once said ‘better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt’. Too quick to judge Mr Bhagwan one would argue because his leader had re-vowed his intention to further compromise towards an alliance and then finally called it off. Very tricky to keep pace these days.

The current reigning bewilderment in our political arena is of bad taste and ‘du mauvais cinema’. We have on one side the dishonesty of many politicians. There is also the hypocrisy of others. It is in contempt that some politicians think that the public is a piece of dead meat.  Besides the confusion people are understandably angry that the government is not rendered accountable and the seemingly lack of a sense of priority and judgement from our leader of the opposition is legendary. A lot more is expected from someone who holds such a constitutional role in our sovereignty.

Rather an unfazed and Paul Bérenger supports the closure of the Parliament and unethically engaging in discussion around securing an alliance with the government. Undemocratic we may shout but the leader of opposition knows too well he had a lifetime opportunity to have his hands on the premiership. He was prepared to grab the bull by its horn even if it entailed losing a few teeth in the process. This is the kind of attitude that contributes to the violation of our democracy both at a national and party level.

Now that there is another change of heart, can we expect to be put out of our misery so that we can all move on? Or do we see another failed last ditch attempt to re-negotiate for an alliance and this to make Mauritius a country ‘phare’? If all of the above seems implausible do we then wish for a few ‘militants’ to manoeuver their way towards a leadership contest within the MMM as Paul Berenger arguably has outlived his political usefulness?

On the flip side we find the Ptr in a tricky and unfavourable situation with the PMSD out and while holding a weak government a jittery Navin Ramgoolam seems to be walking on eggshells. Our strategist Prime Minister will have to act fast to avoid any ‘motion of no confidence’. More so because on the horizon we see a closeness being encouraged between MSM, PMSD and relevant others offering an opportunity to build on the mass with a penultimate chance to give the electorate a feel of the impetus for change. The real opposition has to co-ordinate their actions. It is unfortunate though that the MSM has sided with the view that making personal attack towards its opponent will charm the public but this is too shabby. We have noted a hint of acerbity in the speeches of both Jugnauth father and son, which is not very gentlemanly.

Change that we are all in favour of is not possible unless we shift our mind-set as voters. Electorates must realise that casting a vote should not be about being loyal to a political party but it must be about choosing policies and having faith in the people who will be able to deliver these policies and who can genuinely bring ‘change’. An election is not about changing our lives in 100 days or for 100 days but changing our lives for the best and for as long as possible. This is about turning our society into one that embeds a culture of tolerance and respect for each other. It is about rendering politicians responsible and open to scrutiny and constructive criticisms. It is refreshing to know that there are indeed honest and competent politicians in our country, although a handful we need to acknowledge them irrespective of their party, religion, race or gender. We need to vote for people we can connect with, those who understand our day to day issues not the one who will happily desert us all the way.

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