The repeated denials of the PMSD of the persistent rumour that some – if not all – its members are trying to negotiate their way back into government sounds more and more like Richard Nixon’s now infamous statement, "I am not a crook", denying any involvement in the Watergate scandal. So on the defensive. So hard to believe.
Admittedly, the government is on the back foot, the proof being that they did not dare field a candidate at the last by-election – who would blame them for refusing to face the electorate? – and every step is taken to avoid the whiff of a by-election. But the cockerels have their reasons that reason cannot understand.
The PMSD left the government just over a year ago and Xavier-Luc Duval, as leader of the opposition, has been doing an excellent job discrediting the government’s performance and digging up scandals week in and week out. They have also managed to wriggle their way out of trouble by wiping out the memories we had of all the devastating decisions taken by a government they were part of. “Yes, I was a member of cabinet,” Duval told us, “but I was not a member of the Kitchen cabinet!” and the ‘kitchen cabinet’ became responsible for all the wrong decisions, bad management, opacity and nepotism. By exactly what form of voodoo will members of the PMSD now make all this look fine, thank you? What has changed in just over one year?
Besides, the PMSD members are not thinking of waiting for the next general election to go back to what has suddenly become Lakaz Mama – after 15 years in the Labour Party Lakaz! What they have in mind is just walking across, as if nothing had happened. ‘Guys, now that we know how little we mean to the country, we are coming back. At least we can enjoy the spoils of power for a couple of years!’
The MSM, of course, is in no rush to strike an alliance with anyone right now. Though the government’s unpopularity is undeniable, they have nothing to worry about until the next general election. Numerically, they are still very strong and even have a couple more ministries to dish out in the unlikely event of dissention. Unlikely because the ministers and MPs in government today are still dumbstruck from the shock of sitting in the National Assembly. They have quickly learnt how to work – some might say bleed – the system to help themselves and their dear ones. They will do absolutely nothing to jeopardise that. If they ever did, the threat of the queue trying to join Pravind Jugnauth’s government is enough to send every potential dissenting member back to his place with his tail between his legs. So, what does Jugnauth have to worry about in the short term?
If he does accept to take back some PMSD members into his government, Jugnauth can have only one of two motivations – sweet revenge through humiliation, or annihilating the PMSD from the political map of Mauritius. Or both.
I can visualise him beaming as some opportunistic twerps walk straight towards the honey trap. To his credit, a trap he did not set for them. Their greed and shamelessness did!
For more views and in-depth analysis of current issues, Weekly magazine (Price: Rs 25) or subscribe to Weekly for Rs110 a month. (Free delivery to your doorstep). Email us on: [email protected]