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A threat to Democracy

During the 2014 electoral campaign, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, Leader of ‘L’alliance Lepep’, was projected as the future Prime Minister. On the other hand, his son, Pravind Jugnauth, leader of the MSM (a party within L’alliance Lepep), was expected to be assigned a ministerial portfolio. After the general elections, Sir Anerood Jugnauth obtained his mandate as head of Government, whilst his son, was appointed as the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, which post he had to vacate following his conviction by the Intermediate Court. Thereafter, following an acquittal by the Supreme Court (which is subject to an appeal), he was, subtly appointed as the Minister of Finance, despite the fact that Lutchmeenaraidoo was portrayed as the “Grand Argentier” during the electoral campaign.

The current Prime Minister recently announced that he would be stepping down to cede his place to a Cabinet Minister (his son), an unprecedented situation.  No one can deny that the ‘parachuting’ of a son to the post of Prime Minister by his father, under such circumstances, raises serious ethical and moral concerns, more particularly, in regard to the legitimate expectation of people in a democratic state. This situation is analogous to the monarchical system, whereby the monarch cedes his throne to his heir in succession.

Although some may claim that it is legal, (should Pravind Jugnauth be nominated as the next Prime Minister, without going through a free and fair election), such practice definitely, goes against moral standards acceptable in a democratic state and  indubitably confirms that the Government no longer governs by the consent of the governed.

The impending ‘promotion’ of Pravind Jugnauth by his father is subject to much criticism by the people:

  1. Did we vote for a Prime Minister who would not stay in office full term?
  2. Did we vote for Pravind Jugnauth (his son) as his legitimate successor?
  3. Is the actual Prime Minister respecting the sanctity of peoples’ votes? Is it not a betrayal of the peoples’ political verdict?
  4. Would the result of the “vox populi” be the same, had the electorate known that they were voting for Pravind Jugnauth as the Prime Minister?
  5. Would that not be tantamount to a betrayal of the people’s mandate?
  6. Is it not a form of ‘politique de dynastie’?
  7. What respect would the people, especially the youth, have for a Prime Minister that they believe to be downright morally illegitimate?

The least that can be expected from a Government worthy of its name is a little respect for the sacrosanct principle of legitimacy in politics rather than “the politics of legitimacy”. The country deserves a duly mandated Prime Minister rather than a cunningly imposed ‘fils a papa’.

R.D.

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Souvenir Advance Magazine 18 Sep 2017, launched by Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Leader of the Mauritius Labour Party.

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