A Vitiated Atmosphere


For any country, democratic or otherwise, it is better that its government be one that is there by popular mandate through a voting process. It is also preferable that it goes out too by the same route than be forced to give up power. Whether we are approaching that eventuality may perhaps be a premature speculation. Pravind Jugnauth still commands a comfortable majority in Parliament, and on that basis, he may see himself as being still in control of his government and of the political agenda in the country. But the succession of revelations as regards different affairs that have come up, one more incriminating than the other, the catalogue of scandals and cases of irregular appointments and of appointees not fit for purpose, and the worrying socio-economic situation of the country, the most recent being the IMF’s Article IV Report 2022, point in another direction: that the tide may be turning against the government. The latter perception has been reinforced by the latest controversy that has been hogging the headlines these last two weeks: the BaieJacocet survey controversy, which has been compounded by the government’s handling of this hot issue and which has vitiated the atmosphere in the country even more. Public opinion may be swaying towards perceiving a change of government as being the only viable solution in the current circumstances.

This cannot last for long. An extreme trust deficit in the government now prevails. Whether the situation can be reversed is entirely in the hands of the government and the Prime Minister. A first step has been made which has seen the former board of Mauritius Telecom replaced by a new set of directors (the Mauritian component that is), a decision which, according to the official narrative, would allow for a more transparent and objective examination of whatever is alleged to have taken place at the BaieJacocet Submarine Cable Landing Station. This comes after the one taken by Pravind Jugnauth personally to lodge a case with the police against the ex-CEO of Mauritius Telecom for, amongst others, criminal defamation and diffusing false news.

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 22 July 2022

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