Electoral reform: The Need for Fixed-term Parliaments in Mauritius

The power to dissolve parliament, to hold snap elections or to postpone the holding of general elections can no longer be left at the sole discretion and prerogative of the Prime Minister

By Pradeep Jeeha

As matters stand today, the National assembly is dissolved by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister who has a strong de facto control over the timing of general elections. The holding of general elections every five years has become the norm since the constitutional amendments of 1982. But the timing of local elections has been overlooked, and the Prime Minister’s prerogative to call for snap elections has not been touched. It is therefore urgent that the holding of local elections after a fixed term be also entrenched in our Constitution.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. In the U.K. this is a reality since 2011. Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, the UK parliament, which is considered as the mother of all parliaments, is subject to a fixed-term tenure (FTP) whereby general elections are now held on a fixed date every five years…

 

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* Published in print edition on 7 December 2018

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