Mauritius – Ile Maurice or C’est un Plaisir what so ever we might call it or Paradise on Earth thing! well now that elections are over the new drama would start anywhere from today for the cabinet. Yes we are talking about the cabinet, now that the members of the L’avenir has passed the examination and we have to see who got the merit and distinction in the exams so that they would represent the respective departments in Mauritius right.
This elections we saw all the leaders of L’avenir got elected with really big margin and also everyone would show their strong hold in the politics. We are not going to discuss who spent how much to win the elections, but end of the day the leaders got through the seats they were contesting. Its surely not like MMM party where most of the main leaders who were suppose to be part of the front bench didn’t even get elected.
There would be yet another rat race by the internal alliances for whom and where and when they should drag the political members into the cabinet. There is quite a internal havoc we must say after the weekend meetings held with some of the major political leaders.
According to sources internally, Dr. Ramgoolam at the weekend met leaders of the Mouvement Socialiste Militant (MSM), Pravind Jugnauth, and of the Parti Mauricien Social Democrate (PMSD), Xavier Luc Duval. He also had a lengthy meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Rashid Beebeejaun, at the Prime Minister’s Office, Treasury Building, in Port Louis.
As well as Dr. Beebeejaun (Deputy Prime Minister) and Xavier Luc Duval (Minister of Tourism), six outgoing ministers will definitely be in the new set-up, our informed sources say. They are Arvin Boolell, Anil Bachoo, Sheila Bappoo, Satish Faugoo, Vasant Bunwaree and Rajesh Jeetah.
MSM leader Pravind Jugnauth looks certain to be Finance Minister, MSM Cabinet hopefuls include Nando Bodha, who was minister of tourism and later minister of agro industry in the 2000-2005 mandate of the MMM/MSM; Shawkatally Soodhun, who has been the minister of labour for the same period, and Mireille Martin, who came first on the list in constituency No. 4, Port Louis North/Montagne Longue, well ahead of Joe Lesjongard.
Also tipped as possibles are Ashit Gungah, who is said to be very close to Mr Jugnauth, and Maya Hanoomanjee. Mr. Gungah has been a private parliamentary secretary (PPS) in the MSM/MMM government in 2000-2005, while Mrs Hanoomanjee has been a top public officer at the ministry of agro industry before she decided to resign and stand as candidate for the 2005 election.
Also in the running, we are told, are Mookhesswur Choonee, former high commissioner of Mauritius in New Delhi and former minister of housing and lands in between 2000 and 2003; Patrick Assirvaden, former chairman of the Central Electricity Board (CEB); Stephanie Anquetil, and Michael Sik Yuen, both best losers.
Deva Virahsawmy, Secretary General of the Labour Party and Ms Nita Deerpalsing, the party’s Director of Communications, cannot be ruled out.
Outgoing ministers who may miss out this time around include Dr.Abu Kasenally (housing and lands), Lormus Bundhoo (environment), who had to give way to Ashit Gungah (MSM) in constituency No. 6, Grand Bay/Poudre d’Or; Devanand Ritoo (youth and sports); Balkissoon Hookoom (civil service and administrative reforms), and Herve Aime, who was appointed minister of Local Government after the sudden death of James Burty David.
The front bench of government is already known. The prime minister will be assisted by his deputy, Dr. Beebeejaun, while both Xavier Luc Duval and Pravind Jugnauth will be vice prime ministers.
The big question on the front bench now is whether Mr. Duval will remain at the ministry of tourism. A strong lobby, we hear, has been made in this direction.
“Navin Ramgoolam should maintain Xavier Duval there. He has done so much to put Mauritius on the international tourism map and this has paid much dividends in these dire and difficult times,” says one of the diehards of the PMSD.
Another issue that is of concern to them is the fate of Rama Valayden. The outgoing attorney general failed to be elected constituency No. 19, Stanley/ Rose Hill. “If Rama Valayden is again appointed attorney general, the PMSD will ask for no other ministry.
But it would seem that the post has already been promised to Yatin Varma, a Labourite, who accepted to forego his ticket in constituency No. 12, Mahebourg/Plaine Magnien, on that condition,” adds our source.
In which case then the PMSD might lobby for Michael Sik Yuen to be included in the Cabinet.
So there we start yet another count down and keep everything of ours crossed to see who will take over the seats in the cabinet.