Search

 

Cablegate: Corruption Case Opens Up Parliament Seat and by-Elections

VZCZCXRO8818
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHPL #0391 3171221
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121221Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4277
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0344

UNCLAS PORT LOUIS 000391

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

AF/E FOR MARIA BEYZEROV

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR MP
SUBJECT: CORRUPTION CASE OPENS UP PARLIAMENT SEAT AND BY-ELECTIONS

1. (U) On November 5, the UK Privy Council, which constitutionally
is the highest appellate court with authority in Mauritius,
unanimously upheld a Mauritius Supreme Court judgment, whereby
Member of Parliament (MP) and former Minister of Health, Ashok Kumar
Jugnauth, was found guilty of electoral bribery.

2. (U) In July 2005, opposing candidate Raj Ringadoo entered an
action in court, accusing Jugnauth of facilitating the acquisition
of land to develop a Muslim cemetery and giving jobs to 101 health
care assistants from his constituency in order to influence their
votes in the July 2005 general elections. As a result of being
found guilty, Jugnauth will lose his seat in parliament, and a
by-election could be held within the next 240 days; however, some
political figures and community leaders, like Jean Claude de
L'Estrac observed that Prime Minister Ramgoolam could also opt to
dissolve the National Assembly on nomination day of the by-election
and call for general elections instead, effectively moving up the
general elections to 2009 from 2010.

3. (U) In his November 10 meeting with Parliament, however, Prime
Minister Ramgoolam said that no general elections will be held next
year and that by-elections to fill Jugnauth's seat will not be held
until "organizational issues" are addressed. Ramgoolam also took
this opportunity to mention resuming discussions on electoral reform
in Mauritius in light of the Privy Council recommendations for a
Code of Conduct for Cabinet Ministers, civil servants and others in
pre-election season.

4. (U) On a private radio program aired on November 6, the President
of Transparency International (Mauritius), Jacques de Navacelle,
welcomed the Privy Council judgment and added that the Code of
Ethics will help rid the political system of "clientelism" and
corruption. In a political move during a press conference held on
November 5, Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam said that both the local
Supreme Court and the Privy Council's judgments prove him right in
denouncing the abuse of power of the previous government.

5. (U) According to local press, Ashock Jugnauth has announced that
despite losing his case he will still run in a newly organized
by-election. Given this, the three main parties are planning their
next move. The Mouvement Socialist Mauricien (MSM) party is rumored
to want to run their leader, Pravind Jugnauth, as a candidate, while
the Mouvement Militant Mauricien (MMM) must decide on whether to
back a traditional ally, Ashock Jugnauth, or look to solidify the
MSM-MMM alliance by brokering a deal with Pravind Jugnauth. It is
believed that the Prime Minister's ruling Labor Party will keep its
options open to keep the other parties guessing its next move.


6. (SBU) COMMENT. Past by-elections have been used as a venue to
punish the ruling government for unpopular measures, Post believes
that Ramgoolam could hold the by-elections as early as December,
i.e. shortly after the release of December's mini-budget. This
judgment will also force candidates to be more careful regarding
political bribery, so the typical political campaign culture may
look different. Post believes that these by-elections will send a
strong signal about the alliances for the subsequent 2010 general
elections. END COMMENT.

CABRERA

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>