ENDY JAY

For the common man, especially those lucky to have, by now, already cashed their increased Basic Retirement Pension and with the possibility, for many, to celebrate end-of-year festivities as never before, the din of the last general elections has completely subsided and well relegated to history.

Yet, the concerted actions by Opposition parties show it is not really so, they having decided in a common action to contest some elections before the Supreme Court. Contesting an election is not something that inevitably grabs headlines, but it appears ‘this time’, given the scope of the petitions involving no less than 10 of the 20 constituencies, things that raise the most serious interrogations have possibly occurred and which have to be determined by no less than the Supreme Court.

One thing, however, that does not require any ruling of the Supreme Court to raise eyebrows is these ‘travelling ballot papers’ – which most likely will be the object of comments when the Judges render their verdict –, which, unsurprisingly so, for those involved in the initial enquiries, constitute a ‘complot’. ‘Complot’ by whom and to benefit whom? Another of those rash conclusions that lead nowhere. Many people cannot understand the seriousness of these ‘travelling ballot papers’. Why so much fuss about ‘only four ballot papers’?, some may argue. But there is no point to dwell on that issue, and others for that matter, now that the objections are in the capable hands of Judges of the Supreme Court.

In a preceding paragraph, I deliberately mentioned ‘this time’ inasmuch as a simple comparison of like with like often helps to shed light on an otherwise obscure matter. In 2014, ‘Lepep’, a group of mostly nondescript individuals, many of whom dumped on the sidelines for the last elections, against all odds and logic scored a resounding and unexpected victory, defeating an alliance of then the two greatest political parties. One of the two leaders of that alliance was defeated in a Labour stronghold, while the other only managed to save his skin. Not a single allusion then to wrongdoings, manipulation, anomalies and what have we. People readily realized the reasons for such a crushing defeat. With some infightings, bickerings and blame games, the issue ended there and ‘Lepep’ reigned hassle-free for five long years, notwithstanding numerous scandals, cover-ups and countless ‘zwe boure’, and to be remembered for the infamous ‘deal papa-piti’ written indelibly in our political history as unprecedented and, most likely, never to recur in the foreseeable future, to add to the newly-coined ‘Premie Minis linpos’. Nobody back then contested ‘Lepep’ had won these elections ‘haut la main’ – the hand of God for one. But why such agitations ‘this time’, those newly in power readily dismissed as hysterical?

Although the alleged wrongdoings are no longer the talk of the town, they nevertheless still often come up for comments when people meet casually, the emphasis being on the serious allegation ‘some’ ballot papers were printed outside the precincts of the Government Printing – where Ramgoolam was too quick on the draw and, as it were, threw a spanner in the works – which for Pravind Jugnauth, having renewed with his arrogant and sarcastic stances, is only good to ‘fer riye’. ‘Fer riye’? Attendons voir!

As I wrote at the outset, the November 7, 2019 General Elections are well over for most of us. But it could very well be they are not, given the doubts, fed by disturbing rumours afloat, that pervade the whole Island and the determination of the contesters.

If my memory does not fail me, someone not long ago wrote that ‘something’ usually happens when a Jugnauth is at the helm. Are we heading for a serious and unprecedented ‘something’? It is my submission that under the Jugnauths ‘things have accumulated and allowed to rot’, whatever the achievements. But, still it is, contrary to Pravind Jugnauth, not everybody is in a mood to ‘riye’. Possibly ahead, some may ‘riy zonn’. And what immediately precedes, does not solely relate to these electoral petitions now before the Supreme Court, whatever their merits though unlikely to alter significantly the configuration of the National Assembly, unless…. (I leave it to the reader to guess). But possibly with tears and gnawing of teeth.

Pravind Jugnauth tends to create the impression these electoral petitions are the least of his worries, having apparently started his new mandate on the wrong foot as seem to suggest recent high-level nominations, the more so he appears to be confident ‘the job’ has been neatly wrapped up with no loose end hanging. But at the risk of repeating myself (Forum 29/10/19), I’ll remind local agitations are distracting our attention from the writings on the wall. Soon, the spotlight will have to be shifted to more crucial matters!

But, be that as it may,*’There is nothing hidden that will not become known and come out in the open’.

(*Quotation from the Holy Bible – Gospel of Luke chapter 8, verse 17)