Weekly (Port Louis)

Mauritius: Next Apocalypse, Please

opinion

Alright, the Armageddon didn't come and the earth has not been reduced to a burned-out cinder despite the doomsday promulgators. Your date with Destiny has not come yet and you have just found out that not a single prediction basks in the warm glow of reality. Welcome to the Mayan Apocalypsenotnow!

Now that you are out of hiding, here's the scoop: - cue the spooky music- nothing has changed around you. While you had your head buried in the sand in fear of what might happen - which frankly is a better use of your time - here's what you may have missed: Eric Guimbeau has managed to elect one mayor in Curepipe and the Port Louis bazaar has become a much safer place for your children to be within earshot from than our august national assembly.

On a scale of one to 10, one being the worst in opportunism, lack of ethics and moral bankruptcy, Eric Guimbeau's score has not been disastrous - everything being relative of course. He does not rate with Jim Seetaram (five out of 10) who took what came his way and quietly stayed on the majority benches. He is nowhere near Mireille Martin (three out of 10 - this is the season where generosity is recommended) who first complained of persistent harassment, threatened to go to the police, negotiated for a better position within the MSM to increase her bargaining power before deciding to side with the alleged 'harassers'. And let's not talk about the one (ungraded) who only joined politics to save this country (yes, you have guessed - Pratibha Bholah) and who, after repeatedly reiterating her loyalty to her party and talking about her strong principles, suddenly decided to change sides because she "would not be re-elected otherwise". In that sense, Guimbeau, while his feet and legs may have dipped in murky waters, has been able to keep his head and shoulders above water. His decision to side with the Labour Party to have his candidate at the head of the Curepipe municipality is opportunistic but understandable.

Here's a guy who - like Ashok Jugnauth - got discarded like old socks, without a second thought, as soon as talk about the remake started. The MMM thought that with Anerood Jugnauth at the head of the remake, they were going to provoke a general election and many defections from the ranks of the majority and did not need to burden themselves with someone pretentious enough to ask for two tickets. He took it on the chin and held his head high. And he didn't have to wait for long before his lucky star shone, giving him the opportunity to make a difference. And he rubbed it in by joining the majority.

In parliament, however, the municipalities are a distant memory. Hours are now spent talking about Mrs. Nandenee, a Labour activist whose photo was taken by an MSM agent. That people are entitled to their privacy in all circumstances is a principle guaranteed by law and should not be compromised. That the act of taking someone's photo without their permission is inelegant and even indecent is something we can agree upon. However, the hype made around this case by the police - who should have much more serious priorities - and our parliamentarians, is difficult to understand. As for the language used by our honourable members in connection with this case, no comment. Perhaps it is better to go back into hiding and wait for the next Mayan predictions. A much more decent activity.

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