Though pressure is mounting among political formations in Mauritius for an outright electoral battle in which all parties will compete on their own, the MMM is still struggling with in-fighting that may dim its chances.
The party’s leadership is sorely torn between the Labour Party and the MSM of Pravind Jugnauth.
The division and the in-fighting is due to Pradeep Jeeha’s bid to run as the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate in the next General Elections, which goes against party leader Paul Berenger’s choices.
Berenger has a few options in his hats: 1. The MMM goes for the elections alone – fighting against all other parties – but on the condition that other parties do not enter into pre-electoral alliances.
2. Join forces with the MSM- it was New Delhi’s wish earlier this year.
3. Ally with the Labour Party or ally with the PMSD, which is the party that is fast rising in local sentiments.
With Pravind’s visit to the USA now in question – the La Butte situation and the general sense of anger against his government across the country and institutions – New Delhi is said to be pressing for continued talks (reported here on WFTV) between Berenger and the Jugnauth family. But New Delhi wants an early poll, and so does Berenger.
Note the talks were about polls in October, but the Jugnauth family remained adamant they can turn the situation in their favour.
However, Berenger has his own conditions for these talks: A few heads must roll from the MSM if the party wants to ally with the MMM. If you know Berenger, you know whose heads he was asking for.
Ruling out an alliance between the MMM and the MSM, a source told WFTV: “If there is an alliance between the MSM and the MMM in the current state of affairs, it is certain there would be elections soon. The MMM would not want to sit in a rotten government and go for polls. It will surely face the backlash of all the wrong doings of the MSM.”
The observer said it will be tough for Berenger to force a MMM-MSM alliance to the enraged public, a voting public that want to see the MSM buried in the next elections.
With this situation, Berenger has to drop the option of an alliance with the MSM, but then he will be forced by his lieutenants in the party – including the Jeeha’s, Uteem’s and Adil Ameer Meea triumvirate to ally with the Labour Party.
“The three has been acting as if they already have a foot in the Labour Party and this is not going to go down well with Berenger, not after the biggest mistake he made in joining the Labour Party in government prior to the 2014 elections,” said the observer to WFTV.
At best, the source said, Berenger will have to go alone in the polls whether the PMSD-Labour alliance gets done or not.
“That way, he will salvage the MMM’s image and this will get the MSM to be buried perhaps for good,” said the source.