Mauritius: An electoral reform with a communal tint

By C. Veritatis on Electoral Reform
While political leaders have agreed upon the need to designate new constituencies, one pertinent question arises.
The question whether this exercise is favouring some ethnic groups?
There is a proposal to abolish the best loser system (BLS), while major reforms are on the cards.
On the other hand, improper or biased designation of constituencies might favour communalism. This may violate the spirit of democracy as enshrined in the constitution.
Earlier in February 2018, WFTV published an article on international forces redirecting their policies. It said this was probably due to major demographic changes in Mauritius.
Hence, WFTV raises concerns on whether the current attempt will be influenced by international forces?
Remember when Soodhun bit the forbidden fruit?
He prevented a certain ethnic group from accessing the housing development council (NHDC) houses in Quatres Bornes.
This raised turmoil and furore among the population. The racial issues in Mauritius tend to put political figures into trouble. Hence, the electoral reform, if it is of communal concerns, rather than being a purely democratic exercise, there are doubts if it will be effective!
There are fears we’re going in the same direction of chaos as all this seems to be planned in advance.
The final question is whether the Electoral Commission is keeping to its binding principle not to allow for a communal base reform?
Opposition leader Xavier Luc Duval testified before the Electoral Boundaries Commission in September. He says he is trying to fix the problem. But his explanations to the media and a read-through of his report to the Electoral Boundaries Commission did not sound right.
The latter explained there is a huge difference in the number of voters in the constituencies in Mauritius. He proposed a redistricting of the constituencies claiming this will be in line with “all democratic countries that respect each other”.
However, we believe there is a hidden agenda in his statement to the commission. We will come back on this soon.

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