Opinion: Mauritius elections and a Dulloo-Joanna tandem?
In the run-up to the elections which may be called sooner than later, the MMM is still finalising its electoral strategy. But it is time for the party to make the right tactical move to have a chance to imbalance its opponents.
The Labour Party was running away with a 60-0 call after its May 1st rally, but things have changed since then. The MMM is back on track and if it does the right thing, it will succeed and do better than the last elections in 2014.
In case the MMM has to push Madan Dulloo at the forefront, just like it did in 1976 when it propelled Sir Aneerood Jugnauth as the Prime Minister candidate, then it has to adopt a slightly different formula than 1976.
In this case, putting Dulloo upfront and as the next Prime Minister will give it a fair chance at the polls.
Dulloo is still a force to reckon with in the villages, particularly among the small planters.
We saw the massive crowd at the recent small planters meet with the politicians. MMM leader Paul Berenger got a warm welcome while the Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth made the right decision to be absent from the event.
There have been questions whether Dulloo can make a comeback and if he can pull the weight against the Labour Party and the MSM in the villages.
Our source says with the government missing the train and abandoning the group of small planters, it will not get a walk-over in the villages.
But this does not mean the Labour Party will have a free playing field. Unless the MMM decides not to field Dulloo, then it is a different story.
The group of small farmers forms a large political potential for any political party that has the right man and the right policies.
This is where Dulloo is expected to play an important role in the MMM.
In this scenario, the MMM will have to put a solid Front Bench for the voters to make their mind.
It should have the following:
Paul Berenger as Mentor Minister, Madan Dulloo as Prime Minister, Reza Uteem but instead of Veda Baloomoody, they should have another person in the top list.
If Berenger calls it a day and accepts the role as Mentor Minister, Madan Dulloo will have the honour to catapult Joanna Berenger in the forefront.
Why Joanna Berenger, the daughter of Paul Berenger?
There is no disputing the lady has made her mark in the party and won a seat in the Central Committee finishing 5th and dislodging some top guns in the process. It was not a fluke result.
But it will be fair to give Paul Berenger the full recognition for his services to the party, the country and the workers of the country.
The best way will be to have Joanna Berenger in the Front Bench. It will give a chance to a woman to make her mark, once again, in the party’s higher echelons.
The young Berenger speaks the language of the youth of the country, she is a savvy youngster who will link the party to the younger (Facebook) generation.
She is active on Facebook, has shown her capacity indeed. And after the departure of some young elements from the party, it increases her chances of becoming more noticeable.
The MMM and the writer here do not believe in ‘dynasties’ in politics, but Mauritius already has a few dynasts who have done badly.
It is time we consider giving a chance to the Berenger family, not in the name of creating a dynasty but for the sake of bringing in more people with integrity into the august Parliament.
In 2018, Dulloo won an honest 10th place in the CC’s elections, which saw Berenger clinching the top post.
It also saw Berenger’s daughter landing a top 5 position. She is expected to be given a chance to join the Political Bureau of the MMM in the future.
Dulloo was instrumental in the transformation of the agricultural sector in Mauritius.
He was eventually revoked by Sir Aneerood Jugnauth after he refused to sign off on a deal.