Touria Prayag's Blog

l’express Weekly 6 March 2012

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on April 6, 2012

The Man of the Year

It’s a pity that December is not here yet. There would have been no
challenger to the leader of the opposition for the “Man of the Year”
title. His achievements this year have been astounding.
First, he waged a bitter war against the MSM, gradually tightening
the noose around the necks of two of its protagonists until his
strategy eventually paid off and the MSM resigned from government.
To prevent a drain towards the Labour Party (LP), he immediately
opened his arms to the once-hated MSM, got Pravind Jugnauth back
on his heels, then embraced him with all his might, declaring him the
best thing since sliced bread. Once the party stopped hemorrhaging
and only two turncoats left to join the LP, he decided that the leader
of the MSM was not good enough to share power with after all. As the
Labour Party started feeling good about itself and its potentates began
basking in arrogance again, he came out with the last card: Anerood
Jugnauth in a remake format!
In a few weeks, the government was split, Réduit was empty and available,
the most mediocre of MPs became a precious commodity, the PM
was on the back foot and Paul Bérenger was in the catbird seat!
Then we woke up to a new scenario: the MMM-SAJ alliance was perhaps
not to be after all. Suddenly, the resignation speech of the man with
the pitch black hair but shaking hands and wavering voice seemed so far
away. The words his eyes were glued to as he read the speech which had hit
so many chords seemed so distant and began to make way for the undeniable
feeling we all have: that there is something very sad about old age.
It is perhaps Nature’s way of telling us: “Time to hand over to the youth.”
We had predicted that for all the pomp and pageantry that kick-started
the announced MMM-MSM alliance, it would be under pressure
from day one. We were wrong. The writing was on the wall since day
zero. The proposed sharing of tickets equally between two parties, one of
which represents nearly half of the electorate and the other standing for
an insignifi cant 4% according to the most generous estimates, and accommodating
it for the municipal elections in which the MMM alone can
gulp up all the seats was not a happy thought for the MMM die-hards.
The disillusion appeared as soon as the euphoria subsided.
Today, Bérenger has all the cards. Anerood Jugnauth outside of Réduit
is a sweet grandfather to whom the nation is grateful for his past achievements.
Navin Ramgoolam is holding on to his majority by the skin of his
teeth. Pravind Jugnauth is up to his neck in the Med Point saga. Bérenger
therefore can continue his game of chess. All his options are open. So,
after blabbering about putting the government in minority for a few weeks,
Bérenger has declared loud and clear that the MMM will not engage in any
poaching and that they “do not want any turncoats.”
Whether this is a case of sour grapes, a side-kick to Navin Ramgoolam
or an attempt to put the blame for mercantile poaching squarely on the
back of the MSM, the fact remains that our democracy is perhaps saved.
Bérenger has unintentionally and through his various manoeuvres given
the country an opportunity to install some real democracy. One where
an electorate sick and tired of the pez néné bwar dilwil alliances can decide
which single party they are voting for. And for this, he deserves the title.

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