Touria Prayag's Blog

The U-turn emperor 24 April 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on January 23, 2015

The leader of the opposition half-jokingly
swatted away the protests of some of his
supporters with the line he will continue to
use to wrench a serious commitment from
the prime minister towards the proposed
electoral and constitutional reforms: “There
is deep suspicion of Navin Ramgoolam.”
That may very well be true for some. For
most, however, the resentment against Bérenger’s
latest move has nothing to do with
either Ramgoolam or Jugnauth. It is simply
one stunt too many for them to stomach.
Rewind: 2010 : The Alliance de l’Avenir
(Labour Party/MSM/ PMSD) is in government.
Pravind Jugnauth was facing tremendous
heat from Bérenger as the latter was
hell-bent on breaking the government alliance,
getting rid of the MSM and jumping
into Navin Ramgooolam’s arms.
January 2011: After chewing at Jugnauth’s
bare bones for weeks, the opposition happened
upon a nice juicy steak – Med Point
– which they baptised ‘the scandal of the
century’. The game then heated up with
the famous ‘zot meme aster, zot meme vender’
slogan and a ferocious sustained campaign
which fi nally led to the MSM stepping
down in July 2011. In August 2011,
its six members left the government.
October 2011 (barely TWO months later):
After having vilifi ed the leader of the MSM
for so long, voilà! there is a 180-degreeturn.
Bérenger worked very hard to convince
his people that the ‘scandal of the century’
wasn’t one after all and that Jugnauth was
not a crook but a nice guy in fact. It was the
government which had accused him unjustly.
The institutions of this country came
under attack, including recently the offi ce of
the DPP for having called Pravind Jugnauth
to face the courts of justice.
April 2012: (Only fi ve months later) Bérenger
had managed a feat no one thought
he was capable of: he convinced the militants
that everything he had said about the
Jugnauths, the money, the Med Point, the
Sun Trust… was false. And the remake
took off.
Between 2012 and today, Bérenger worked
so hard at white-washing the Jugnauths and
vilifying the government that he built up a
lot of steam against Ramgoolam whom he
made to incarnate all the evils this country
suffers from. He whipped up such a frenzy
that the militants – initially astounded at
having to give away 50% of the investitures
to a party which they reckon is worth less
than 2% of what they themselves are worth
– accepted the deal with a three-year prime
ministership as the cherry on the cake. As
they started resigning themselves to the idea
revoilà! another U-turn.
How Bérenger achieves all his U-turns is
very simple: he is an incredible orator, he
has amazingly convincing skills and the
unconditional admiration of his supporters.
He also, let’s face it, has an excellent
relationship with the press.
At every U-turn, however, he is gradually
sawing the branch he is sitting on. This
last U-turn was one U-turn too many. The
branch has reached breaking point.
But then again this is Bérenger we are talking
about. If the past is anything to go by,
we may hear tomorrow that he is no longer
“emmerdé” with Jugnauth, that the delaying
tactics are no longer delaying tactics and
that Pravind Jugnauth is not behaving like
a cornered rat but rather like a man facing
unjust accusations and our institutions will
come under attack again. In the U-turn
empire, who would be surprised if the Uturn
emperor takes yet another U-turn?
weekly@lasentinelle.mu

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