Punch-up over the prosecutor
ALLIANCE LEPEP, a three-party coalition in power since December 2014, suffered its first major setback on 19 December when 11 members of parliament (MPS), including four ministers, from the Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate (PMSD) resigned following a row with Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth. The conflict was about the introduction in parliament of an amendment to the constitution that would create a prosecution commission to evaluate the decisions of the director of public prosecutions. The role of the director of public prosecutions is of great political importance because several influential politicians, including Anerood’s son Pravind – who is his likely successor in the prime ministerial post – are the subject of legal cases that would complicate their careers. So far, PMSD leader Xavier-luc Duval explained to the media that “the government’s eagerness to introduce the Prosecution Commission Bill so hastily is indecent in a democracy.” The resigning 11 MPS joined the opposition, which now holds 27 out of 69 seats in parliament, thus depriving the government of the support it needs to revise the constitution. Anerood’s plans for the constitution target director of public prosecution Satyajit Boolell, a close relative of former prime minister Navin Ramgoolam. In January, Ramgoolam was due back in court after 10 out of 11 cases of corruption initiated against him were dropped. Pravind Jugnauth has also not yet cleared his name in a case of conflict of interest that is back in the courts.
Navin Ramgoolam has fought off 10 out of his 11 corruption charges