Punch-up over the pros­e­cu­tor

The Africa Report - - COUNTRY FOCUS MAURITIUS - N.A.

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

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