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Election Time in Rodrigues

After a little more than one month of intense electoral campaign, electors in Rodrigues (an island about 650 kms to the east of Mauritius and forming part of the Republic of Mauritius, but with a distinct form of regional government) will be called upon to vote for members of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly (RRA) on Sunday 12 February 2017. Such election takes place every five years.

The party having the majority of elected members will form the “government” headed by a Chief Commissioner and various Commissioners. While the party with a lesser number of returned candidates will be in the opposition headed by a Minority Leader. The RRA meets usually at Port Mathurin, conducting its meeting in the same manner as Parliament with a Chairperson (not necessarily an elected member) assuming the role of Speaker.

The main parties had rallied their supporters on Thursday 9 February. The OPR (Organisation du Peuple Rodriguais), headed by Serge Clair, the actual Chief Commissioner, had convened its people at Malabar in the central part of the island, while the MR (Mouvement Rodriguais) headed by Nicolas Von Mally (ex-Minister), met at Mourouk near the seaside.

Each party claims to have gathered a greater number of people around their electoral manifesto containing their vision for the development of the island. The MR is calling for a change with the motto “Ler sanzman fine arriver” (It’s time for change) while the OPR is reiterating another mandate to allow them to continue with their so called ongoing development programme.

Except for some minor isolated cases of clashes between supporters of adversarial parties (which form part of the electoral folklore) no major incident is to be deplored, fortunately. Resources have been supplied by mainland Mauritius to ensure the smooth running of the election.

Security has been reinforced to minimise incidents as far as is reasonably practicable. A broadcast station has been established at Les Cocotiers Hotel to relay timely news and videos in addition to the local MBC station at Citronelle. The Electoral Commissioner has given strict instructions to ensure all related exercises are carried out at their best.

Electors are invited to exercise their rights by casting their votes in all confidentiality. The counting of votes will be effected on Monday 13 and allocation of additional seats on the basis of proportional representation will be done at 06.00 pm on same day, as announced by the Electoral Commissioner.

The last RRA elections were held in February 2012.

 

Alfa King Memories

Blabbering

Have you ever asked yourself what’s the best day of the week for you? Silly question, isn’t it? OK, let’s put it this way, which day of the week you envy most? What’s the point? I bet, no day of the week is the best or the worst.

Those who have a 9 to 4 job (in some countries 9 to 5 or still 8 to 5…) will envy the week end, like me. But the weekend has two days, Saturday and Sunday. The question I asked is which day, not days or time of the week.

From the religious point of view, Jews will prefer Saturday (Sabbath day); Muslims Friday (Jummah prayer); Christians Sunday (most masses are held on Sundays); and Hindus usually Thursday, the day of the week they normally fast.

OK, we are not all religious. So let’s take it from another viewpoint. During weekdays you got to get up early for work, with all the rush that it implies, bakery, preparation of lunch basket, looking after the children’s schooling matters, and so on. We are left with Saturday and Sunday. It depends on what you want to do.

In my case even on Sundays I’ve got to get up early. The market is held early morning every Sunday, lest I want to wait another week for the vegetables, and bear the wife’s gibes a whole week. And Sunday is also a day when most of the time I have to attend services, weddings or other socio-cultural activities. The only occasion that I can lie-in is Saturday. You got it?

That’s the day of the week when my laziness is at its peak. I had a nice day, a good rest, and of course my brain also was at a stand still. That’s why I love my Saturday and why I’ve just been blabbering.

One last thing before I stop my blab, I can hear your “stop it!” and I hope you bear with me just one more second, today (April 14) is also Tamil New Year. Happy Varusha Pirappu!