A Supreme Court judgment has last week recommended the invalidation of the election of Mr. Ashock Jugnauth, the first returned candidate at the June 2005 elections in constituency number 8 (Moka- Q.Militaire). Then Minister of Health, Mr. A. Jugnauth is alleged to have been elected by bribery.
Several people from his constituency were said to have been offered employment in the Ministry of Health on the eve of the elections. Another ground held by the Court is the promise of a plot of land to one community for use as cemetery. These were considered in violation of the Representation of People’s Act by Mr. Raj Ringadoo, one of the defeated candidates who had filed a petition to that effect. Mr. Ashock Jugnauth has signified his intention to appeal to the Privy Council.
The court has also recommended to the Electoral Supervisory Commission to set up a code of conduct or guidelines for politicians during election campaigns.
This judgment will make history being the first of its kind, although a previous invalidation was held in 1956 on ground of the elected candidate’s name being wrongly written in the election paper.
A partial election may have to be organized soon if the ruling is maintained. Politicians will have to be wary now, more than ever before.