80.19% of the total number of registered electors accomplished their civic rights today. Although this figure is slightly less than that of the previous elections held in 2012 it augurs a good sign as regards the interest of voters at the regional elections as affirmed by the leaders. As early as 06.00 am voters proceeded to their respective polling stations to vote for their preferred candidates.
Supporters of the two main parties gathered side by side, or at places opposite to each other just outside the 200 m boundary. They were dancing and singing all along in mutual respect at the tune of “nou pou coule ti bato” (“we’ll sink the boat” – the boat being the symbol of the MR party) by the OPR group, and “nou pou balyer OPR” (“we’ll sweep away the OPR”) by the MR group. This forms part of the typical Rodriguan folklore during elections.
At the close of the poll the ballot boxes were transported under strict security to the main polling stations of each of the six constituencies. The authorities were satisfied with the good conduct of the elections. The Leaders of the main parties expressed their confidence as to the results that are expected around mid-day tomorrow.
Whether it will be an OPR or an MR led Regional Assembly, Rodrigues will be subjected to another five-year mandate towards realization of the objectives set in the respective electoral programmes.
Alfa King Memories
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