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.
Mauritian residing in Rodrigues, Amanoola Khayrattee (pen name Alfa King) is contributing writer and journalist to La Gazette Mag de l’océan indien and This Week News Mauritius.
Retired, former meteorological cadre, trade unionist and OSH consultant, Amanoola has written for in-house union and other journals, publications and magazines. He runs two blogs since 2007: “Alfa King Memories”, and “Le Journal d’Alfa King”. When he is not reading or writing, he is on a 10+ km daily hike in anticipation of his monthly trails.
Amanoola may be reached at [email protected].