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A woman changes political scenario in Mauritius
Whatever one's views on politics, there is one aspect of the lives of politicians that takes up more column inches of space than even the worst of political gaffes. Newspapers gleefully expose every detail of a sordid affair slowly, gleefully smearing as many reputations as possible.

Political sex scandals are about much more than just people getting caught with their pants down. To society at large, they suggest that these people cannot be trusted. If they lie about having an affair, if they break marriage vows, then how can they be trusted on other issues?

More so, when the man fathers a child and has no courage to acknowledge so in public! When he denies the child his name? His identity! In some cases, these scandals are so damaging that they can destroy careers, or even bring down governments.

Pati Patni Aur Woh

This is what is most likely to happen in the small island Republic of Mauritius where the Indians form about 70 % of the population and wield political power.

What happens behind closed doors between two consenting adults should be their own business, right? While today's headlines scream about the sexual misconduct of a bevy of politicians and celebrities, the pages of history are also rife with strange sex scandals.

Mauritius has since December last been entertained by the media about such a national high profile liaison. The affair long known to the public did not amuse the nation until the woman showed herself as a political agent during the local government elections in December 12 to choose mayors and councilors. She arrogated herself the majestic right to seize the mobile phone of an opponent clicking her photo and causing his arrest and the transfer of a couple of police officers in the aftermath.

From a humble middle class wife married to a bus conductor, she is now living in a sumptuous gated abode in uptown Floreal area where only rich and mighty can afford to reside. She is a shareholder in 11 companies with tremendous turn- over surrounded with body guards not withstanding her poor schooling.

She sought a gagging order from a Judge in Chambers in the Supreme Court against two major press groups which has been set aside yesterday. The Judge states: “The relevant indisputable facts appear to me to be as follows: (a) The press has already published, rightly or wrongly, a mass of material of a nature to create public concern about the circumstances in which the applicant has, apparently through her intimate connections, within the realm of her private life, with a high profile politician, obtained favours at the hands of state-controlled agencies which have led her, within a relatively short time, to move from a relatively modest condition to that of a very successful business woman. And the applicant’s business and private life has already become a subject of public debate in media.

The society at large is angry over the largesse of the state to the woman and her partner as alleged by the former Minister of Finance Mr. Pravind Jugnauth who resigned and withdrew his party from the coalition government of Dr Navin Ramgoolam in another alleged scandal where the government acquired his family private hospital. He has been reproached to sign as Finance Minister the payment to a business to which he was a party. The case is still dragging on. The outcome is eagerly awaited because it may create jurisprudence as to whether a cabinet decision can be scrutinized by the judiciary.

The government of Dr Navin Ramgoolam is since then walking the tight rope with only a couple of defectors to his side, swelling his majority in the house. The recent local elections have confirmed his declining curve.

The scandals coming to light are a huge embarrassment and there is growing frustration among the ranks and file of his government and party. Some elements are privately sounding the alternative opposition for a berth. The opposition is led by the seasoned fox Sir Aneerodh Jugnauth who resigned from his position last year as President of the Republic to head the new front. He is widely considered as the father of economic miracle of Mauritius.

(About the Author: Doolooa Atma, a Mauritian of Indian origin, is a political analyst and businessman. He has authored books, Castes In Mauritius -The Future of Indians and Hinduism, & The Dirty Indian)

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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