Dismissal of municipal elections: the Local Government (Amendment) Bill passed

1 week, 4 days ago - May 24, 2023
Local Government (Amendment) Bill passed
Several speakers are speaking during the ongoing debates in Parliament around the Local Government (Amendment) Bill. Below are their statements and arguments.

Kavi Ramano, Minister of the Environment: «There will be no compromise»

Environment Minister Kavi Ramano returned to the organization of municipal elections under the Labor and PMSD government. «How can we forget the many PMSD and PTr advisers who have been suspended, sentenced for corruption? There have been several scandals,» he said. And to continue: «The government wishes to deepen regional democracy but it is the electoral reflex that takes over when they themselves have denounced shortcomings in the past. Why this rush, is it because of the leaders who have reached their expiration date?» quipped the minister by targeting members of the opposition. He stressed that there will be no compromise when it comes to municipal elections.

«There must also be constitutional protection. The ministerial committee will examine all these aspects. The delimitation of wards, he says, is an important element for fair elections.» Minister Ramano also highlighted the fact that the reform would focus on the financing of political parties.

MMM MP Reza Uteem: «The government is afraid to confront the voters»

Purple MP Reza Uteem is also of the opinion that the «Explanatory Memorandum does not give any details on the purpose of this amendment. There have been parliamentary questions before but the minister never said he intended to postpone the elections because of the reforms. In November 2022, in Parliament, the Prime Minister had said that he wanted to organize the elections but today the situation does not allow [them] to do so because they know what the results will be. Every week we witness all the problems faced by municipalities,» said Reza Uteem. He believes that the current government is at an all-time low in terms of votes and insists that it cannot deprive townspeople of their right to choose their councillors. «The members of the government have violated democracy because they are afraid to face the electorate,» concluded Reza Uteem.

Shakeel Mohamed, Labor MP: «Lamentable apology for dismissal»

The red deputy pointed out that the «explanatory memorandum» consists of only four lines, to say that the goal is to amend the law. «But we don't say why? Why are there no explanations that the document should have provided? The government has never mentioned the need to amend the law. Why is it on the eve of the expiry of the deadline to hold the elections that the government comes up with reforms? These are just excuses, that's why there is no explanation,» said the red deputy. And to conclude: «The government is looking for lame excuses. It is now that the government is thinking about bringing a reform, there has never been any consultation before.»

MMM MP Deven Nagalingum: «I feel deep disgust»

«The government is openly stabbing to death one of the pillars of democracy,» said Deven Nagalingum straight away, when he spoke on the Local Government (Amendment) Bill in Parliament on Tuesday, May 23. The MMM deputy did not fail to point out that this is the third time that the government has postponed the municipal elections, according to him, only to take advantage of the privileges. He pointed out that the government is depriving city dwellers of their basic and constitutional rights to choose their representative on the city council. «Instead of reforming the regional administrations for the better, this government is diminishing its importance», because since 2014 the government has been trying to reduce the powers of the regional administrations by all means, he says. «I have a feeling of sadness and at the same time I feel a deep disgust. (…) We have inherited a political system that safeguards our freedom. This autocratic government is doing everything to destroy our heritage.»

Text by lexpress.mu

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