Ashok Subron, the Mauritian Che Guevara on electoral reform!

Discussion dans 'Actualités de l'Ile Maurice' créé par Rafic Soormally, 8 Jan 2014.

  1. Ashok Subron, the Mauritian Che Guevara on electoral reform!

    Ashok Subron has, for a very long time, embarked on an infectious campaign based on misinformation and disrespect for the rule of law through civil disobedience, for which he hopes to be rewarded as he has a section of the Mauritian press behind him. Laws should be amended so that candidates at general elections who deliberately infringe electoral rules through civil disobedience or otherwise, are made criminally liable.

    Ashok Subron​

    Ashok Subron is a unionist (General Workers Federation) and activist of the political party Rezistans ek Alternativ (literally « Resistance and Alternative »), a splinter group (2004) from Lalit political party. Rezistans ek Alternativ defines itself as « ecosocialist left ».

    As a unionist fighting for workers’ rights, Ashok Subron should be given his due; similarly, for his political party Rezistans ek Alternativ. But to wear a sweatshirt exhorting « CHEGUEVARA » as if he forms part of a revolutionary party raising arms to gain ‘freedom’ against colonisers when Mauritius became independent on 12th March 1968, is totally out of line and conveys the wrong message to Mauritians. The MMM used similar slogans in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

    Civil disobedience to boot!
    The thing is that Ashok Subron is using a similar misleading Che Guevara approach to force the government to carry out electoral reform, not to better the system through an all-inclusive system by, for example, doing away with the unfair First Past the Post (FPTP) system and replacing it with other systems, such as Alternative Voting (AV) system, or Proportional Representative (PR) system, but only to attack the Best Loser System (BLS), which is a Minority Protection System which ensures that Parliament more or less reflects the diversity of the population.

    For any minority protection system to work, the majority and minorities have to be identified, something which Ashok Subron and his party are unable to comprehend. They resorted to civil disobedience by flouting electoral rules and regulations in the expectation that the law would condone it. But the Full Bench of the Mauritian Supreme Court laid down the law and held that, upon registration, all candidates should select one of the 3 (way of life) + 1 (residual) communities as stated in the Constitution. The Privy Council (20th December 2011) even pointed out that the design of Rezistans was purely political in their endeavour to have the BLS abolished and that, in this regard, they should challenge the BLS directly in the Mauritian courts, which they did on 30th April 2012.

    Since Rezistans has already lodged a case in court, why is Ashok Subron still campaigning for the abolition of the BLS system rather than wait for the judgement of the court? (Subron : « Ramgoolam a donné carte blanche aux forces passéistes », Défi 06 Jan 14). Even the government would be ill-advised to come up with any suggestion to reform the BLS system as long as the courts have not pronounced judgement.

    Ashok Subron should not mix his union job to protect workers’ rights with his political campaign to abolish the BLS. Furthermore, he should not use the GWF as a platform to that end. Undoubtedly, he either misunderstands the conclusions reached by United Nations Human Rights Commissions on 31st August 2012 regarding his 2007 complaint about the rejection of the Rezistans candidacies at the 2005 (and 2010 – the case not before the UNHRC) general elections, or he is merely misinforming people.

    When Ashok Subron gave an interview to Jean Nanga of International Viewpoint, published on 10 January 2013, he made very disturbing unsubstantiated allegations. He said, inter alia, that:
    (1) « During the process of independence in the 1950s and 1960s, the traditional bourgeoisie and the other emerging elites distilled communalist consciousness in their race for control of political and economic power. This provoked serious ethnic conflicts on the eve of independence, causing many deaths »;
    (2) « the United Nations Human Rights Committee said that the obligation of the communalist or ethnic classification of candidates is a violation of article 25 of the Civil and Political Pact to which Mauritius is a signatory. The state of Mauritius now has until March 2013 to comply. In other words, it must change the Constitution. »

    The UNHRC neither stated that the Mauritian government was under obligation to change the constitution nor that the rejections of Rezistans candidates infringed their civil and political human rights. In fact, Article 25 of Civil and Political Rights (1996) deals with the right to participate in public affairs, voting rights and the right of equal access to public service. One of the explanations is that « Persons who are otherwise eligible to stand for election should not be excluded by unreasonable or discriminatory requirements such as education, residence or descent, or by reason of political affiliation », but the UNHRC mistook « political affiliation » for « community affiliation ». (Note : The Rezistans candidates were not forced to declare their religious or ethnic community since there is a residual category which they refused to select.) The alleged « cause of violation » is not about mandatory community declaration, but with the fact that such declaration is based on an alleged outdated 1972 census rather than updated figures. It follows that the only ‘advice’ given by the UNHRC is for the government to update its census upon which the BLS is based.

    In fact, the preamble of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognises rights deriving from « the inherent dignity of the human person » as an individual and as part of a community. Article 18 (1) states that « Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching ».

    Ashok Subron has, for a very long time, embarked on an infectious campaign based on misinformation and disrespect for the rule of law through civil disobedience, for which he hopes to be rewarded as he has a section of the Mauritian press behind him.

    Importance of census data
    For numerous reasons, census data identifies the population by region, by age, sex, religious and ethnic communities, languages spoken, the handicapped, income groups, occupation, house owners or tenants, so on and so forth. All that information is necessary for good governance in any country. Only the naïve and/or the prejudiced is unable to see the importance of such data. A citizen does not exist in a vacuum. Mr Bardoise Goburdhun summaries it beautifully when he says « A CENSUS is not just about finding out the total number of each community. It must ask for many other information so that the state can plan resources efficiently, and meet the needs of the people. With today’s technology a census should be a breeze. An unplanned society is a chaotic society. » (l’Express 18 Sept 12).

    The Mauritian government has more important and pressing issues to deal with and is under no obligation to reform the electoral system and take away the rights of citizens as campaigned by the likes of Ashok Subron in his Che Guevara sweatshirt and a section of the Mauritian press. Laws should be amended so that candidates at general elections who deliberately infringe electoral rules through civil disobedience or otherwise, are made criminally liable.

    M Rafic Soormally
    06 January 2014
  2. boispignolet

    boispignolet Membre

    Che Guevara ! Vous y allez fort Rafic ! :D

    Une petite question :
    Qu’apporte finalement le Best loser System aux minorités ?
  3. Qu’apporte finalement le Best loser System aux minorités ? Réponse

    Monsieur Boispignolet

    La démocratie, telle qu’elle est pratiquée, étant un système défectueux, les Hindous auraient toujours eu une majorité disproportionnée au parlement s’il n’y avait pas de BLS. Alors que le gouvernement devrait représenter toute la population en dépit de ceux qui ont voté pour l’opposition, le député défend, avant tout, les intérêts de ses mandants dans sa circonscription. Si ses mandants sont issus d’une minorité, le député est sous obligation de faire entendre leur voix au parlement. Sous le BLS, le correctif (d’une communauté minoritaire) n’est pas élu, mais il a quand même recueilli le plus de votes parmi les non-élus. Mais, dans la pratique, toutes revendications venant de ces minorités se font entendre par des ONGs alors que les correctifs et autres députés élus dans des circonscriptions ‘minoritaires’ s’occupent de leurs propres intérêts. Si le BLS est aboli, pensez-vous que, malgré les compétences des candidats, les Musulmans de Plaine Verte voteront pour 3 Hindous et les Catholiques de Curepipe voteront pour 3 Musulmans ? Ceci dit, dans leurs circonscriptions respectives, bien de Musulmans votent pour des candidats catholiques et hindous et bien de Catholiques votent également pour des candidats musulmans et hindous et bien d’Hindous votent aussi pour des candidats musulmans et catholiques. Quoi qu’il en soit, les Hindous seront toujours majoritaires au parlement comme dans le pays. D’une façon ou d’une autre, les minorités doivent être reconnues et protégées.



    PS. En ce qui concerne Che Guevara, mieux vaut poser la question a Monsieur Subron. J'ai envoyé une copie de cet article à Ashok Subron par courriel :
  4. boispignolet

    boispignolet Membre

    Monsieur Rafic Soormally,

    Que la démocratie laisse à désirer à l’Ile Maurice c’est évident, car en exigeant d’un candidat qu’il détermine lui-même et sans aucun contrôle son appartenance ethnique afin de pouvoir se présenter aux élections, c’est un triage de population inadmissible.

    En perpétuant le BLS l’état mauricien institutionnalise de fait le communautarisme. Le Best loser System ce n’est que de la poudre de perlimpinpin censée proposer un peu d’équité aux minorités.

    Il suffit pour s’en convaincre de vérifier l’appartenance politique de ces députés correctifs de 2010 :

    Stephanie Anquetil (PTR)
    Josique Marie Radegonde-Haines (MMM)
    Francisco Francois (MR)
    Michael Sik Yuen (PMSD)
    Aurore Perraud (PMSD)
    Reza Issac (PTR)
    Raffick Sorefan (MMM)

    Finalement, le BLS sert uniquement à rajouter des députés aux partis bien établis et au regard de leur performance ces députés correctifs semblent bien atones, car fondus dans la masse.

    Effectivement, les hindous sont largement majoritaires et cela peut représenter un handicap important pour l’instauration d’une meilleure démocratie.

    Le BLS n’a jamais été une protection pour les minorités.


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