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Debates are raging on democracy in general and parliamentary democracy in particular but it is to be noted that a few shortcomings may show either ignorance or deliberate ignoring.

It is generally believed that one of the basic principles on which true democracy is built is THE SEPARATION OF POWERS. The three powers (the executive, the legislative and the judiciary) are independent but complementary. Each has its own head. The prime minister of Mauritius heads the executive; the speaker heads the legislative and the chief justice heads the judiciary.

One self-appointed “politologue” (political commentator) was heard saying that the supreme court should be asked to comment on the behaviour of the speaker. Another said that the prime minister should have ignored the ruling of the speaker. Do they really know the fundamental principles governing democracy?

I also heard a political neophyte advocating a culture change and advising voters to vote people and not political parties. Does that new brand of political intelligence know why political symbols are found next to the names of candidates on ballot papers? If the symbols are removed the whole election edifice crumbles. Why? More than two thirds of the electorate cannot read the names of candidates because they are either non-literate or semi-literate.

One good thing. It seems that people in general, including people in government, believe that the speaker of the legislative assembly has dramatically failed. He should go. Will he have the decency to resign?



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