May Day will be celebrated next Wednesday across the country. A day to celebrate the struggles of workers, the 1st May has gradually turned into political arenas for politicians, who rally their respective parties to outdo each other by attempting to create the biggest crowd that may speak in their favour for the coming elections. This year’s May Day happens to fall in an electoral year. Will this be a game changer for all political parties?
Jean Claude de l’Estrac : “A prediction of the political poll”
The historian and former journalist trusts that May Day has always been an important event in the political sky. “Electoral year or not, May Day always acted as a prediction of the political poll. It is a means that politicians use and through it, voters judge the relative strength of political parties. In fact in the absence of regular polls in Mauritius, the people rely on May Day to get an essence of the vision of each political party. May Day conveys a vested interest because each political party deploys a variety of approaches to attract and to gather the most people and convince voters.” Jean Claude de l’Estrac underlines that there is a big segment of the population who do not have any political affiliation. “This is why politicians try to influence as many people as they can during May Day. And especially during an electoral year, this exercise is more than useful. However, there is little in terms of speech and electoral programme,” he states.
Bobby Hureeram : “A traditional celebration”
Bobby Hureeram trusts that May Day is a traditional celebration in Mauritius. “It is more about maintaining a tradition within our party as well as all political parties. The MSM has always conducted meetings and rallies during May Day even when it did not win the elections in 2010. However, this year’s May Day will definitely have a political value for the all political parties in the country.” The MP trusts that May Day will also help people to realise the strength of the MSM party. “It will be a day that will help people to understand that the masses are supporting our current Prime Minister. Nevertheless, I believe that we should not forget to emphasise that May Day is mostly about paying tribute to the workers and their struggle.”
Rajesh Bhagwan : “The finishing line before the general elections”
According to the MP, this last May Day before the general elections this year is definitely meaningful. “It is an important day for all political parties. It is the finishing line before the general elections. We, at the MMM party, are focusing on making contact with the public. We have already initiated our traditional campaign by distributing tracks and hanging posters and banners. We have already said that our party does not have abundant resources but we are proud that regional committees across the island are helping.” Rajesh Bhagwan states that May Day is also a day where the mob is expecting to get some answers and explanations from politicians who are currently in Government as well as those who are not. “We will deplore the promises that the Alliance Lepep government had suggested but had not seen them through. We will not be doing a battle crowd. We will focus on passing on our message to the people. It is a day that represents hope as well. Most importantly, it is a day to pay tribute to those who have fought for us.”
Patrick Assirvaden : “An indication of the popular political climate”
For the President of the Labour Party, the fact that May Day 2019 falls into an electoral year will be raising the political stakes in terms of crowd mobilisation. “May Day will be the starting point of the electoral campaigns by all political parties. It will mean that for the current Prime Minister, there is no way out; he will have to take responsibility for the coming general elections. May Day will be important for all to mobilise their adherents. This day will also be an indication of the general popular political climate and tendency.” Patrick Assirvaden trusts that May Day will be an ideal opportunity for the current government to give an assessment of what it has achieved during the last four years to the people and for the other political parties to come forward and reveal their electoral programmes.
Mamade Khodabaccus : “May Day 2019 will be the power game”
The General Secretary of the PMSD party trusts that all May Days are critical, especially when falling into a general election year. “May Day 2019 will be the power game. It will be crucial for all parties to position themselves and also to come forward with an electoral programme that will be different from their counterparts. We at the PMSD, we will rally our troops and make sure that we will be the next government. We will be, like other parties, on the field.” Mamade Khodabaccus utters that May Day will already give a feel of the coming general elections. “This May Day will be the kick off of the general elections. It will be thus crucial for our party to do a notable meeting on that day and present a valuable programme which we will be able to implement.”
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