News on Sunday

Roshi Bhadain provokes a by-election in No 18: A necessity or waste of resources?

The resignation of Roshi Bhadain as a Member Parliament has been the talk of the town last week. Many people are trying to understand the motive behind this resignation. While supporters of Roshi Bhadain are saying that the forthcoming by-election is like a referendum on the Metro Express, other political parties view it as a means to test their popularity. In the debate that follows, Dr Roshni Mooneeram analyses the resignation of Roshi Bhadain while Nicolas Frichot views it as a means for the opposition to get stronger. 


After the resignation Roshi Bhadain, much hustle has been observed among the different parties, as they are all braced up for the upcoming by-election in Constituency No18.  If the Labour Party has already confirmed the participation of Dr Arvind Boolell, the PMSD as well as the MMM will also field in their respective candidates. It is obviously one of the most awaited by- elections in our political history. Will the opposition come out as a winner or will the government emerge stronger? Only time will tell whether the decision of Roshi Bhadain to resign was a necessity or just a waste of time.  

Dr Roshni Mooneeram: “He is acting under false pretences” 

Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham, Dr Roshni Mooneeram advocates that Roshi Bhadain is acting under false pretences in relation to the Metro Express, his initial reason for resignation, and now his vitriol against the current Government. “He was part of the inner sanctum in the operation ‘cleaning’ against Navin Ramgoolam and his friends in the early days of the Lepep Government. Not long ago, he was publicly kissing his now much maligned leader's hand. Bhadain’s winter of discontent coincided with the moment when his long harboured ambition of being finance minister was dashed. It could be argued that this happened because he was seen by the Jugnauth clan as a direct threat to the current PM.” 

According to her, Roshi Bhadain is clearly using the Metro Express as a smokescreen for resignation. “Badain has always had a supersized ego. His political calculations are however already looking shaky with both Labour having chosen Arvin Boolell and the MMM about to field its own candidate against him. PMSD is also likely to do so. Had Bhadain represented that spirit of political authenticity, anti-hubris, and integrity that is much awaited, he might have stood a chance in this by-election. But he is a pure product of la ‘politique politicienne’ and he will therefore go to war against the two biggest political parties in opposition at a time when the popularity of the Government is worse than could have been imagined.” 

She believes that Roshi Bhadain’s provocation of a by-election opens a testing ground for the next general elections. “General elections are disputed by the established parties and the impending elections of No18 will be disputed through a similar logic to that of general elections. Bhadain may well find himself outside of Parliament after all. Especially if his political adversaries, who have a few tricks up their sleeves in the form of compromising information, choose to release those in the public domain at an opportune moment.”

Nicolas Frichot: “It is more of a personal motive”

Political activist Nicolas Frichot argues that as soon as Roshi Bhadain left the government, there was immediately an additional parliamentary seat for the opposition, meaning a larger parliamentary opposition, leading to a stronger check on the government’s abuses. “He has opened the door for the government to get back his seat. Is it a nice move? For him, only if he wins. For the opposition, possibly a good one. For the government, definitely. Secondly, Roshi Bhadain’s needs for resigning is more of a personal motive. It is only now that he is against the Metro Express project. Had he voiced out his concerns when he was a minister, his words would have had greater legitimacy.” 

For him, Roshi Bhadain is playing all-in, in this political coup. “Either he wins and places himself as a legitimate contender with his new political party for the Prime-Ministership or a major alliance at the next general elections, or he loses it all. If this is genuinely the case, then Roshi Bhadain has the chance of convincing Quatre Bornes voters. But again, actions speak louder than words, and when Roshi Bhadain was minister, he did not take any “patriotic” position. At least, none which went again his party line then, the MSM.” 

He further adds that “what’s done is done and everybody has to play the game. The government could ignore the elections and let the opposition fight for their own seat and get more and more divided. But pride usually wins over reason and with power, it becomes madness. From this perspective and knowing that it is “all-powerful”, the government will align a candidate and this could be its greatest mistake. Or not. Why so? Anything can happen in an election.” 

He highlights that this referendum-like election is one of the most interesting. “It will be an opportunity again, for the people to make their voices heard and eventually choose genuine leaders. This government has failed on all its promises and a change is more than appreciated. A change is needed. And I’ll be working without rest in Quatre Bornes, for this election, to make sure that this change happens.” 

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