Paul Lismore


Rédigé par Paul Lismore le Vendredi 16 Août 2019

No jokes, no mocking, no insults etc to those who deserve it in today's post. Just the simple facts about electoral corruption for you to see whether we in Mauritius, esp under this government, are immune to it or not.

A lot of what follows is selective copy/pasting from the document issued by Transparency International. I am doing this in order to help those whose brain capacity is limited only to absorbing memes and insipid sayings, and who find it impossible to read more than 10 lines without whingeing " It is too long", as the nun would say to the bishop.......

Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of democracy and the most direct mechanism for citizens to express their political preferences by choosing their governments. However, in many countries, and particularly those where democratic institutions are weaker, corruption poses a serious threat to the legitimacy of electoral processes and outcomes.

There are three fundamental ways in which electoral integrity can be undermined, namely through 1/ vote-buying, 2/ abuse of state resources and 3/ election rigging.

1/ Vote-buying occurs when a politician or party provides favours (such as access to public services, resources or preferential treatment) to voters in exchange for consensus, political support, and commitment to vote. Our wonderful government would never dream of using our Civil Service as a depottoir for its soucerres and roder bouttes, and would never appoint an extra 10,000 individuals to an already bloated and quite lazy and inefficient Civil Service...

2/ Abuse of state resources can encompass any use of publicly owned resources that affects the financing of political parties or of elections in such a way as to favour one party or candidate at the expense of other contestants. Examples of the abuse of state resources range from the use of regulatory power to alter elections laws in favour of a political party or candidate, to the use of government-owned infrastructure and state resources including personnel for election campaign purposes and the manipulation of state owned media. Of course, our lovely Mauritian government would never dream of appointing one of its own to the Electoral Services Commission, or to get brainless, super arrogant nominees hugely paid by us to attend and actively participate in its party political functions...

3/ Election rigging consists in manipulating electoral outcomes through corrupt practices such as ballot-stuffing, misinforming voters, mis-recording of votes, manipulations of voter’s register and/or manipulation of demographic information (such as altering constituency boundaries).

What measures does Transparency International suggest in order to combat electoral fraud, malpractices, and corruption? As well as imposing appropriate sanctions like heavy fines, loss of political mandate, and ineligibility to stand again, it proposes the following:

1/ that the overall legal framework governing elections is unambiguous, understandable and transparent, and enshrined in the Constitution. 

2/ The law should clearly define the composition of the election management body, as well as its structure and procedures for the appointment of members. Under no circumstances, for example, should any member close to la cuisine or to any political party be considered for appointment.

3/ In order to avoid corruption and manipulations, voter registers should be made available for public scrutiny at no cost.

4/ In order to avoid abuse of power and manipulation of the process and ensure the stability of the process, the law should establish time restrictions with regard to the passing of amendments to the electoral law. In Mauritius, the government suddenly finds in its fifth and final year of office that the electoral laws must be changed. Cui bono?

5/ The election law should explicitly state that state resources may not be used for the purposes of election campaign. The relevant provision should clearly define what constitutes the usage of state resources and what the sanctions for the violation of the rule are. Here, state resources pou mari zot mama sa, alor zot fer seki zot envi.

6/ The law should also strictly and explicitly prohibit candidates and political parties from giving money, presents or favours in exchange for votes. So, in Mauritius, no more tempos, bribing of Bangla Deshis to attend meetings, no free macaroni, no padded envelopes,no free buses, no brianis, no alcohol, no free trips to the seaside etc....

7/ The law should establish proportional and dissuasive sanctions for non-compliance, including the disqualification of a candidate, and imprisonment for the more serious offences.

8/ Last but not least, the law should protect political parties and candidates, ensuring they all have equal access to the media (for example, fair and equal prices for advertisement, fair reporting practices). Unfortunately in Mauritius, we have too many mercenary, soulless zourlanus, a hardly 'free and independent' press, and our MBC belongs to mari mama ninporte kisan la dan gouvernman.....

All the above of course depends on us having effective and strong Electoral Commission and Electoral Services Commission with mandatory powers to investigate and to come down hard on any abuse of the electoral process. Unfortunately , both bodies in Mauritius simply do not have the legal power to carry out their functions properly and to carry out their investigative and supervisory functions adequately and effectively.

Both bodies are in serious need of new blood and the reopening of the National Museum now gives it an opportunity to add to its collection of relics and dinosaurs by transferring some of those individuals there....

Free and fair elections in Mauritius? Wait until you see how the campaign for the next elections will be the dirtiest one ever.

Vendredi 16 Août 2019

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