The Rezistans ek Alternativ (ReA) press conference was held on Saturday August 26, 2023 in Moka. The conference was accessed on a single theme which was the anti-communal fight of ReA and especially what political representation is needed in parliament. Failure to comply with section 25(b) of the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)will be addressed.
Rezistans ek Alternativ has been fighting for 18 years against the obligation that candidates at election time must classified themselves in the 4 communal categories imposed by the electoral system of Mauritius. Politics is part of the history of Mauritius. Mauritians in the past fought for the right to vote claims Veena Dholah. As a reminder in 2014, the candidates of Rezistans ek Alternativ as well as other Mauritians were able to pose as candidates for the elections without having to classify themselves in a communal way thanks to the mini amendment made in the constitution.
By the inaction of the current government, Mauritius has become a rogue state, declares Stefan Gua. Indeed, Mauritius which is a party to the ICCPR and its optional protocol does not respect the conventions signed at the international level.
“This government in a deliberate way violates the fundamental rights that it has signed at the international level and it is crucial that the entire population be aware of its practices. At the value of the day, in maintaining the obligation of Mauritians to place themselves in communal categories during elections under penalty of seeing their candidacies rejected, Mauritians are in violation of the ICCPR but more specifically of section 25(b)”.
We recall that in the pronouncement of the human rights committee, it was said that the Mauritian state must give an effective remedy to the persons concerned and thus create conditions so that those affected and other Mauritians can take part in the election without declaring their membership. The international committee also mentioned that Mauritius must prevent this kind of situation from happening again. Something that the Mauritian state has not done and in the light of day, it is quite obvious that Mauritius, which is a signatory to these conventions, is in extreme violation of international laws. Stefan Gua hence claims that due to the inaction of the regime in power and the lack of desire to be in compliance with the laws and conventions ratified, Rezistans ek Alternativ will write another letter to the Human rights committee again to warns them about a possible disrespect of the Mauritian state concerning their recommendation to provide immediate remedies.
What will ReA do in the next election knowing full well that the situation is still the same since 2019?
It’s a very deep and sensitive subject because it’s a battle that the members of ReA have really taken to heart for 18 years argues Stefan Gua. The fact of having to fit in one of the 4 categories (Hindu, Muslim, Sino-Mauritian, General Population) obliges several people to choose only one part of them and this classification unfortunately does not help the country to create this momentum of Mauritianism and this feeling of belonging to a single country.
“The primary responsibility is that the MSM regime must say what they are going to do for the next election. This is why Rezistans ek Alternativ asks to return to the mini amendment made in 2014. Rezistans ek Alternativ will participate in the election and at no time did we refuse to participate in the election but our applications were rejected. The question asked is what will the regime in power do to remedy the situation and finally stop with the violation of people’s civil and political rights.”
Several conversations between the different parliamentary and extra-parliamentary opposition parties are organized by members of ReA, however, the left-wing party is not going to concede on the values they defend, declares Gua.
The proposals made by ReA is to create a united front of several parliamentary and extra-parliamentary forces for the simple reason of bringing constitutional change because there is a big democratic crisis today. To improve this situation, we need a reform of the constitution and to be able to achieve this, an absolute majority of ¾ is required. However, this is not possible if there is not a grouping of different political groups. ReA is convinced that a united front will have all the dynamics to enter parliament and make things evolve.
“Of course, it will be difficult to agree with all the points put forward by ReA especially on the energy issue and the economy, and that is why a transitional government must be created. For two years, this transitional government will be responsible for carrying out all the constitutional changes and after everything has been consolidated, we relaunch a new election in a democratic basis, and everyone comes back with their ideas.”
Stefan Gua declares that the different parties which ReA has had a discussion with for the constitutional amendments, a consensus has been observed. Nevertheless, there is a blockage with the question of transitional government, however, these are things that can always be discussed.
Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of the distinctions mentioned in article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions:
(b) To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors;
Watch the conference here: