Mauritius: Low turnout shows poor voter confidenceDecember 10, 2014
The low voter response to the General Elections in Mauritius is a global phenomenon, where people are beginning to lose trust in political parties and their promises. However, in Mauritius, the low voter turnout could indicate a poor voter confidence in the MMM-Labour alliance.
It could also mean a lack of trust in the MSM-PMSD-ML, a coalition that built its power behind Sir Aneerood Jugnauth, who’s age could become a stumbling block in the coming years.
The 74,11 % turnout should still be considered high, given that in countries like the USA barely a third of the voters goes to the ballot boxes to elect their congressmen or senators.
I would say that the low turnout this time around in Mauritius – as compared to the 77,82 % in 2010 – is a logical trend in the country.
Voter turnout has been hovering around the 80% for years now, and the slight dip in percentage, which in fact represents a larger number of voters every 5 years dismissing the ballot boxes, indicates that the democratic process in Mauritius is not bucking the global trend.
However, the MMM-PTR alliance has failed in many ways to galvanise the Mauritians to embrace the democratic process fully.
This is due to the very fact of the massive rejection of the alliance between Paul Raymond Berenger and Navin Chandra Ramgoolam, which was seen as a betrayal of the MMM by many of its voters and bases while the Labourites denounced the deal as a sell-out of the Labour principles.
Neverthless, the alliance did not succeed in creating a positive voter sentiment in Mauritius, while the MSM-PMSD-ML succeeded in garnering popular support with its strategic campaign that impressed many.
Who has won the elections? This, the ballot boxes will reveal today, but there is still the sentiment that it will be a tough call with voter swings to be noted in many constituencies.
By Kazi Mahmood – Made à Moris!