If Not Navin, Who Can Take Labour’s Leadership?

The population in Mauritius seems curious with regards to the recent events among the opposition parties.

It appears it is the Labour party that started the breaking-up of the opposition alliance.

Note that all these events are happening after the meeting between the new Indian High Commissioner Mrs K. Nandini Singla in Mauritius with opposition parties.

Nevertheless, who are the party members who can take over as Labour leader in the event Navin Ramgoolam is sidelined?

The question of the sidelining of Mr Ramgoolam is not new. Since his second defeat in a row in the general elections, calls for Ramgoolam to quit as party leader is mounting.

But the latter is adamant that he will come back as Prime Minister, hence his refusal to quit as party leader.

His trolls are on Facebook, hitting hard against any challenge to his leadership in the party. 

They are also pushing the anti-MMM, anti-Berenger campaign on the social media platform.

Yet, no one seems to be able to say who can replace Navin!

ESHAN JOOMUN

The other opposition parties started to speak out against the Labour following the statements by a Labour MP.

The MP, Eshan Joomun was quoted as saying the Labour party can win the elections in the five cities in the municipal elections alone.

This caught the opposition grouping by surprise and they later fired Ramgoolam and his party from the grouping.

The united front of the opposition became history when the MMM leader Paul Berenger declared Labour Leader Navin Ramgoolam should step aside.

He made it clear the MMM and the opposition grouping did not want Navin as a future PM. He also made it clear the grouping is not asking Navin to quit as Labour leader.

However, Berenger also threw a spanner in the ring adding that the opposition will propose a name of a person who may not be a leader of a party as the PM candidate.

DHANESHWAR DAMREE

Mr Dhaneswar Damree seems to have the favours of leader Navin. He was catapulted in front of other party members by the leader.

Sources are saying he is being nurtured to take over the leadership of the party.

However, other sources say he is not popular among the voters and there are other members more qualified for the post than him.

A search on the Advance.mu portal shows nothing on Mr Damree. He is a complete unknown on Google, it seems.

Yet, sources told WorldFuture he has the backing of the leader and is a hot favourite to the post of party leader.

SANJIV GHURBURRUN

A diehard family of the Labour party, Sanjiv Churburrun is also well placed to take the leadership challenge.

Our source says he has the backing of a large section of the Labour fan base.

The party says it can garner 35-40 per cent of votes in any elections, which will make it one of the largest party in Mauritius.

Mr Churburrun is the son of former Vice-President Robin Ghurburrun.

The Ghurburrun family have contributed to the party’s success in previous elections.

The brothers’ Robin and Beergoonath held high positions in the government and the party.

Contrary to Damree, Ghurburrun is a searchable figure online. 

He has a Linkedin account, just like any other professional. He is a lawyer.

SATISH FAUGOO

Former Minister Satish Faugoo is also in the running, according to sources.

In a meeting with the Indian High Comm, Ramgoolam answered questions from journalists.

One question was who is the best MP or Minister Ramgoolam has ever worked with.

His answer was Satish Faugoo. This, observers say, shows some preference from Ramgoolam. 

In an editorial in L’Express, a local daily, the editor wrote:

Satish Faugoo may go down in history as one of the least performing ministers of Health the country has had since independence. The editorial cited budget cuts at the ministry in 2013. https://www.lexpress.mu/article/satish-faugoo-and-apollo

Nevertheless, he is the most performing minister according to Ramgoolam. Does that make him a contender to the post of PM?

Some say yes because it is rare for Ramgoolam to acknowledge party members who ‘performed’.

CAST SYSTEM

The country is still rigged by the cast system. Faugoo and Ghurburrun are from the Ravived.

The Ravived’s form the single largest group among the Hindus in Mauritius. They have at least 170,000 voters across the Island.

Whereas the Vaish, Ramgoolam’s cast, has 210,000 voters. But the Vaish is divided into many sub-groups. There are the sub-groups of the Ramgoolam cast and that of the Jugnauths.

These two families have been in power for ages in Mauritius, exchanging the role of PM depending on which party holds power.

The question is whether the Labour party will give the Ravived group a try? Or will it continue to insist on Ramgoolam as the leader?

So far, it appears Ramgoolam has a strong grip on the party’s leadership. There are no challenges to his leadership and this has caused a split within the opposition.

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