A walk-out by the opposition Mauritius Militant Movement marked the opening of the Legislative Assembly in Port Louis, Mauritius on Tuesday (28 December).
A walk-out by the opposition Mauritius Militant Movement marked the opening of the Legislative Assembly in Port Louis, Mauritius on Tuesday (28 December). They were protesting against the right-wing Social Democratic Party -- the PMSD -- being included in a new coalition government.
SYNOPSIS: The Marxist MMM, which unexpectedly won 34 of the 70 seats in last week's general election, walked out during the opening speech at Government House. Anirood Jugnauth, a leading member of the MMM and Paul Berenger, head of the party, staged the protest because the Social Democratic Party had been included in the new coalition government, after gaining only eight seats. Monsieur Berenger said the coalition, which has a two-seat majority, went against the wishes of the people.
The Governor-General, Sir Abdul Raman Osman, officiated at the opening ceremony. The proceedings, however, were restricted to the speech from the throne and the election of the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairmen of Committees. The Prime Minister, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, told a news conference earlier that the MMM had accepted the idea of being an opposition party. Sir Seewoosagur's Labour Party-Muslim Action Committee Coalition lost its absolute majority in the recent election, winning only 28 seats. But with the help of the PMSD, which has given its unconditional and full support, Sir Seewoosagur's backers are confident of forming the next government.
In his speech, Sir Raman Osman outlined the government programme for the session. This included free secondary and university education and free medical services. The new coalition government was sworn in on Thursday (30 December). The next parliamentary session, however, has been adjourned until the first of March.