We are currently being offered yet another episode of our local politics ‘mauvais cinéma’ since thursday. Rama Sithanen, Minister of Finance and Deputy PM has ‘submitted’ his resignation letter to the acting PM (Navin Ramgoolam being in Cannes for the Sommet France-Afrique before he hops to London for a short break). The main reason for this decision is allegedly Bheenick’s nomination as Governor of the BoM (most popularly known as ‘ministre trou’).
Apparently, the resignation is not valid as it should have been given to the President instead. And Sithanen knows it as he’s also waiting for the PM to come back to get the latter’s feedback on his proposed resignation! Which brings us to the question: does he really intend to resign or is he just brandishing the menace to the PM to gain more bargaining power?
In any case, from the public opinion perspective, this ultimate episode appears as yet another evidence of the lack of dignity of our local politicians: you either resign or you don’t before you make it official. Don’t bring your ‘états d’ame’ on the public stage…
Have you ever heard of another country where a major minister had resigned without really resigning and the nation’s got to wait a full week to know for sure?
Whether Sithanen goes or stays, one thing’s for sure: the credibility of our local politicians is going downwards!
Update (23rd Feb)
According to local radio stations, Sithanen has had two meetings with the PM yesterday and night, each time spending some two hours or more to discuss the resignation. Nothing official is yet out (they’re supposed to give a joint press conference today) but the media are saying that Sithanen is gonna stay even though Ramgoolam will not backpedal on Bheenick’s nomination at the head of the Bank of Mauritius.
In a speech at a banquet after the first meeting, Ramgoolam apparently declared he wants Sithanen to stay to carry on with the reforms and that he had asked his minister not to dwell on minute details/’peccadilles’ (i.e. the nomination of Bheenick). I also heard him say on MBC radio that ‘l’autre personne est aussi une personne qualifiée’ (i.e. Bheenick).
Radio Plus even announced that there might be a reallocation of ministries, with the PM taking over Min of Finance whilst Sithanen keeps the Min of Economic Devt!
Anyway, the way I see it, if Sithanen does stay under those conditions, he’d better wear one of those big coats + large hats + sunglasses at all times cos he would have lost all credibility and would be an object of ridicule.
This is really shameful!