Mauritius: Bill on unexplained wealth sparks debate in Mauritius media

Port Louis, Mauritius (PANA) - Mauritius' Good Governance and Integrity Bill, tabled before Parliament a fortnight ago, continued to spark a hot debate in the country's media this week.

The media gave a lot of space to reactions and comments from politicians on the bill seeking to tackle “unexplained wealth” in Mauritius, while Good Governance Minister Roshi Bhadainand made explanations in the different media before the bill is called for a vote on 4 December.

Under the headline 'Bhadain gives in to pressure', the daily L’express referring to the three amendments proposed to the bill by the minister, following some disagreement from members of his own party, wrote: "Both the Prime Minister and Mr Bhadain gave the impression that they’ll not give in to pressure by insisting that the bill will clean the island of swindlers and bribers.”

One Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Mrs Danielle Selvon of the Mouvement Socialiste Militant party that leads the “Alliance Lepep” in power, has resigned from her party, following presentation of the bill.

On its part, Le Matinal daily carried a statement by minister Bhadain who said: “It is not true to say that this bill will be used as a political tool against some people. It is also not exact to say that the executive will seize the wealth of people,” he told this newspaper.

The same daily quoted Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Ivan Collendavelloo, leader of Mouvement Libérateur party, as insisting that the bill should improve the practice of good governance in Mauritius.

“The objective is to stop people from using unexplained wealth”, he said, estimating that "corruption and drug trafficking are rampant and some people have collected immense wealth illegally in Mauritius.”

In L’express newspaper, Antoine Domingue, chair of the Bar Council, said: "It is anti-constitutional and antidemocratic to use civil procedures to the detriment of the objectives of penal laws.” He added: "No citizen of this country should be punished unless he has been sentenced for a criminal offence under the Mauritian laws."

On his part, Prime minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth, was reported by Le Mauricien daily, speaking of his determination to go ahead with the bill.

"Nothing can stop me from cleaning up the society so that there is better transparency and justice," he said, following a visit to his constituency in the north of the island.

The extra-parliamentary political party Rezistans ek Alternativ has called upon the MLAs to vote for the bill. Party spokesperson Stéphane Gua told 'Weekend' paper that “there are too many unpunished cases where people are misappropriating the collective wealth of the Mauritian nation with heavy consequences on the working class.”
-0- PANA NA/AR 14Nov2015

14 november 2015 08:57:40

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