The dice is cast, “Vox Populi – Vox Dei”. Plaudits to the winners and commiseration to the losers. It started as a race with the odds on the favourite horse and eventually finished with the rank outsider as the winner. It has turned out to be the most astounding result in the annals of the general elections in Mauritius. It is truly amazing how the mighty have fallen but what is even more astounding is that a motley and disparate crew hastily put together as a makeshift opposition just to check and impede the juggernaut of the PTr-MMM alliance managed, in the end, to achieve what was practically impossible and crossed the finishing line as victors.
In the beginning the main objective of the Alliance Lepep was a damage limitation exercise. Not even in their wildest dreams did they envisage to win. At best they had hoped to stop the PTr-MMM alliance win 75% of the seats, which is the benchmark required to change the country’s Constitution. What was to happen subsequently was beyond their wildest expectations because it culminated in the most unexpected victory, something which must have been an illusion when they first got together. But fate had a role to play; there was a chain of events that was to change the outcome of these elections.
Firstly, the Alliance PTr-MMM was so cocksure not only to win but by a landslide. For good measure, a whitewash of 60-nil was openly contemplated and bragged openly by various members of the said alliance and for them, the forthcoming contest was a mere formality. Secondly, one leader made disparaging remarks about the person chosen as president in waiting by the opposition. At a stroke, he alienated 52% of the population which is female. This is just a sample of what went wrong tactically with the Alliance PTr-MMM. What effect these statements had on the electorate was exactly the opposite they had hoped for.
Now the boot was on the other foot. Instead of being cock-a-hoop about an overwhelming victory, they were now full of self doubt. The die-hard supporters were getting concerned by the arrogance displayed by some senior members of their team. They could not comprehend why the tide was turning though their leaders must have had an inkling but did little to improve their basic style of communication. As a result, the momentum was tilting increasingly towards the opposition. When PTr-MMM first concluded their alliance, they thought they were practically invincible and only had to click their fingers to rally their troops. This conceited attitude contributed much to their downfall as the election results have portrayed.
For the losers, it is too late for recriminations and regrets yet a salutary time to revisit their modus operandi to enable them to move onwards and upwards and hopefully get back to winning ways. As for the winners, a piece of timely advice. Don’t sit back on your laurels and gloat at your opponents because although this victory was gained by hard work and determination, there were two important elements that played in your favour.
Firstly, a lot of the PTr-MMM supporters decided to abstain to show their displeasure. Secondly, a substantial amount also voted for the opposition in order to teach a lesson to those who thought of them, as is known in our jargon, as “fixed deposits”. One thing for sure, the overwhelming majority of those who deserted the bosom of their respective parties will return back home unless the incoming government can give them good reasons to think otherwise.