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Vol 46 No 13

Published 24th June 2005


The brightness is fading

The election campaign turns vicious as prosperity comes under threat

The model Indian Ocean economy is faltering and opposition leader Navin Ramgoolam looks well placed to topple Prime Minister Paul Bérenger at the general elections on 3 July, after a campaign in which racial rivalry among Asians, Europeans and Africans runs high. Ramgoolam, whose Labour Party is the main force in the four-partner Social Alliance coalition, was Premier from 1995 until a corruption scandal arose during the 2000 elections. To deflect the charge that he is playing racial politics on behalf of his own Indian-origin community, he has enlisted the Franco-Mauritian lawyer-politician Marc Hein. Yet the 'economic democratisation' pushed by the coalition he leads is understood as an attack on the colonial legacy that left French companies owning the sugar industry.

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