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Open Constitutional Conference

The Constitution of the Republic of Mauritius is the supreme law of the land. It is a set of fundamental rules and principles that establish the framework of a government and outline the rights and duties of its citizens.

The Constitution’s adoption coincided with the independence of Mauritius on the 12th of March 1968. Over the years, several changes and amendments have been brought to the Constitution through Parliament. But after nearly 56 years since its original adoption, is it not the right moment to assess whether the Constitution of the Republic of Mauritius has stood the test of time?

The society and the planet we are living in today would be unrecognisable to a person who last saw the world in 1968. Our way of interacting with the world has significantly evolved over the years for better or worse and this has given rise to new opportunities and challenges, as well as new benefits and threats. In addition, our Constitution was not crafted to cater for the worst ever eco-system crises. As Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with the idea that the only constant in life is change. That idea has irrevocably stood the test of time and it is this guiding principle that should bolster the case for a constitutional reform. Rezistans ek Alternativ is proposing the holding of a constitutional conference and debates in a particular political context whereby the last few years under the Jugnauth regime have brought to the forth the state of decrepitude of our democracy. Pravind Jugnauth has been relentless in his attempt to usher in an autocratic governing model under the disguise of democracy. His repeated attempts to undermine the judiciary, weaken the press and do away with parliamentary accountability are all but clear indications of his disdain of the Constitution’s governing principles. More importantly, the fact that the Constitution itself permits such abuse reinforces the notion of outdatedness of the Constitution.

2024 offers political parties and more broadly citizens a unique opportunity to be on the right side of history. Independence heralded a new era for Mauritius. The Republic has come a long way since but cracks to our democratic pillars have appeared along the way. Papering over the cracks can no longer be considered to be a long term solution; we need to take bold decisive actions. A revamp of the constitution has the potential to reset our democratic culture and put our society on course for a new era of righteous and sustainable progress. With this in mind, Rezistans ek Alternativ sees the holding of an open constitutional conference as a necessary stage on the journey to constitutional reform. In this context, as from March 2024, Rezistans ek Alternativ will be launching the Open Constitutional Conference, as well as other spaces. All well intentioned parliamentary and extra parliamentary political parties are henceforth invited. So are citizens and social movements of Mauritius.

Kugan Parapen & Ashok Subron
on behalf of Rezistans ek Alternativ

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