Situation in Mauritius 'extremely worrying': Ex-Foreign Minister Bodha

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Port Louis, Feb 11 (PTI) Mauritius’ former foreign minister Nandcoomar Bodha, days after resigning from the post, on Thursday claimed that the situation in the Indian Ocean island nation has become 'extremely worrying' at a time when it is facing daunting challenges on several fronts.

Bodha, 67, who submitted his resignation on February 6 from both the government and the ruling party Militant Socialist Movement (MSM), said that he now wishes to work on a new vision for the country as his political mission has reached a turning point.

“This new vision will encompass the dreams and aspirations of all Mauritians. When we listen to the people of Mauritius, it is clear that their ideals and aspirations are well beyond what we have offered to them so far as a political class,” he said in a statement.

Bodha, a veteran MSM leader who served as foreign minister since November 2019, claimed that 'the situation in the country has become extremely worrying.' “The more so, at a time when we are facing daunting challenges on several fronts,” he said.

Asked about the daunting challenges, the former minister told PTI: “We are facing a lot of issues such as recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, people losing jobs, people having less and less money, their declining purchasing power, corruption besides other socio-economic problems”.

He also raised the issue of Mauritius being blacklisted by the European Union (EU).

The EU last year included Mauritius and 11 other countries on its revised list of high-risk nations allegedly having strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing frameworks.

Bodha said: “The current culture of governance and the way the MSM is functioning as a party no longer reflect the values and principles that have guided my political career. Today, these fundamental ideals that have inspired me since I pledged commitment to Sir Anerood Jugnauth are no more. Much to my utter disappointment”.

He said that driven by a sense of collective responsibility, he has endeavoured to implement priorities of the government agenda to the best of his ability with a deep conviction for his constituents and to the country.

The former foreign minister said that whenever he had concerns, he always shared them at different levels in a spirit of transparency and with deep sincerity, he always made constructive proposals.

“The expectations of our people as regards to social values, good governance, democratic principles are very high and legitimate today. We have to listen to them. It is a matter of great urgency.

“So, I tendered my resignation as Minister and as a member of the MSM party on February 6, 2021,” Bodha said, adding that since then, there have been major political events laying bare how dysfunctional the system and the key institutions of the country are.

“Hence, I will be devoting myself to this new vision for a new and modern Mauritius,” he added. PTI CPS AKJ CPS