They are now under the starter’s orders and soon they will be off in the search for a prized seat in the August National Assembly. With the staggering number of candidates, it seems more like the Grand National than a by-election. Even the no hopers are talking up their chances up for an unexpected victory. Though it seems like a pie in the sky, you cannot blame them for their unflinching hope and determination. Having heard some of them on the radio, they would make quite good salesmen, because they can hype up the product, which is themselves in occurrence.
We have seasoned politicians and novices lined up for this pre-Christmas race, but at the end of the day, only one will be celebrating on the December 18, 2017 and probably over the festive season as well. Some of them have adopted a very bohemian attitude in their approach to this race, with numerous and far-fetched promises because they know that they have no chance of crossing the line as the eventual winner. There are five or six of them with a fair chance to finish as the victor. Most of the other runners are there for the experience or want to make themselves known in the assumption that perhaps someone, somewhere will notice their potential. In turn, they hope that it will put them in good stead as a future candidate for the next general elections in an established political party. Among the rest of the candidates, some of them are determined to offer the electors the chance to vote for a radical change in the way the country is governed.
In fact, each candidate has set his / her own agenda for seeking the allegiance of the voters and the latter, in turn, will have to study each manifesto to sort out the likely dead wood before selecting their preferred choice. Trying to dissect the chances of all the candidates would be a mammoth task with so many runners at the starting stalls. For the purpose of this article, I will stick to those I consider as the seven main contenders, apologies to the rest of the candidates who might feel aggrieved. I will list them in alphabetical order to avoid any speculation as the reason in the way it has been enumerated.
Roshi Bhadain – As the ex-sitting Member of Parliament for that constituency, he has a difficult and unenviable task in trying to justify his resignation and subsequent candidacy for the same seat. His main handicap: If he is re-elected, his influence will be marginal as he will be a lone voice in the wilderness with no close allies in sight. Will bank on his personal popularity and the Metro Express theme to rally the voters.
Jack Bizlall – Has bags of experience in the political field and can be very persuasive in the presentation of his ideas. He is well known for his numerous public appearances and his readiness to help those in need. Will rely very much on the fact that he is a household name, but his main handicap is that with the left not presenting a unique candidate, it is going to be an uphill battle.
Arvin Boolell – A seasoned politician, well known for his caring attitude. An excellent orator who can be persuasive. His past experience and his personal reputation will be determining factors. The fact that if elected, he is going to lead the Labour Party in the National Assembly can have a telling effect. His main handicap through no fault of his own, is the tarnished image of his party with the list of “casseroles” that have come to light, post the last general elections.
Tania Diolle – A candidate with some potential, comes up with reasonable arguments to justify supporting her in the race. Her previous experience as a local councilor in the same constituency no doubt would help as she is already well known by the population in Belle Rose, Quatre Bornes. Her main handicap: She is standing as a candidate for a party not well known and with very few supporters. Would have had a better chance in one of the main political parties.
Nita Jaddoo – Has a good pedigree coming from a family with a political noun and a father who has been in the limelight of local politics for quite a number of years. That should help in getting lots of additional votes. Presents herself well in the media. Main handicap: Apparently is not going to be a future candidate in this constituency for the next general elections.
Kuraga Parapen – Has had some experience having been a candidate at the last general elections. Could attract the votes of the younger electors. Presents his arguments well, but his main handicap is like the other candidate on the left of the political spectrum, will suffer from a division of potential supporters. Until and unless the left regroups their forces in one party, their chances will remain slim to make a breakthrough.
Dhanesh Maraye – Making his debut in the political arena. Defends his ideas resolutely and with conviction. This time, he has an uphill task to succeed despite this being his leader’s constituency. His main handicap: Standing for a party that seems to swing constantly in political parlance each and every way depending on the whims of its leaders
This is a personal view as I am a keen student of politics. It is for fun and not meant to influence anyone in their decision. May the best candidate win.