Labour Party (Mauritius)

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Mauritius Labour Party

Parti Travailliste
AbbreviationPTr
LeaderNavin Ramgoolam
PresidentPatrick Assirvaden
General SecretaryKalyanee Juggoo
FounderDr Maurice Curé
Founded23 February 1936 (1936-02-23)
HeadquartersLes Salines, Port Louis
NewspaperAdvance
Youth wingYoung Labour
IdeologySocial democracy
Democratic socialism
Political positionCentre-left
International affiliationSocialist International
ColorsRed
National Assembly of Mauritius
5 / 69
Website
www.labourparty.mu Edit this at Wikidata

The Labour Party (PTR; French: Parti Travailliste) is a centre-left social-democratic political party in Mauritius and one of the four main Mauritian political parties along with the Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM), the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) and the Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate (PMSD). As a member of the Labour Party-MMM alliance, it had four Members of Parliament directly elected in the general election of 2014. The party is led by Navin Ramgoolam.

Founded in 1936, the Labour Party remains the oldest major political party in the Republic and was in power from 1948 to 1982, from 1995 to 2000 and from 2005 to 2014. From 1983 to 1990 it formed part of a coalition government as a minority partner.

History[edit]

The Labour Party was founded in 1936. Its founding principles mirrored the British Labour Party, with the vision and determination to protect workers' rights and freedoms, supporting compensation and a higher wage rate with paid leave. The movement was encouraged by fifty-five conferences held by the leaders of the party throughout the country. Among other goals were the initial resolutions to obtain suffrage for working class representation in the Legislative Council, the establishment of a Department of Labour, the prohibition capitalist exploitation of sugar plantations and the overall implementation of socialist values among Mauritian government agencies.

The founders of the Mauritian Labour Party were Maurice Cure, Jean Prosper, Mamode Assenjee, Hassenjee Jeetoo, Barthelemy Ohsan, Samuel Barbe, Emmanuel Anquetil, Godefroy Moutia and Pandit Sahadeo. Cure served as President of the Party until he was forced to resign in 1941, at which point Anquetil took over.[1][2] Anquetil died in December 1946,[3] and Guy Rozemont became the leader of the party until his death in 1956 at the age of forty-one.

The arrival of Seewoosagur Ramgoolam in 1958 marked an important step in the history of the party. He was in favor of an independent Mauritius within the Commonwealth of Nations. Following the victory of the Labour Party in the general election of 1967, a constitutional agreement was made in Parliament following numerous conferences in Lancaster and London. The coalition government, including the Labour Party, and the Independent Forward Block & Muslim Action Committee sealed the pact for Independence. Then the Labour Party, now led by Ramgoolam, along with Veerasamy Ringadoo, Satcam Boolell and Harold Walter, in coalition with the Muslim Action Committee led by Abdool Razack Mohamed and the Independent Forward Block led by the Bissoundoyal brothers, Lall Jugnauth and Anerood Jugnauth, pushed a motion in the Legislative Council to provide for an independent country to be declared on 12 March 1968.

The Labour Party joined forces with the Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate (PMSD) of Gaetan Duval in 1969 to form a coalition government. In December 1976, Labour won only twenty-eight seats out of seventy, as opposed to thirty-four for the Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM) led by Paul Berenger and Harish Boodhoo, but remained in power by forming another alliance with the PMSD. In 1982, however, the MMM won outright, and Ramgoolam lost his directly elected parliamentary seat. Anerood Jugnauth of the MSM became Prime Minister. From 1983 through 1995, the Labour Party attracted little electoral support; and in 1984, Satcam Boolell, who had replaced Ramgoolam as party leader, agreed to an electoral alliance with the Militant Socialist Movement, which had broken away from the MMM.

In 1995 the Labour Party returned to power with the support of the MMM; and Navin Ramgoolam, who had taken over the party leadership in 1991, became Prime Minister. It lost the subsequent legislative election in 2000, however: its coalition with the Mauritian Party of Xavier-Luc Duval secured only 36.6% of the popular vote and eight out of seventy seats.

The Labour Party returned to power in the 2005 elections as part of the Alliance Sociale, which won forty-two out of seventy seats. In the general election of 2010, the party formed the majority of L'Alliance de L'Avenir, which regrouped the Mauritius Labour Party, the MSM and the PMSD. The Alliance de L'Avenir won the general election with forty-one seats against eighteen seats for the MMM-led L'Alliance du Coeur, with one seat taken by the FSM. However, on 6 August 2011 the Alliance broke down, leaving only the Mauritius Labour Party, the PMSD and the Republican Movement (MR) in the government.

Past leaders[edit]

1936-1941 Maurice Curé
1941-1946 Emmanuel Anquetil
1946-1956 Guy Rozement
1956-1959 Renganaden Seeneevassen
1959-1984 Seewoosagur Ramgoolam
1984-1991 Satcam Boolell
1991-Now Navin Ramgoolam

Parliament results[edit]

Election Number of
candidates
Number of
overall seats won
Position Leader Position
1967
35 / 60
24 / 70
1st Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Prime Minister
1976
60 / 60
28 / 70
2nd Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Prime Minister
1982
60 / 60
0 / 70
None Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam None
1983
15 / 60
9 / 70
3rd Sir Satcam Boolell Minister of Foreign Affairs
1987
15 / 60
8 / 70
3rd Sir Satcam Boolell Minister of Foreign Affairs
1991
35 / 60
3 / 70
3rd Navin Ramgoolam Leader of the Opposition
1995
35 / 70
35 / 70
1st Navin Ramgoolam Prime Minister
2000
50 / 60
8 / 70
3rd Navin Ramgoolam Leader of the Opposition
2005
45 / 60
32 / 70
1st Navin Ramgoolam Prime Minister
2010
35 / 60
28 / 70
1st Navin Ramgoolam Prime Minister
2014
30 / 60
4 / 69
5th Navin Ramgoolam None

References[edit]

  1. ^ Boolell Q.C, Sir Satcam (2006). Untold Stories, A collection of Socio-Political Essays. ISBN 9990305315.
  2. ^ Mauritius in the making across the censuses 1846-200, Monique Dinan
  3. ^ Story of the Independence of Mauritius, M. Chintamunnee

See also[edit]