CHAPTER 5: THE SELECT COMMITTEE REPORT

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On 23 April 2002, a motion was passed by the National Assembly appointing a Select Committee of the Assembly in light of the Sachs Commission's report.
Implementing Sachs
The Committee was tasked with recom-mending how to implement the Sachs Commission's recommendation of 30 proportional representation seats, but was specifically constrained from any implementation that might prejudice the Best Loser System.56
56 http://www.gov.mu/portal/goc/assemblysite/file/Report%20on%20Proportional%20Representation.pdf at [6]
57 http://www.gov.mu/portal/goc/assemblysite/file/Report%20on%20Proportional%20Representation.pdf at [90]
58 http://www.gov.mu/portal/goc/assemblysite/file/


The party list
The party list, from which proportional representation candidates would be selected, would include within the first twelve people on the list, six women and six men.57 Save for party leaders, candidates would not be entitled to stand
as candidates in constituencies as well as on the party list.58 The Select Committee
Report%20on%20Proportional%20Representation.pdf at [93] – [94]
59 http://www.gov.mu/portal/goc/assemblysite/file/Report%20on%20Proportional%20Representation.pdf at [95] – [96]
proposed detailed requirements for the party lists of not more than 30 persons, in order of preference, including that the party or alliance fielded at least twelve candidates at constituency level.59


Casting two ballots
On the day of the poll, a voter would complete two ballots, one to indicate his or her choice of three candidates in the constituency, as is currently the practice, and one to indicate his or her choice of party to determine allocation of the additional 30 seats. All parties that poll 10% or more of the total votes cast would be entitled to consideration. The total number of votes polled by each party having polled 10% or more of the total votes cast would be divided by the sum of 1 plus the number of candidates that party had returned in any of the 21 constituencies (the PR figure). The higher the PR figure, the greater is the under-representation of that party. The party with the highest figure would be entitled to the first additional seat, after which the 36

PR figure would have to be recalculated to factor in the additional seat that that party acquired through the party list. Such a process would continue until all 30 additional seats were filled.60
60 http://www.gov.mu/portal/goc/assemblysite/file/Report%20on%20Proportional%20Representation.pdf at [97] – [104]
61 L Amédéé Darga, Mauritius Electoral Reform Process (2004) EISA Occasional Paper 24 at p10
62 http://www.gov.mu/portal/goc/assemblysite/file/Report%20on%20Proportional%20Representation.pdf at [115]
The parallel formula

A divergence of views emerged in the Select Committee which included members of opposition parties. However, the divergence was not between the ruling alliance and the opposition, rather between two members of the alliance itself.61

One member of the Select Committee suggested an alternative system based on a proposal rejected by the Sachs Commission.62 The essence of the proposal was that a political party or party alliance, which nominated one or more candidates in a general election and polled in respect of the candidates in aggregate 10% or more of the total number of votes cast at the general election, would be allocated proportionately elected members. The
Sachs Commission criticised this proposal on the basis that it, "would hardly touch on the disproportionality emanating from the present system”.63
63 Report of the Commission on Constitutional and Electoral Reform 2001/02 at [37]
64 http://www.gov.mu/portal/goc/assemblysite/file/Report%20on%20Proportional%20Representation.pdf at annex B

The Select Committee included the alternative "parallel formula" in an annex to the report, which formula would allocate 30 seats by multiplying 30 by the total number of valid votes cast in favour of the candidates nominated by a given party, and dividing that figure by the total number of valid votes cast at the election, to give the number of proportionately elected members that the given party should be entitled to.64
The essential difference between the parallel formula and the Sachs Commission's preferred compensatory model is that parallel proportional representation allocates seats to parties in proportion to their votes without taking into account the constituency seats they have already won. It therefore does not rebalance the seats in line with the votes. On the other hand, the Sachs Commission's preferred model takes into account constituency seats and aims to 37

align the total seats won by a party with its proportion of the total vote.65
65 R Sithanen, “Roadmap for a better balance between stability and fairness in the voting formula” (January 2012) p 56 38