Background information of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly
The Rodrigues Regional Assembly Act (act 39 of 2001) received the President of the Republic’s assent on 20 November, 2001 – The Assembly met for the first time on 12 October, 2002. The first meeting saw the swearing in of members, the election of the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson, the Chief Commissioner, the Deputy Chief Commissioner and the appointment of Commissioners by the President of the Republic of Mauritius. The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and other ministers attended. Were also present High Commissioners and Ambassadors accredited to the Republic of Mauritius as well as other dignitaries.
The Assembly normally meets on Tuesdays for all business and other days when this is warranted. However only on Tuesdays may questions be set to Commissioners on matters within their jurisdiction. The Assembly, excluding the Chairperson, consists of eighteen members – twelve Local Region Members for six Local Regions and six Island Region Members. At present the “Organisation du Peuple Rodriguais” (OPR) has a Majority of ten members. The Minority party (Mouvement Rodriguais) has eight members The Chief Commissioner is Mr. Louis Serge CLAIR, G.C.S.K and the Minority Leader, Mr. Johnson Roussety.
The Rodrigues Regional Assembly is empowered to make Regulations for matters falling within its purview. It may initiate legislation which, however, has to be ushered into the National Assembly to become law for Rodrigues. The Assembly prepares and adopts its annual budgetary estimates. These are then considered by the Cabinet of Ministers before being incorporated in the National Appropriation Bill. The budgetary provision for the Rodrigues Regional Assembly features as a one line all-comprehensive item in the National budget.
In view of geographical distance and for the sake of greater efficiency, the law provides for regular interaction between the Rodrigues Regional Assembly, through the Chief Commissioner, and the Prime Minister. Commissioners are also encouraged to consult relevant Ministers on the mainland as often as is necessary.
One can safely add that the decentralisation of decision making relative to Rodrigues has started well and been gathering momentum over the last one and a half years. This augurs well for the future of both the Republic and Rodrigues.