The Prime Minister of Mauritius Navinchandra Ramgoolam said statements by Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai that he would not be running in the presidential elections run-off were alarming because allowing President Robert Mugabe to run unopposed would be a disaster.
In his opinion, Tsvangirai was going to win the elections.
Ramgoolam said Mauritius was going to send a much larger delegation to observe the run-offs.
Viewing cable 08PORTLOUIS189, AMBASSADOR’S COURTESY CALL ON MAURITIAN PRIME
DE RUEHPL #0189/01 1551126
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 031126Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4023
INFO RUEHAN/AMEMBASSY ANTANANARIVO 0768
C O N F I D E N T I A L PORT LOUIS 000189
AF/E MARIA BEYZEROV; ANTANANARIVO FOR DATT
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/03/2018
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR’S COURTESY CALL ON MAURITIAN PRIME
Classified By: Ambassador Cesar B. Cabrera for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
¶1. (C) On June 2, 2008, Ambassador Cabrera paid a courtesy
call on Mauritian Prime Minister Ramgoolam; DCM served as
notetaker. The relaxed and pleasant hour and a half
discussion touched on a wide variety of topics, including
U.S. elections, Kosovo, and Mauritian U.N. voting records.
The two agreed to meet periodically to continue to update
each other on issues of mutual interest.
¶2. (SBU) Prime Minister Ramgoolam spent about a half hour
discussing U.S. elections, particularly the primary process.
He was interested in the Ambassador’s thoughts on the process
and Ramgoolam noted that he received an invitation to attend
the Democratic Party Convention in August. Ramgoolam said he
was considering going to the event, and was pleased by the
Ambassador’s offer to assist in arranging side-bar meetings.
The Ambassador encouraged the PM to let the Embassy know his
travel plans (and additional meeting requests) soonest, so
Post could help support the trip, as needed.
¶3. (C) Ambassador took advantage of this courtesy call to ask
for GOM to further consider formally recognizing Kosovo. The
PM blamed the recently dismissed Foreign Minister for not
being in favor of such recognition, but added that as PM he
did not have all the details on the issue. The PM asked for
an updated briefing paper to review their position on
recognition of Kosovo. The PM seemed positively inclined
toward recognition of Kosovo — and was particularly
receptive to the Ambassador’s appeal that the Mauritian
Muslim population, upon which the current coalition relies to
remain in power, would perceive GOM recognition of Kosovo
UN VOTING RECORD
¶4. (C) The Ambassador also raised the issue of the GOM’s
voting record in the UN, noting that it did not appear to
accurately reflect the positive and friendly relationship
shared between the United States and the GOM. The PM seemed
genuinely surprised by the GOM’s low percentage of 2007 votes
with the US (only 6 votes with the US, and 65 votes in
disagreement), and asked for a vote-by-vote readout. Post
will follow-up with the PM’s office in the coming week.
¶5. (C) Noting that our highest rate of agreement in UN votes
was in the realm of Human Rights, the Ambassador turned the
conversation to Zimbabwe. The PM opined that leader of the
opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, would win the upcoming
election. He added that previous comments by Tsvangirai
regarding not running had been alarming, as the PM believed
allowing Mugabe to run unopposed would be a disaster. In the
last elections, Mauritius sent only the head of the electoral
commission as an observer. According to the PM, Mauritius
will send a “much larger” delegation for the upcoming
¶6. (C) During the meeting, the PM agreed in principal to
consider a Status of Forces Agreement, noting the positives
both countries enjoy during ship visits to Mauritius. The
Ambassador discussed the variety of military and security
assistance programs, highlighting recent projects including
the crisis management training, peacekeeping training, and
assistance to the GOM reaction procedures and infrastructure
for natural disasters (specifically flooding and tsunamis).
The PM asked for additional police training, particularly
vis-a-vis criminal investigation. The PM is looking for
international assistance to ensure better police procedures
which result in more criminal convictions. Post will explore
this request further with appropriate USG counterparts.
¶7. (C) Since the dismissal of the Foreign Minister, the PM
has taken on the Foreign Minister role. This has caused a
good deal of confusion within the MFA, as offices grapple
with waiting for PM response to matters that were previously
decided by the FM. Ramgoolam noted that he is generally
unhappy with the performance of the MFA, and planned
“comprehensive changes” in the coming months. These changes
would take place, he said, before he assigned another person
as Foreign Affairs Minister. Ramgoolam is often criticized
in the press and by Embassy contacts for his inability to
delegate authority. Post has observed the PM’s tendency
toward micro-management and the negative impact it can have
on actively following through on foreign affairs issues.
During the meeting with the Ambassador, the PM specifically
asked for any and all follow-up to take place between the DCM
and the head of the PM’s office and that the DCM not/not take
any of the at-play issues to the MFA. The PM noted this was
to “ensure they are fast tracked” and that he is briefed; he
added that many foreign affairs issues and briefs never make
it to him as Prime Minister.