State and politics
Mauritius became independent in 1968 and has since been
one of the few countries in Africa with functioning
multi-party systems. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of MU and its meanings of Mauritius.
Mauritius is a parliamentary democracy. Until 1992, the
country was a monarchy with the British monarch as head of
state, but after a referendum the same year, a republic was
introduced. The legislative power is exercised by the
National Assembly, which is elected for five years and has a
maximum of 70 members, of whom 62 are directly elected.
Other mandates are appointed by the Supreme Court and are
awarded to candidates who were next in turn to be elected.
An extra seat in the National Assembly is reserved for the
Registrar, if he has not been elected as an ordinary member.
The executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister and
the Government, who are responsible for the National
Assembly. The President is elected by the National Assembly
for a term of five years.
The country has almost always been ruled by coalition
governments, mainly different constellations between the
three dominant Mauritius Labor Party (MLP),
Mouvement militant Mauritian (MMM) and Mouvement
socialiste militant (MSM). In the 2000 election, an
alliance between MMM and MSM clearly prevailed and received
54 of 62 directly elected seats. Prime Minister became MSM
leader Anerood Jugnauth, who, in accordance with a
settlement, was replaced by MMM's Paul Bérenger in 2003;
Jugnauth was then elected president. In the 2005
parliamentary elections, MMM-MSM was defeated by the
coalition Alliance Social(AS) where MLP was
included; AS received 38 of 62 seats and MLP's Navin
Ramgoolan became prime minister. Ramgoolan remained in the
post even after the 2010 election, before which MLP together
with, among others, MSM formed l'Alliance de l'Avenir,
which received 41 out of 62 seats. After a controversy in
2011, however, the MSM left the alliance and joined the MMM
with Jugnauth as the leader the following year. The latter
left the presidential post following pressure from Prime
Minister Ramgoolam and was temporarily replaced by Vice
President Monique Ohsan-Bellepeau. In July 2012, Rajkeswur
Purryag was elected new president.
In the 2014 election, Alliance Lepep, comprising
the MSM, the Party of Mauritania Social Democrats (PMSD)
and the Muvman Liberators (ML), won, and Jugnauth
again became prime minister. As the election result meant
that Purryag no longer had the support of a majority of the
members of the National Assembly, he entered into an
agreement with Jugnauth to resign, which happened at the end
of May 2015. New president became Ameenah Gurib-Fakim who
was voted by a united parliament. She thus became the
country's first elected female president; Monique
Ohsan-Bellepeau has on two occasions resigned as interim
Mauritius claims the Chagos Islands, including the atoll
Diego Garcia, which was administered under Mauritius until
1965, before the population was displaced to leave space for
a US military base. Mauritius also claims the right to the
French island of Tromelin. In June 2010, Mauritius and
France signed an agreement to jointly manage the island.
The legal system in Mauritius is based on French soil,
including on Code Civil, and a bodywork that is
predominantly designed according to English role models. The
judicial organization consists mainly of several district
courts, a central court (Intermediate Court)
and a supreme court. The death penalty was abolished in
1995; the last execution took place in 1987.
Heads of State
Note.: From independence in 1968 to the
establishment of the Republic in 1992, the British monarch
Queen Elizabeth II was head of state.