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Politics of Mauritius takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, in which the President is the Head of state and the prime minister is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly.The absolute power is split between two positions,the President and the Prime Minister

Overview

Mauritian politics is vibrant and characterised by coalition and alliance building. All parties are centrist and reflect a national consensus that supports democratic politics and a relatively open economy with a strong private sector.

Alone or in coalition, the Mauritian Labor Party (MLP) ruled from 1947 through 1982. The Mauritian Militant Movement/Militant Socialist Movement (MMM/MSM) alliance won the 1982 election, taking all 60 seats in Mauritius. In 1983, defectors from the MMM joined with the PSM to form the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) and formed a majority in coalition with the MLP.

In July 1990, the MSM realigned with the MMM and in September 1991 national elections won 57 of the 62 directly elected seats in parliament. In December 1995, the MLP returned to power, this time in coalition with the MMM. The MLP's Navinchandra Ramgoolam, son of the country's first prime minister, became prime minister himself. Ramgoolam dismissed his MMM coalition partners in mid-1997, leaving Labour in power only with several small parties allied with it.

The MMM and MSM rejoined in a coalition that won the 2000 elections and, although a handful of MPs defected from the MSM in early 2005, both parties went together to the next election in July 2005, competing against the Alliance Sociale, a MLP-led coalition. The Alliance Sociale won the elections with an overwhelming majority.

Until 1992, Mauritius was a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, but on March 12 of that year, the country became a republic within the Commonwealth. The last Governor-General, Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo, became President under a transitional arrangement, before stepping down three months later in favour of Cassam Uteem, a former government minister. Under the amended constitution, the country's unicameral parliament, the Legislative Assembly, was renamed the National Assembly.

Communal Voting

Communal Voting is very often the sole way of voting.Since independence ,the Prime Ministers elected by the population are Hindus and also President holds the majority of Hindu office holders.As from 2003,President Jugnauth,from 2007,Vice President Chettiar and as from 2005 Prime Minister Ramgoolam are the highest ranked persons in the actual government and are all three Hindus.

The Number of Members of Parliament who are Hindus are more than 45 over 70 seats.The Ministries are also allocated on communal basis where Hindus held 16 ministries out of 22. with 3 ministers allocated to Muslims and 3 ministers to Christians.

Muslims and Christians are on the other hand the minorities but the office holders need to see that all communities and religions are equally established as the two of the Vice Prime Ministers are christian and Muslims.

Executive branch

The president and vice president are elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms. The prime minister is appointed by the president and are responsible to the National Assembly. Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister. The Council of Ministers (cabinet), responsible for the direction and control of the government, consists of the prime minister (head of government), the leader of the majority party in the legislature, and about 20 ministries.

Power Share

In Mauritius, both the President and the Prime Minister enjoy power. The President earns higher and has more benefits and perks such as more bodyguards and police escorts and reside in a Chateau laid on 220 hectares of land. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister is the executive. He is responsible for any bill sent to the President from the assembly. He preside over all cabinet ministers and is the first adviser of the President. He is the head of government and it is on his advice that the President shall appoint any person in the government.

Legislative branch

The National Assemblyhas 70 members, 62 elected for a five year term in single-seat constituenciesand 8 additional members appointed by the election commission from the losing political parties to give representation to various ethnic minorities.

Political parties and elections

Every voter has three votes. The total number of votes cast divided by three (648,316) is lower than the actual number people voting (666,178), because not all of them cast three votes. Please note that constituencies 1 to 20 are physically in the island of Mauritius and each has three elected members. Constituency 21 is the island of Rodrigues which has two elected members. The voters based in the island of Agalega and other islets are registered in constituency 1.


Judicial branch

Mauritian law is an amalgam of Frenchand British legaltraditions. The Supreme Court—a chief justiceand five other judges—is the highest local judicial authority. There is an additional higher right of appealto the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Membersof the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council willbe going to sit in Mauritius as from end-2008, following the plan for lowering the costs of appeal.

Administrative divisions

Local government has nine administrative divisions, with municipal and town councils in urban areas and district and village councils in rural areas. The island of Rodriguesmarker forms the country's 10th administrative division.Other dependencies are Agalega Islandsmarker and Cargados Carajos Shoalsmarker.The divisions are Black River, Flacq, Grand Port, Moka, Pamplemousses, Plaines Wilhems, Port Louis, Riviere du Rempart, and Savanne.

International organization participation

ACCT,ACP,AfDB,AOSIS,C,CCC,ECA,FAO,G-77,IAEAmarker,IBRD,ICAOmarker,ICCt,ICFTU,ICRMmarker,IDA,IFAD,IFCmarker,IFRCS,ILO,IMFmarker,IMO,Inmarsat,InOC,Intelsat,Interpolmarker,IOCmarker,ISO,ITU,NAM,OAU,OPCWmarker,PCA,SADC,UN,UNCTAD,UNESCOmarker,UNIDO,UPUmarker,WCL,WFTU,WHO,WIPO,WMO,WToO,WTO

References



President
Anerood Jugnauth
7 October 2003
Vice President
Angidi Chettiar
2007
Prime Minister
Navin Ramgoolam
MLP
5 July 2005

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