Constituencies of Mauritius

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Constituencies of Mauritius are the electoral boundaries within the Republic of Mauritius. The country follows the Westminster system and elects sixty members of parliament for a term of five years. There are in all twenty-one constituencies[1] in the republic, each of them returning three members with the exception of Constituency No 21, which returns only two members. The constitution stipulates in there shall be twenty constituencies and one created specially for the Rodrigues island.

Those electoral boundaries are considered to be the main pillars for elections as they allow members of parliament to be elected and thus to form the government. As mentioned in the constitution, the Electoral Boundaries Commission shall review the boundaries of the constituencies at such times as will enable them to present a report to the Assembly 10 years, as near as may be, after 12 August 1966 and, thereafter, 10 years after presentation of their last report.

The report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission shall make recommendations for any alterations to the boundaries of the constituencies as appear to the Commission to be required so that the number of inhabitants of each constituency is as nearly equal as is reasonably practicable to the population quota that is the number of inhabitants of a constituency may be greater or less than the population quota in order to take account of means of communication, geographical features, density of population and the boundaries of administrative areas.

History of Constituencies[edit]

Before 1967, according to the previous (pre-independence) Constitution, Mauritius was divided into 40 constituencies from which a Member of Parliament (MP) was elected. Elected MPs would then elect a Chief Minister as well as Council Members.

Today, the constituencies still remain more or less the same but, ever since the new Constitution provided in 1992, many of the previously smaller 40 constituencies have been reorganised so as to now form a total of 21 constituencies.

The results showed a directly members would be including 24 MPs of Hindu[2] community, 3 Mps elected from the Muslims, 1 Mp elected from the sino-Mauritians and the 12 resting Mps were of Christian group. This affected the equality of representation thought ethnic groups which are considered as very sensible subject and then government decided to amend the law and move it to a system of Best Loser.

The Best Loser System[edit]

The Best Loser System is a method used in Mauritius to make sure that the minorities ethnic groups are well and equitably represented in the parliament. Apart from 62 directly elected members, the constitution provides 8 additional seats which are allocated to the best losers who were candidates from the appropriate ethnic groups, namely the minorities. Minorities are mainly build of Christians and Muslims with a small percentage of Sino-Mauritian.

In order to ensure a fair and adequate representation of each community, there shall be 8 seats in the Assembly, additional to the 62 seats for members representing constituencies, which shall so far as is possible be allocated to persons belonging to parties who have stood as candidates for election as members at the general election but have not been returned as members to represent constituencies. As soon as is practicable after all the returns have been made of persons elected at any general election as members to represent constituencies, the 8 additional seats shall be allocated in accordance with the following provisions of this paragraph by the Electoral Supervisory Commission which shall so far as is possible make a separate determination in respect of each seat to ascertain the appropriate unreturned candidate (if any) to fill that seat.

The first 4 of the 8 seats shall so far as is possible each be allocated to the most successful unreturned candidate, if any, who is a member of a party and who belongs to the appropriate community, regardless of which party he belongs to.

When the first 4 seats (or as many as possible of those seats) have been allocated, the number of such seats that have been allocated to persons who belong to parties, other than the most successful party, shall be ascertained and so far as is possible that number of seats out of the second 4 seats shall one by one be allocated to the most successful unreturned candidates (if any) belonging both to the most successful party and to the appropriate community or where there is no unreturned candidate of the appropriate community, to the most successful unreturned candidates belonging to the most successful party, irrespective of community.

Where at any time before the next dissolution of Parliament one of the 8 seats falls vacant, the seat shall as soon as is reasonably practicable after the occurrence of the vacancy be allocated by the Electoral Supervisory Commission to the most successful unreturned candidate (if any) available who belongs to the appropriate community and to the party to whom the person to whom the seat was allocated at the last general election belonged:

Provided that, where no candidate of the appropriate community who belongs to that party is available, the seat shall be allocated to the most successful unreturned candidate available who belongs to the appropriate community and who belongs to such other party as is designated by the leader of the party with no available candidate.The appropriate community means, in relation to the allocation of any of the 8 seats, the community that has an unreturned candidate available (being a person of the appropriate party, where the seat is one of the second 4 seats) and that would have the highest number of persons (as determined by reference to the results of the published 1972 official census of the whole population of Mauritius) in relation to the number of seats in the Assembly held immediately before the allocation of the seat by persons belonging to that community (whether as members elected to represent constituencies or otherwise), where the seat was also held by a person belonging to that community:

Provided that, if, in relation to the allocation of any seat, 2 or more communities have the same number of persons as aforesaid preference shall be given to the community with an unreturned candidate who was more successful than the unreturned candidates of the other community or communities (that candidate and those other candidates being persons of the appropriate party, where the seat is one of the second 4 seats).The degree of success of a party shall, for the purposes of allocating any of the 8 seats at any general election of members of the Assembly, be assessed by reference to the number of candidates belonging to that party returned as members to represent constituencies at that election as compared with the respective numbers of candidates of other parties so returned, no account being taken of a party that had no candidates so returned or of any change in the membership of the Assembly occurring because the seat of a member so returned becomes vacant for any cause, and the degree of success of an unreturned candidate of a particular community (or of a particular party and community) at any general election shall be assessed by comparing the percentage of all the valid votes cast in the constituency in which he stood for election secured by him at that election with the percentages of all the valid votes cast in the respective constituencies in which they stood for election so secured by other unreturned candidates of that particular community (or as the case may be, of that particular party and that particular community), no account being taken of the percentage of votes secured by any unreturned candidate who has already been allocated one of the 8 seats at that election or by any unreturned candidate who is not a member of a party:

Provided that if, in relation to the allocation of any seat, any 2 or more parties have the same number of candidates returned as members elected to represent constituencies, preference shall be given to the party with an appropriate unreturned candidate who was more successful than the appropriate unreturned candidate or candidates of the other party or parties.

Therefore according to the system, no Hindus have the right to be elected because they already form a rather big majority of those ethnic groups .However taking on ethnic groups, some Hindus who are Tamil speakers, telegu speakers and marathi speakers have been elected through the system and it was done lastly in 2000.

The Best Loser System was set up long ago to prevent political and social tension in the country however as at January 2012, and after the Carcassonne Report, the need of electoral reform in Mauritius made headlines[3] and the probability of abolishing the Best Loser System has surfaced.

The Constituencies as from 1967[edit]

Constituency No 1[edit]

The Constituency, namely Grand River North West and Port Louis West is mainly composed of Christianity majority. It comprises part of Pailles, Point Aux Sables, La Tour König, GRNW and west part of Port Louis. With 40,572 voters, it is one of the most underdeveloped areas of Port Louis.

All of the vicinity fall in the boundaries of the Capital and thus form one of the 4 constituencies of Port Louis city. On political fields, since long dated to 1976, the MMM has made a bastion of it .It is home to MMM MPs since long and no other parties have been able to be elected there .

Some famous members of parliament from the constituency is, Late Dr James Burty, former Minister of Rodrigues & Outer Islands and Anne Navarre Marie who is former Minister of Women Rights and still Mp elected from the constituency .It is noted that the constituency is composed of the GRNW Prison and different rehabilitation centers as well as handicapped centers and various orphanage. It also contains the University of Technology, Mauritius situated at la Tour Koenig .

Much interest has been showed on this constituency as 34 prisoners mounted a mutiny and escaped from the GRNW prison in June 2010.

Members elected for 5 May 2010 elections are as below

Name Party Number of Votes Religion
NAVARRE-MARIE, Marie Arianne MMM 15,834 Christian
BARBIER, Jean Claude MMM 15,655 Christian
Veda Balamoody MMM 15,103 Hindu

Constituency No 2[edit]

Officially Port Louis South and Port Louis Central, this constituency has been a renowned area as it is composed of the central area of the city and also the south part comprising suburb areas like Cassis, The Victoria Bus Terminal, The North Bus terminal, the Port Louis Market, Le Champ de Mars. It is a Muslim majority area and has a total of 18,867 voters.

The Deputy Prime Minister Rashid Beebeejaun is member of parliament from this constituency. He has been MP since 1995 and has been elected in 1995, 2000, 2005 and now lastly in 2010 .He is one of the leaders of the actual Government. Some formers famous Mps are Sylvio Tang, former Minister of Consumer Protection Unit.

The constituency was mostly a bastion of the MMM precisely from the very beginning to 2005 until Rashid Beebeejaun changed political views and separated himself from the MMM .He entered the Mauritian Labour Party and the constituency became a bastion of Labours .

Members of Parliament elected are as follows

Name Party Number of Votes Religion Position
Rashid Beebeejaun MLP 8,617 Muslim Deputy Prime Minister
Reza Uteem MMM 8,245 Muslim Opposition Member
Abdullah HOSSEN MLP 7,986 Muslim

Constituency No 3[edit]

Also known as Port Louis Maritime and Port Louis East, the constituency no 3 is the smallest of the 20 having an electorate of only 17,186 of people. It has been carved just to satisfy ethnic representation. This was constructed out of the constituency no 2 just to implement the Muslim community which was not enough represented in parliament. This constituency has always been a bastion of the MMM since the 1970s. The government of the MSM led by Sir Anerood Jugnauth had impoverish this constituency as they never had a candidate elected from there. All candidates elected were from the opposition side. Therefore they did not have an MP minister for long and taking into account that this particular electorate had not voted for Jugnauth and his government, the latter initiated the 'if you're not with us, you are against us'. It was the constituency which was let behind by the then government in the 1980s making it one of the poorest areas along with constituency no1.

The areas in this constituency are Plain Verte, Roche Bois, Terre Rouge, Batterie Cassée, Karo Kalyptis among others. The 2010 elections resulted in having an MMM MP namely Ameer Mea, a Labour Party MP, minister for work Shakeel Mohammed and Cehl Meeah, leader of the Front Solidariter Mauricien .

Name Party Number of Votes Religion Position
Ameer Mea MMM 7,278 Muslim Opposition Member
Shakeel Mohammed MLP 6,917 Muslim Minister of Labour
Fakermeeah Cehl FSM 6,204 Muslim independent

Constituency 4[edit]

Port Louis North and Montagne Longue[4] constituency is the 4th and last electoral boundary of Port Louis City .The areas are among the most impoverished places in the country .It includes St Croix, Kailason, Creve Coeur ending in Montagne Longue .The constituency was among the constituencies left behind by the Jugnauth's government in the 80's as he had no Mps elected from there .It is a disputed constituency between the majority of Hindus and Creoles .

This constituency has always been a MMM bastion since 1976 but is now disputed between the three main political parties, the MSM, MMM and the Mauritian Labour Party .It has recorded a total number of 46,179 voters in the 2010 elections .

Name Party Number of Votes Religion Position
MARTIN, Maria Francesca Mireille MSM 16,607 Christian Minister of Women Rights
LESJONGARD, Georges Pierre, MMM 16,535 Christian MP
Kalyanee Juggoo MLP 15,803 Hindu PPS

Constituency 5[edit]

Pamplemousses and Trioletis the fifth constituency and one of the three main Hindu constituencies in the Northern part of the Country .It is known to be a bastion of the Mauritian Labour Party since independence .It starts with the areas covering Pamplemousses, Triolet, Trou aux Biches ending near Mon Choisy .It is the 2nd most populous constituency with 56,620 voters registered after Constituency No 14 .It is a constituency which has an overall majority of Hindus reaching nearly 80% of the voters .

It has been the constituency of Seewoosagur Ramgoolam the father of the nation of the country. It is the only electorate to have return two Prime Ministers, Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and Navin Ramgoolam, the incumbent office holder .It is a decisive boundary as most labour Mps are elected from there .

From 1968 to 1982, Sir Ramgoolam was MP and from 1991, Navin Ramgoolam has been returned every time as 1st Member elected . The Prime Minister being always a Hindu is a very important factor to win over the elections. This constituency has been bastions of two prime minister of the country.

The MPs from 2010 elections are as below[5]

Name Party Number of Votes Religion Position
Navin Ramgoolam MLP 27694 Hindu Prime Minister
Devanand Rittoo MLP 25,501 Hindu Minister
Satya Faugoo MLP 22,955 Hindu Minister

Constituency No 6[edit]

Grand Baie and Poudre d'Or is one of the three main Hindu constituency of Mauritius. The others being No 5 and No 7. Known to be a disputed electoral territory of the MSM and the Mauritius Labour Party, this constituency has a total of 48,379 registered electors.

The biggest centers of this Constituency is Grand Baie & Goodlands. Grand Baie, known to be the touristic center of the country has one of the foremost beautiful beaches, hotels and classic touristic boutiques. Goodlands is the most northern main residential and commercial town of this constituency. It is one of the pillars of the electoral area. Very famous political personality is Madan Dulloo who has been a member of the Labour Party, MSM and MMM. He has served as Member of Parliament elected in 1983, 1987, 1991, 1995, 2000 and 2005. However, he lost the last general elections held in 2010.

The members of parliament serving for this particular constituency are as follows[6]

Name Party Number of Votes Religion Position
Ashit Kumar Gungah MSM 22,479 Hindu Opposition Member
Lormus Bundhoo MLP 21,962 Hindu Minister
Mookhesswur Choonee MLP 20,844 Hindu Minister

Constituency No 7[edit]

Piton and Riviere du Rempart is the seventh constituency and the last one of the three northern electoral boundaries of the Country. The constituency with an overall of Hindu majority has two important pillars which are, the commercial town, Riviere du Rempart and Piton. With 40,624 registered electors, this is a very historic constituency for being a bastion of the MSM since its formation.

The MSM founder and leader Sir Anerood Jugnauth has been member of parliament for this constituency for nearly 50 years since his first election in 1963. However, since Jugnauth retired from politics, this electoral boundary has been disputed between the MSM and the Labour Party.

Piton and Riviere du Rempart has been a bastion of the MSM since 1983. It has had since, a very sensible population to criticism against Sir Jugnauth.

The members of parliament serving for constituency No 7 are as follows:

Name Party Number of Votes Religion Position
BHOLAH, Prateebah Koomaree MSM 19,173 Hindu Opposition Member
HOOKOOM, Balkissoon MLP 18,537 Hindu PPS
VIRAHSAWMY, Devanand MLP 16,895 Hindu Minister

Constituency No 8[edit]

Quartier Militaire and Moka is an inland constituency with a registered number of 41,342 electors. With an absolute Hindu majority, this electoral boundary has important towns including Quartier Militaire, St Pierre and Moka with small adjacent villages including Camp Thorel, Solitude and Camp de Masque.

This constituency has been a bastion MSM for a long time. A constituency always dominated by the Jugnauth family. It is now a disputed constituency of the Jugnauth Political family, precisely between Pravind Jugnauth, leader of the MSM and former MSM member Ashock Jugnauth, (uncle of Pravind).

This constituency has always had a member of the Jugnauth family as Member of Parliament since 1987. Ashock Jugnauth has been elected first member serving in 1987, 1991, 2000 and 2005. Pravind Jugnauth has been elected in 2009 and recently in 2010. Ashock Jugnauth who is a former MSM member and Minister has loss by only 400 votes approximately.

The members of parliament serving this constituency are as follows:[7]

Name Party Number of Votes Religion Position
Pravind Jugnauth MSM 19,649 Hindu Leader of the MSM
leela Devi Dookhun MSM 19,109 Hindu Vice President of the MSM
Suren Dayal MLP 17,392 Hindu Minister

Constituency No 9[edit]

Flacq and Bon Acceuil is the ninth constituency of the country. It is a coastal electoral boundary and is made up of the main town Flacq with some adjacent towns including Bon Acceuil, Belle Mare and Lallmatie. It has registered number of 50,883 electors.

A constituency mainly of Hindus, it has been a bastion of Charismatic politician Anil Bachoo who has been member of parliament serving since 1991. He has been elected back in 2000, 2005 and lastly 2010.

The Members of parliament are as follows:

Name Party Number of Votes Religion Position
Anil Bachoo MLP 25,876 Hindu Vice Prime Minister
Khamajeet Dhiraj Singh MLP 25,088 Hindu PPS
Prithvirajsing Roopun MSM 21,931 Hindu Opposition Member

Constituency No 10[edit]

Montagne Blanche and Grand River South East is the 10th constituency of the country and is a coastal electoral boundary. Composed mostly of Hindus, it has a registered number of 47,296 electors.

Throughout history, this has been a typically Labour Party bastion. Former leader of the Labour Party, Sir Satcam Boolell was member of parliament serving more than 30 years in this constituency. It comprises Montagne Blanche, GRSE, Bel Air, Beau Champ and Trou d'au Douce.

The Members serving for this constituency are as follows:

Name Party Number of Votes Religion Position
Rajesh Jeetah MLP 21,171 Hindu Minister
J.I.M Seetaram MLP 20,720 Hindu Minister
SAYED-HOSSEN, Sayyad Abd-Al-Cader MLP 19,652 Muslim Minister

Constituency No 11[edit]

Vieux Grand Port and Rose Belle is the eleventh constituency and is a coastal constituency.

Constituency No Name of the Constituencies Electoral Population Ethnic Representants [8]
1 Grand River North West and Port Louis West 40,572 Christians
2 Port Louis South and Port Louis Central 24,642 Muslims
Chinese
3 Port Louis Maritime and Port Louis East 22,488 Muslim
4 Port Louis North and Montagne Longue 46,179 Hindu
Christian
5 Pamplemousses and Triolet 56,620 Hindu
6 Grand Baie and Poudre d'Or 48,379 Hindu
7 Piton and Riviere du Rempart 40,624 Hindu
8 Quartier Militaire and Moka 41,342 Hindu
9 Flacq and Bon Acceuil 50,883 Hindu
10 Montagne Blanche and Grand River South East 47,296 Hindu
11 Vieux Grand Port and Rose Belle 39,432 Hindu
12 Mahebourg and Plaine Magnien 36,242 Hindu
13 Riviere des Anguilles and Souillac 33,169 Hindu
14 Savanne and Black River 58,341 Hindu
15 La Caverne and Phoenix 53,548 Hindu
16 Vacoas and Floreal 44,053 Hindu
Christian
17 Curepipe and Midlands 45,346 Christian
Hindu
18 Belle Rose and Quatre Bornes 42,173 Hindu
Christian
19 Stanley and Rose Hill 38,982 Christian
20 Beau Bassin and Petite Riviere 42,656 Hindu
Christian
21 Rodrigues 26,930 Christians

References[edit]