Navin Ramgoolam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Navin Ramgoolam
Navin Ramgoolam 2014.png
Prime Minister of Mauritius
In office
5 July 2005 – 17 December 2014
President Anerood Jugnauth
Kailash Purryag
Preceded by Paul Bérenger
Succeeded by Anerood Jugnauth
In office
27 December 1995 – 11 September 2000
President Cassam Uteem
Preceded by Anerood Jugnauth
Succeeded by Anerood Jugnauth
Leader of the Opposition
In office
11 September 2000 – 4 July 2005
Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth
Paul Bérenger
Preceded by Anerood Jugnauth
Succeeded by Paul Bérenger
In office
15 September 1991 – 20 December 1995
Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth
Preceded by Prem Nababsing
Succeeded by Anerood Jugnauth
Personal details
Born Navinchandra Ramgoolam
(1947-07-14) 14 July 1947 (age 67)
Port Louis, Mauritius
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Veena Brizmohun (1979–present)
Parents Seewoosagur Ramgoolam
Sushil Ramjoorawon
Residence Riverwalk, Floreal
Alma mater National University of Ireland
London School of Economics
Inns of Court School of Law
Religion Hinduism

Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP (born: 14 July 1947) is the former Prime Minister of Mauritius and leader of the Labour Party.[1] He was appointed Leader of the Opposition from 1991 to 1995. He served as Prime Minister for the first time in December 1995 until September 2000 and became Leader of the Opposition again from October 2000 to 4 July 2005. On 5 July 2005, he became prime minister for a second term after his Alliance Social won the general elections. He also occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of Mauritius.

In 2010, his Labour Party made a strategic alliance with the MSM of Pravind Jugnauth and the PMSD. His alliance won 41 out of 60 seats and remained as prime minister for a 3rd term.

In the 2014 general elections, he made an alliance with the MMM. His alliance won only 13 seats out of 60, which included 9 members of the MMM and only 4 members of the Labour party. As the leader of the Labour Party, Ramgoolam was not elected in his constituency. On 13 December 2014, he resigned as the Prime Minister of Mauritius.

Early life and education[edit]

Navin Ramgoolam was born on 14 July 1947 to Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and his wife Sushil Ramjoorawon, he attended the Royal College Curepipe from 1960 to 1968 and proceeded to study medicine in Ireland between 1968 and 1975, where he obtained the LRCP&SI licentiates from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

After his father's death in December 1985, Ramgoolam was on the point of immigrating to Canada when Sir Satcam Boolell (then leader of Labour Party) and Paul Berenger convinced him to come back to Mauritius and to fight and win the leadership of the party. He subsequently served as a medical doctor at Dr A.G Jeetoo Hospital in Mauritius from 1985 to 1987. In 1987, he started his law studies at The London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London. Upon completion of his LLB degree in 1990, he returned to Mauritius to face the electorate as the new leader of the Labour party in the 1991 general election.

1991 Elections & 1st Candidacy[edit]

Following the alliance made between the MSM and the MMM, Ramgoolam made an alliance with the PMSD of Gaetan Duval. While the MSM/MMM proposed major constitutional amendments to make Commonwealth of Mauritius to become a sovereign Republic with its own President as head of state, he was fiercely against this as he believed that the President would be too ceremonial leaving all the executive powers in the hands of the prime minister.

However, the results of the elections was quite astonishing, the MSM/MMM obtained 57 out of 60 seats. His alliance brought the resting 3 members namely Arvin Boolell, Vasant Bunwaree & Ramgoolam himself. He was therefore appointed as 1st Member of Parliament serving constituency 5, Triolet & Pamplemoussess. After the heavy election loss in 1991, he took leave as leader of the opposition and returned to London where he went on to complete his law vocational course at Inns of Court School of Law. He was called to United Kingdom Bar, Inner Temple in 1993.

In 1993, Anerood Jugnauth, then prime minister, proposed to the Speaker of the National Assembly to designate Ramgoolam's seat as vacant since he did not attend parliament for 3 months consecutive. The Speaker referred the case to the Court with reference to its constitutionality. The sitting Judge found that it was indeed unconstitutional and quashed the prime minister's proposition.

After he received Paul Berenger at a personal dinner that he held at his Riverwalk residence, Ramgoolam since maintained a very friendly relationship with Berenger. Since the latter was a cabinet minister of Jugnauth's coalition government, Anerood Jugnauth fiercely dismissed Berenger as Minister in the next morning after the news hit the headlines.

This friendship developed even further when Paul Berenger and 10 members of the MMM left the government. As they had more seats than the Leader Party, Berenger was supposed to become Leader of the Opposition. He, however, showed a very trust in Ramgoolam and voluntarily allowed him to serve as Leader of the Opposition.

1995 Elections[edit]

Following his cordial relationship with Berenger, an alliance between the Labour Party and the MMM was formed. They went together in the general elections and won all of the 60 seats. History repeated itself after the first 60-0 of 1982. Ramgoolam was appointed as prime minister and Berenger as his Deputy.

In 1997, he dismissed the MMM out of the government. Berenger became the leader of the Opposition up to 2000.

2000 Elections[edit]

A historical alliance was made between the MSM and the MMM which would allow Paul Berenger to become Prime Minister for 2 years in a 5-year parliamentary term after Anerood Jugnauth agreed to retire from politics after 2003.

Ramgoolam teamed again with the PMXD, led by Xavier Luc Duval (son of Gaetan Duval). His Alliance secured 6 seats out of 60. He suffered his 2nd electoral defeat. Nevertheless, he was still elected 1st MP for his constituency. He was again appointed as Leader of the Opposition, a position he held until 2005.

2005 Elections[edit]

His Alliance Social won the general elections against the MSM/MMM outgoing government. He was again appointed as prime minister with a majority of 38 out of 60 seats. His alliance also won the local/municipal elections in 2006 where the MSM/MMM was severely defeated. These consecutive defeats and internal instability caused the break-up of the MSM/MMM coalition.

As the MSM had more seats than the MMM and Pravind Jugnauth was not elected, Nando Bodha was appointed as Leader of the Opposition.

2010 Elections[edit]

Anerood Jugnauth, whose presidential mandate was coming to an end, renew his contacts the MSM and MMM in 2008. Ramgoolam analysed the situation and concluded that Jugnauth may actually comeback from retirement to join the opposition and challenge his government in the coming elections. He therefore made a surprising and unconventional decision that his government would support and vote Jugnauth to obtain a second mandate as President.

Jugnauth, who later admitted in the press in 2014, agreed to the offer with a condition. He wanted an alliance between the Labour Party and the MSM. Ramgoolam insisted that he would not be able to take leave from Xavier Luc Duval and his PMSD (the PMXD merged with the PMSD). An alliance between the Labour Party, MSM and PMSD was therefore formed with the PMSD obtaining only 7 electoral tickets.

The alliance won 41 seats out of 60 and Ramgoolam obtained a 3rd term as Prime Minister. Anerood Jugnauth remained as President and his son became Vice Prime Minister in the government. Following the Medpoint scandale, which involved mainly the MSM, Pravind Jugnauth and his party left the government and came-back in the opposition.

Anerood Jugnauth later resigned as President and joined the MSM and the MMM.

2014 Elections[edit]

In 2014, the Labour Party made a coalition with the main opposition party Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM), the coalition proposed to amend the constitution to have a Second Republic where the President which is currently ceremonial will have more important role. Ramgoolam call an early elections in December 2014, which he said is also a referendum for the Second Republic. The proposal was that if his alliance win the elections and have three quarter or more of the seats in the National Assembly, he will amend the Constitution to make Mauritius a second Republic and will then compete in the Presidential election while the leader of the Mauritian Militant Movement Paul Berenger will become the Prime Minister.

For the 2014 election, the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM), the Mauritian Social Democrat Party (PMSD) both parties recently break their coalition with the two respective main parties and a new party called Mouvement Liberateur, formed by a former member of the MMM made a coalition called Alliance Lepep which compete for the 2014 General Elections. Alliance Lepep was vehemently against the proposal of the Second Republic. Alliance Lepep won the 2014 General Elections, winning 47 seats out of 60. The alliance of the Labour Party and MMM won only 13 seats, which included 9 members of the MMM and only 4 members of the Labour party. While the leader of the MMM was elected, the leader of the Labour Party Navin Ramgoolam was not elected in his constituency. On 12 December 2014, he resigned as the Prime Minister of Mauritius.

2015 Arrest[edit]

In February 2015, Ramgoolam was arrested at his residence at Port Louis, Police have been seeking to question him for allegedly lying about his presence at the scene of the robbery which took place at his Roche Noires residence in 2011 and asking a businessman to give false testimony to the police. It remains unclear why Ramgoolam may have lied about his presence. Police are also investigating the alleged suicide in custody of a suspect in the burglary. Ramgoolam has denied any foul play and has accused his critics of trying to discredit him. On the same day, Police searched his house at Riverwalk and found significant amount of cash in various currencies. The total amount was estimated to be Rs 220 Millions, of which nearly half of it were in foreign currencies. He was therefore arrested on two charges, «conspiracy to do a wrongful act» and «money laundering». He was held in prison and released on the next day after a court granted him bail. On 14 February, Ramgoolam announced that he took a leave from the activities of the Labour Party as he have to devote himself to his legal battle and intend to defend his honor rigorously. He said, unfortunately he cannot say more about the issue because of the police investigation. He pointed out that there was a lot of misinformation with the intention to put an end of the Labour Party. Ramgoolam designated Arvin Boolell as the new spokesman of the Labour Party.[2][3] On 15 May 2015, he was arrested again on three charges and was granted bail after spending two nights in police detention.


Ramgoolam has received several accolades and honours. In 1998 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Dr Honoris Causa by the University of Mauritius, Dr Honoris Causa from Aligarh Muslim University, India and Dr Honoris Causa by the Jawaharlal Nehru University, India in October 2005. Other awards he attained are the Grand Officier de la Legion d’Honneur from France in March 2006, the Honorary Freeman of Rodrigues from Rodrigues Regional Assembly in March 2007, The Wilberforce Medal from Wilberforce Lecture Trust, Hull, United Kingdom in June 2007, The Rajiv Gandhi Award from Mumbai Regional Congress Committee, India in August 2007, The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from Government of the Republic of India in January 2008 as well as Grand Commander of the Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean (GCSK) from the Government of the Republic of Mauritius in March 2008. In Paris, Ramgoolam received the Prix Louise Michel, awarded generally each year to a high personality in recognition of his or her outstanding contribution in the political field. He was made Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by the Padmashree Dr D. Y. Patil University, Mumbai, India in February 2009, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP) of the Royal College of Physicians, London in May 2009, Honorary Doctor by Staffordshire University, United Kingdom in July 2010, Order of the Rule of Law by the World Jurist Association, Bethesda, Maryland, USA in April 2011, Overseas Bencher by the Inner Temple, United Kingdom in April 2011 and Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) by the Kurukshetra University, Haryana, India in February 2012.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Navin Ramgoolam is the son of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam who was the sixth Governor General of Mauritius, as well as the first Chief Minister and Prime Minister of Mauritius. His mother is Lady Sushil Ramgoolam (1922-1984). Navin is married to Veena Ramgoolam (née Brizmohun).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Notes Biographiques" (in French). Labour Party. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Navin Ramgoolam : " J’ai l’intention de défendre rigoureusement mon honneur "". Le Défi Media Group. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "CURRICULUM VITAE". Government of Mauritius. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Anerood Jugnauth
Prime Minister of Mauritius
Succeeded by
Anerood Jugnauth
Preceded by
Paul Bérenger
Prime Minister of Mauritius