President of Mauritius

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President of the Republic of Mauritius
Président de la République
Incumbent
Kailash Purryag

since 21 July 2012
Style His Excellency
Residence State House (Official)
Nominator Elected by members of the National Assembly on a motion made by the Prime Minister
Term length 5 years, renewable indefinitely
Inaugural holder Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo
Formation 12 March 1992; 22 years ago (1992-03-12)
Salary Rs 3.6 Million[1]
Website Official website
Coat of arms of Mauritius.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Mauritius
Constitution
Foreign relations

The President of the Republic of Mauritius (French: Président de la République de Maurice) is the Head of State of the Republic of Mauritius, the President is also the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Mauritius.[2] Mauritius is a Parliamentary republic, the President functions as a ceremonial figurehead, elected by the National Assembly, as set out by the Constitution of Mauritius. The current office-holder is Kailash Purryag, he was elected as the fifth President and took office on 21 July 2012. The President's official residence is the State House.[3]

Overview[edit]

The Republic of Mauritius is a Parliamentary republic. The Prime Minister is the Head of Government, the President is the Head of State and Commander in Chief. The President shall uphold and defend the Constitution of Mauritius and ensure that the institutions of democracy and rule of law are protected, the fundamental rights of all are respected and the unity of diverse Mauritian nation is maintained and strengthened. Whilst in office, the President should not hold any other office of emolument, whether under the Constitution or otherwise and exercise any profession or calling or engage in any trade or business.[4]

The President is obliged to suspend his (or her) membership in any political party for the term in office. Upon assuming office, the authority and duties of the President in all other elected or appointed offices terminate automatically. These measures should theoretically help the President to function in a more independent and impartial manner.

The power of Parliament to make laws shall be exercisable by Bills passed by the Assembly and assented to by the President. When a Bill is submitted to the President for assent in accordance with the Constitution, he shall signify that he assents or that he withholds assent. In the exercise of his functions, the President shall act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or of a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet except in cases where he is required by the Constitution to act in accordance with the advice of, or after consultation with, any person or authority other than the Cabinet or in his own deliberate judgment.[4]

According to Chapter VI, section 58 of the constitution executive authority of Mauritius is vested in the President, that authority may be exercised by the President either directly or through officers subordinate to him.[4]

The Prime Minister shall keep the President fully informed concerning the general conduct of the government of Mauritius and shall furnish the President with such information as he may request with respect to any particular matter relating to the government of Mauritius.[4]

The president serves as chancellor of the Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean, the highest distinct order of merit of Mauritius. The president, on the recommendation of the prime minister, announces the list of honourees and personally decorates them. The ceremony is held on 12 March each year.

The office of the President has the mission to assist the President of the Republic in his duties to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and promote National Unity.[5]

The President makes a number of important public speeches and statements each year. The most notable of these are the annual New Year’s Speech on 1 January, and the speech at the opening of each annual session of Parliament.

Historical background[edit]

The office of President was created on 12 March 1992 after Mauritius became a republic, 24 years to the day after it had gained independence as a Commonwealth realm. It replaced the office of Governor General which was representative of the British monarch. The office of Governor General was occupied by Sir Dayandranath Burrenchobay, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo was Governor General from 1986 to 11 March 1992, he became the first President of the Republic on 12 March 1992 and left office on 30 June 1992. Cassam Uteem was elected as the President in 1992 and 1997, he held office from 30 June 1992 and resigned on 15 February 2002 in protest at a controversial anti-terrorism bill which the government wanted signed into law.[6] Angidi Chettiar who was the Vice President of Mauritius held the office as acting president on 15 February 2002, he resigned after two days. Ariranga Pillay became acting president from 18 February 2002 to 25 February 2002. Karl Offmann was elected in 2002, he held office from 25 February 2002 and resigned on 1 October 2003. Raouf Bundhun became acting president from 1 October 2003 to 7 October 2003.[7][8]

Sir Anerood Jugnauth (SAJ) was elected in 2003. Taking office on 7 October 2003, he was re-elected in 2008. In March 2012, SAJ criticised the government, saying that the economy has entered in a vicious circle of economic loss and the population are suffering. The Prime Minister Dr. Navin Ramgoolam said that the Presidency is an apolitical office and invited him to join the political arena.[9] SAJ resigned on 31 March 2012 and make his comeback in politics, he took the lead of his former party Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) which just break it alliance with the Labour party and left the government because of corruption accusation, the Medpoint Scandal. After the return of SAJ, the MSM concluded an alliance with the opposition party Mauritian Militant Movement.

Monique Ohsan Bellepeau the then Vice President acted as President from 31 March 2012 to 21 July 2012. Kailash Purryag was elected as the fifth President of Mauritius by members of the National Assembly on Friday 20 July.[10]

Selection process[edit]

Eligibility[edit]

The minimum age of the President shall be 40 years and should have resided in Mauritius for at least 5 years immediately preceding the election.

Election[edit]

According to the Chapter IV Section 28 of the Constitution of Mauritius, the President shall be elected by the National Assembly on a motion made by the Prime Minister and supported by the votes of a majority of all the members Assembly. The term of office is 5 years and the President shall be eligible for re-election. The motion shall not be the subject matter of any debate in the Assembly. The office of the President shall become vacant after the expiry of his term of office, where he dies or resigns his office by writing addressed to the Assembly and delivered to the Speaker or where he is removed or suspended from office under section 30 of the Constitution. After the expiry of his term, the president shall continue to hold office until another person assumes office as President. When the office of President is vacant, or the President is absent from Mauritius or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office, those functions shall be performed the by the Vice President, if there is no Vice President, one should be elected and allow to perform the functions of the President by the Chief Justice.[11]

Oath of office[edit]

A person elected to the office of President shall, before assuming his functions, take and subscribe the appropriate oath as set out in the Third Schedule of the Constitution of Mauritius. The oath shall be administered by the Chief Justice.[4]

I,........................................................., do swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law and that I will devote myself to the service and well being of the people of Mauritius.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (French)"Rapport du Pay Research Bureau – Les gros salaires avoisineront Rs 200 000". Le Défi Media Group. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "The President of the Republic". Presidency website. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Profile of the President". Presidency website. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Constitution of Mauritius". Government of Mauritius. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Office of the President". Government of Mauritius. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Mauritius president resigns". BBC. 15 February 2002. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Former Governors/Presidents". Presidency website. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Presidents". worldstatesmen.org. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  9. ^ (French)"Navin Ramgoolam : “Si SAJ a le courage qu'il descende dans l’arène !”". Le Matinal. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "National Assembly – Speaker becomes President of the Republic New Speaker takes office". Le Défi Media Group. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "The President". Government of Mauritius. Retrieved 18 January 2013.