Politics of Mauritius

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Politics of Mauritius (French: Politique à Maurice) takes place in a framework of a parliamentary democracy. The separation of powers is among the three branches of the Government of Mauritius, namely the legislative, the executive and the Judiciary, is embedded in the Constitution of Mauritius.

Being a Westminster system of government, Mauritius's unicameral house of parliament officially, the National Assembly, is supreme. It elects the President and the Prime Minister. While the President is voted by a single majority of votes in the house, the Prime Minister is the MP who supports a majority in the house.

The President is the Head of State while the Prime Minister has full executive power and is the Head of Government who is assisted by a council of Ministers. Mauritius has a multi-party system.[1]

Historically, Mauritius's government has been led by the Labour Party or the MSM for the exception of short periods from 1982–1983 and 2003–2005 where the MMM was at the head of the country. L'Alliance Lepep, a coalition of several political parties including MSM, Muvmen Liberater and PMSD, won the 2014 elections.[2] Two years into the political term, the PMSD announced their resignation from the coalition government on 19 December 2016, and joined the ranks of the opposition.[3][4] On January 23, 2017, the then Prime Minister, 86 year old Sir Aneerood Jugnauth,[5] a key political figure in Mauritian politics who has previously served several political terms spanning over many decades, announced that he was stepping down as Prime Minister.[6] Following the Westminster tradition, the leader of the governing party (MSM party) in the coalition government, Pravind Jugnauth who is Sir Aneerood Jugnauth's son and then Minister of Finance, was sworn in as Prime Minister.[6] Although Sir Aneerood Jugnauth resigned as Prime Minister, he is still serving as Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence, Minister for Rodrigues.[5]

The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Mauritius as "full democracy" in 2016.[7]

Legislative Branch[edit]

The president and vice president are elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms. They form part along with the Speaker of the National Assembly, the legislative offices which under the constitution have the final decision and last word on any legislative matter including the laws of Mauritius. Most of the work is executed by the Executive Branch which consists of the Cabinet of Ministers, Leader of the Opposition and also other members of the parliament.

Executive Branch[edit]

Another important structure of the government of Mauritius is the executive branch .The Prime Minister is appointed by the president and is responsible to the National Assembly. The Council of Ministers is 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 24 ministers including one Deputy Prime Minister and/or one Vice Prime Minister.

The Executive branch being with the Cabinet have 4 most powerful executive offices, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and 2 offices of Vice Prime Minister. They have the executive power and authority over the cabinet and also help the Prime Minister in his tasks and responsibilities.

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Ameenah Gurib Independent 5 June 2015
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth Militant Socialist Movement 23 January 2017

Power share[edit]

In Mauritius, Prime Minister enjoys significant power whereas the President has a mostly ceremonial role. The President as head of state resides in a historical Chateau laid on 220 hectares of land and the Prime Minister resides in the much smaller Clarisse House. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister is the chief executive. He is responsible for any bill sent to the President from the assembly. He presides 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.

Order of Precedence[edit]

This is a list of precedence from the most to least powerful offices in the government:[8]

  1. The President
  2. The Prime Minister
  3. The Vice President
  4. The Deputy Prime Minister
  5. The Chief Justice
  6. The Speaker of the National Assembly
  7. The Leader of the Opposition
  8. The Former Presidents and Queen Elizabeth II
  9. The Former Prime Minister
  10. The Vice Prime Ministers
  11. The Ministers
  12. The Former Vice President
  13. The Government Chief Whip
  14. The Chief Commissioner of Rodrigues
  15. The Parliamentary Private Secretaries
  16. The Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service
  17. Financial Secretary/Secretary for Home Affairs/Secretary for Foreign Affairs
  18. Dean of the Diplomatic Corps/Heads and Acting Heads of Diplomatic
  19. Missions/Representatives of International and Regional Organisations
  20. The Senior Puisne Judge
  21. The Solicitor General/Puisne Judges/Senior Chief Executives
  22. The Chief of Protocol
  23. The Commissioner of Police
  24. The Permanent Secretaries/Ambassadors/Secretary to President
  25. The Deputy Speaker/Members of the National Assembly
  26. The Heads of Religious Bodies
  27. Holders of G.O.S.K. and/or persons knighted by the Queen
  28. Lord Mayor of Port-Louis/Mayors/Chairpersons of District Councils
  29. Consul General/Consuls/Honorary Consuls General/Honorary Consuls

Judicial branch[edit]

Mauritian law is an amalgam of French and British legal traditions. The Supreme Court—a chief justice and five other judges—is the highest local judicial authority. There is an additional higher right of appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.[9] Members of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council have been located in Mauritius since the end of 2008, as part of a plan to lower the costs of appeal.

The present Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is Y. K. J. Yeung Sik Yuen, who succeeded Ariranga Pillay in 2007.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FAQs – What is the political system in Mauritius ?". Government of Mauritius. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Electoral Commissioner's Office – Detailed Results by Constituency". electoral.govmu.org. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  3. ^ "From opposing to proposing". Defimedia (in French). 23 December 2016. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  4. ^ Deborah (19 December 2016). "Le PMSD quitte l'alliance Lepep !". News you can trust. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b "National Assembly – Jugnauth Anerood". mauritiusassembly.govmu.org. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Mauritius: PM Anerood Jugnauth to hand over to son". BBC News. 22 January 2017. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  7. ^ solutions, EIU digital. "Democracy Index 2016 – The Economist Intelligence Unit". www.eiu.com. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Parvèz A. C. Dookhy, "Le Comité Judiciaire du Conseil Privé de la Reine Elisabeth II d'Angleterre et le Droit Mauricien Archived 14 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine", PhD dissertation, University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, 26 February 1997
  10. ^ "New Chief Justice Appointed". Government Information Service of Mauritius. 14 July 2007. Archived from the original on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2012.