By the independence of the British in 1968,
Mauritius already had a functioning multi-party system
dominated by a couple of strong personalities that would
affect the country as far back as the 2000s. The
independent Mauritius has also been characterized by old
contradictions between a predominantly Indomauritic
political upper class and a broad Creole public.
After World War II, the British began to abolish
their colonial rule and in 1947 introduced the right to
vote for literary experts. Mauritius Workers'
Party (MLP), led by
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, strengthened its position, while
several new parties were formed. In 1957 Mauritius
gained internal autonomy. The Creole population felt
that its position was threatened by the Hindu-dominated
MLP, which triggered bloody riots in 1965.
List of most commonly used acronyms containing Mauritius. Also includes historical, economical and political aspects of the country.
The Labor Party won in the elections that preceded
independence on March 12, 1968. Prime Minister Ramgoolam
became the leader of a coalition government. During the
1970s, the Labor Party ruled with various bourgeois
parties. Its policy became increasingly conservative.
The opposition came mainly from the socialist
Mauritanian militant movement (MMM)
which received strong support among young people. After
a general strike in 1971, an emergency permit was
introduced and several of MMM's leaders were imprisoned.
The party became the largest party in 1976 in the first
election after independence, but the Labor Party
remained in power through a new government coalition.
Increased ethnic tensions
After the 1982 parliamentary elections, the MMM,
together with the Mauritius Socialist Party
(PSM), formed a government led by
Anerood Jugnauth, but it only survived for a year.
Jugnauth broke with MMM and formed a new party,
Mauritius Socialist Movement (MSM).
After the new election in 1983, MSM formed government
together with MLP, among others.
Mauritius was ruled by changing coalitions during the
1980s and 1990s, with MSM, MMM and MLP cooperating with
each other, competing for power. In 1995, MLP and MMM
formed a government, which however cracked down in 1997.
MLP continued to rule alone.
When a popular Creole musician, Joseph (Kaya) Topize,
died in a police raid in 1999, the most serious rattles
of 30 years were triggered. The riots were mainly
thought to have been caused by the dissatisfaction of
the Creole population not to have been able to take
advantage of the increased wealth.
Crisis in the sugar industry
The new election in September 2000 became a clear
victory for an alliance between MSM and MMM. The two
parties had concluded a deal that MSM leader Anerood
Jugnauth would be prime minister until the fall of 2003,
when he would be replaced by MMM leader Paul Bérenger.
At the same time, Jugnauth was to be appointed the
country's president. During his first three years,
Bérenger was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Finance, but he replaced Jugnauth as Prime Minister when
he became President in September 2003.
In 2005, the country's economy deteriorated.
Unemployment and inflation rose. The sugar industry
faced problems when the EU changed the previously
favorable terms of trade (see Economy. This, in
combination with many corruption scandals, led to a
change of power. MLP won the parliamentary elections in
July of that year together with several small parties
within the so-called Social Alliance.
reforms, including the labor market liberalized and a
new fixed income and corporate tax introduced, not only
criticized by the opposition, but also internally within
In September 2008, Jugnauth was re-elected president.
In the May 2010 parliamentary elections, MLP's newly
formed coalition, the Future Alliance, won.
Both the MSM and the Mauritius Social Democratic
Party (PMSD) were part of the
alliance. Successful economic policy during the last
term was considered to have contributed to the election
victory (see Finance).
MLP's Ramgoolam was allowed to continue as Prime
Minister, while President Pravind Jugnauth of MSM became
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. The
coalition government continued to push through tough
economic reforms, with sharply reduced state involvement
in the economy.
The MMM, which together with the National
Union (UN) and the
Socialist Democratic Movement (MSD)
had formed before the election the Heart
alliance, now formed the opposition.
The new government was quickly drawn into a
corruption scandal. The Ministry of Health was accused
of having bought a private health clinic by Finance
Minister Jugnauth's brother-in-law at an inflated price
and without public procurement. The clinic would be
expanded and developed into a new national hospital for
elderly care. According to the opposition, the deal was
part of the coalition deal between Prime Minister
Ramgoolam and MSM leader Jugnauth ahead of the 2010
The National Anti-Corruption Commission launched an
investigation which in July 2011 led to the arrest of
Health Minister Santi Bai Hanoomanjee. In protest of the
treatment of Hanoomanjee, the MSM left the government.
In March 2012, MSM formed a new alliance with MMM.
Prime Minister Ramgoolam then accused President Jugnauth
of interfering with the government's work. Following
pressure, Jugnauth left the presidential post in March
of that year to re-engage with party politics and lead
the new alliance between MSM and MMM. New President
became National Assembly Speaker Rajkeswur Purryag from