Freedom of religion is guaranteed in Mauritius constitution and also prevails in practice. Most of the Indomauritic majority are Hindus, but there are also some Muslims (mainly Sunnis). Creoles and Mauritians of European origin are usually Catholics.
Within the country’s small Chinese minority are many Catholics, but they have had their faith influenced by Buddhist traditions. There are some tensions between the Hindu majority and the Christian and Muslim minorities.
- Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Mauritius, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.
Jugnauth accuses Britain of crimes against humanity
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth accuses Britain of committing crimes against humanity when they deny the former islanders to return home, despite the UN court ICJ earlier this year recommended that the British should return the islands to Mauritius (see February 2019). In conjunction with that, the United Nations General Assembly gave the British Government six months to begin the process. However, the ICJ’s decision is not binding. Jugnauth says he is now considering bringing charges against British individuals at the ICC.
Prithvirajsing Roopun is appointed new president
Parliament appoints former Minister of Culture, lawyer Prithvirajsing Roopun as new president. As President, Roopun has no great power but is the one who formally appoints the Prime Minister and the Government.
Eddy Balancy becomes new acting president
Acting President Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory resigns. This means that the post is for the time being taken over by Eddy Balancy, Chief Judge of the Supreme Court. However, there is no telling when a new president will be appointed after Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, who was forced to resign in March 2018.
New government takes office
A new government takes office after the election. The entire ceremony is broadcast on radio and TV. The biggest change is that Renganaden Padayachy takes over the post of finance minister from Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth. However, Jugnauth retains responsibility for defense and home affairs. Nando Bodha retains the post of Foreign Minister.
MSM wins parliamentary election
The parliamentary election is won by Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and his party the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM), which receives 38 of the 62 seats. Navinchandra Ramgoolam’s National Alliance wins 13 seats and Paul Bérenger’s Mauritius militant movement (MMM) gets 9 seats. The Rodrigues People Organization wins 2 seats. The turnout is just under 77 percent. The cooperation organization SADC has sent observers to the election. According to local media, the election was preceded by a dirty campaign in which the candidates have accused each other of irregularities and where everyone promised to strengthen the country’s welfare system.
MSM favorites in the parliamentary elections
Pravind Jugnauth and his party The Militant Socialist Movement (MSM), which is in alliance with other center / right parties, are favorites to win the parliamentary elections on November 7. The main opposition comes from Navinchandra Ramgoolam and his National Alliance, which consists of the center / left parties, and Paul Bérenger of the Mauritius militant movement (MMM). Jugnauth, who took over power after his father in 2017, can show a growing economy before the elections, GDP rose by almost 4 percent in 2018, his government has introduced a new minimum wage and built the country’s first railway which was inaugurated as late as October. Ramgoolam, on his part, promises to “liberate the country from the grip of the Jugnauth clan” while Bérenger accuses Jugnauth of various scandals. Voters will appoint 62 members, 60 from the main island and two from the smaller island of Rodrigues.
Mauritius is up for election in November
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth dissolves parliament and announces elections until November 7. It will be the first time Pravind Jugnauth meets the voters after he took over the post of prime minister in 2017 from his father Anerood Jugnauth.
The Pope warns of growing social gaps in Mauritius
Pope Francis visits Mauritius and is met by about 100,000 people. In a speech, the Pope urges the country’s authorities not to proceed with an economic model that creates large social gaps and strikes against young people and the poor while damaging the environment. Youth unemployment, which is around 22 percent, is a major problem in the country. Another is increasing smuggling and drug use, according to a report from the Mauritius Drug Observatory last year.
ICJ: Britain should return the Chagos Islands to Mauritius
ICJrecommends the United Kingdom to give up control of the Chagos Islands, which Mauritius claims. The UN Court also states that in the 1970s, it was wrong for the British to force about 1,500 people to leave the islands to prepare for a US air base. 13 of the 14 judges agree on this issue. Mauritius claims that the UK forced them to leave the islands in exchange for independence, while the British government claims it did so voluntarily. Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf urges the British to act as quickly as possible. The ICJ’s decision is not binding, but Britain has previously said that the islands should be returned when it is no longer needed for defense reasons. British Foreign Ministry writes that the base of Diego Garcia is important for maintaining security in the world. The people who were forced to leave the islands have for many years struggled to get the opportunity to return there, but British authorities have said no. It was the UN General Assembly that in 2017 turned to the ICJ to have the issue examined.