Politics and Economy of Mauritius

State structure and political system of Mauritius

Mauritius is a parliamentary democratic republic. The Constitution of 1968 (with amendments of 1992) is in force. Administratively, Mauritius is divided into 9 districts: Black River, Flack, Grand Port, Moka, Pamplemousse, Plains Williams, Port Louis, Rivière du Rampart, Sawan; and 3 dependent territories: Agalera Islands, Carga dos Carajos Archipelago, Rodrigues Island. The largest cities (2003, thousand people): Port Louis, Victoria (23), Anse Royal (3.7). The highest body of legislative power is the unicameral National Assembly (66 seats). Executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. The head of state is President Karl Offmann. The head of the supreme body of legislative power is Premnat Ram-nah. The head of the supreme body of executive power is Anirud Jagnot. The National Assembly is elected by popular vote for 5 years (62 deputies – by direct vote, 4 – are appointed by the election commission, taking into account the proportional representation of ethnic communities and political parties participating in the elections in parliament). The president and vice president are elected by parliament for five-year terms. He appoints the prime minister, responsible to the National Assembly, and approves the members of the government proposed by the prime minister. The head of the MLP party, Sivusagur Ramgulam, played a significant role in the formation of Mauritian statehood. He became the first prime minister in the country’s history. Local self-government bodies are district and rural municipal councils. Main parties: MLP, MSDP, MBD, BSD, ONR (Organization of the people of Rodriguez). Leading business organizations: Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sugar Producers Association, Employers’ Federation. Public organizations: Federation of Trade Unions of Civil Service Workers, founded in 1975, 65 united trade unions with 22,000 members (1997); Federation of Trade Unions of Mauritius, founded in 1958, 4 united trade unions; Labor Congress of Mauritius, founded in 1963, 55 trade unions with 70,000 members (1992). Domestic policy is focused on reforming the judiciary, the state apparatus, education, healthcare, and the media, which was a response to mass demonstrations of workers in 1996. In foreign policy, Mauritius is a supporter of the Non-Aligned Movement, advocates disarmament, and ratified the Mine Ban Convention. Participates in the work of many regional organizations. The country is conducting a campaign to return the Chagos Archipelago with the Diego Garcia Atoll to the Republic. There are no regular armed forces, there are mobile police units (1.3 thousand people) to ensure internal security, and a security service (500 people). Mauritius has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR in 1968). Check cancermatters for political system of Mauritius.

Economy of Mauritius

According to the World Bank classification in 2000, Mauritius ranked 63rd in the world in terms of living standards. GDP $12.9 billion (2001), GDP per capita $10,800 (2001). Economically active population – 527.4 thousand people. (2000). Inflation – 4.2% (2001). Sectoral structure of the economy in terms of contribution to GDP (1999, %): agriculture 6, industry 33, service sector 61. Employed (1999, %): in agriculture 14, in industry and construction 36, in the service sector 50. Electricity production 1285 million kWh (2000). Industrial production (thousand tons): raw sugar St. 600 (2001), molasses 124.7 (1999), beer and alcoholic beverages 435 thousand hl (1997). The products of the enterprises of the Free Industrial Export Zone (mainly textiles) are included in the statistics of Mauritius as an export item (79.3% of export earnings, i.e. 31.2 billion Mauritius). rupees, 2000). Agriculture is the basis of the economy. Under sugar cane 80% of irrigated land. Main crops (2000, thousand tons): sugarcane 5260 (1996), potatoes 15.2, tomatoes 11.3, pumpkin 11, tea 8.2, bananas 6.6, tobacco 1.0 (1996). Livestock (1997, thousand heads): 93 goats, 34 cattle, 17 pigs, 7 sheep. Commercial catch (1996, thousand tons): fish 12, shellfish 0.4. There are no railroads. The length of the road network is 1860 km, including 1786 km of paved roads (2001). Road vehicles in operation (1999, thousand units): motorcycles and mopeds 110.9, cars 52.9, trucks and buses 29.2. There are 5 airports. Ramgoolam International Airport is located in Plaisance, 4 km from Mahebourg. The airline Air Mauritius was founded in 1968, provides air transportation to 28 cities in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. The only port of Port Louis. The merchant fleet has 8 large vessels with a total displacement of 66 thousand tons (2002). In 1999 the port handled 4553 thousand tons of cargo. Telephone network of international level. Communication facilities (2000): radios 420 thousand (1997), televisions 258 thousand (1997), telephones 280.9 thousand lines, cell phones 180 thousand subscribers, Internet providers – 2, Internet users – 158 thousand people. (2002).

Tourism is the third most important source of foreign exchange after the sugar and textile industries. In 2000, 656.5 thousand tourists visited Mauritius. Tourism revenue $542 million. Modern economic and social policy is focused on attracting foreign investment, expanding markets for the sale of export products, and developing the sphere of financial and banking services. The government adheres to the principles of the free market, while recognizing the need to raise the living standards of the less well-off sections of society. In this regard, in August 2001, a long-term strategic plan for the eradication of poverty, designed for 20 years, was approved. Since 1990, the five-year development plans, which have focused on education, have made Mauritius the first in Africa in terms of liberal arts education. The exchange rate of the national currency is set on the basis of supply and demand in the foreign exchange market. Course control mode – controlled swimming. Foreign exchange reserves $588.3 million (1999). Demand deposits in commercial banks – 5194.5 million Maur. rupees, cash in free circulation – 5410.4 million Maur. rupees. State budget (1999; billion US dollars): revenues 1.1, expenditures 1.2. Government debt $2.3 billion (2000). The country has a high unemployment rate – 8.6% (2001). Up to 1/3 of the population is employed in the informal sector. Health and education systems are among the best in Africa. In 2001, exports amounted to 1.6 billion, and imports – 2 billion US dollars. Exports (2000): UK (25.8%), France (20.8%), USA (16%), South Africa (10.9%), Germany and Italy. Import (2000): South Africa (20%), France (19%), India (9%), Hong Kong (5.2%), United Kingdom. The main export commodities are clothing and textiles, sugar, natural flowers, and molasses; imported – foodstuffs, industrial products, capital, products of the chemical and oil industries.

Politics of Mauritius