Parliamentary election kicks off in Mauritius

PORT LOUIS, Nov 8 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Parliamentary election kicks off in Mauritius on Thursday to elect 70 members of the country’s unicameral parliament.

Voters will elect directly 62 members of the national assembly while the 8 additional “best loser” will be appointed to fulfill the 70 seats of the national assembly for a five-year term.

The election, which will decide who runs the government for the next five years, was the first since Pravind Kumar Jugnauth succeeded his father in 2017 as prime minister when the elder Jugnauth stepped down.

Both the ruling Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) and its main rivals the Labour Party and the Mauritian Militant Movement(MMM) campaigned on strengthening the welfare state and on distributing wealth more equally in one of Africa’s most stable and prosperous economies.

The challenger parties, arguing that the Jugnauth family’s rule has been marked by nepotism and corruption, appealed to voters to choose change.

Just over 61% of the electorate had cast their votes as of 4 p.m local time, the office of the electoral commission said.

The island of about 1.3 million people presents itself as a bridge between Africa and Asia, deriving most of its revenues from a flourishing offshore financial sector and traditional economic pillars including tourism and textiles.

Jugnauth told reporters after he voted that he was satisfied that the election was taking place in a calm and orderly manner.

A total of 941,719 voters registered in the voter list headed to the polls in 526 polling stations throughout the country.

The provisional result of election is expected to be known by Friday Nov 8. — NNN-AGENCIES