Mauritian Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth has announced his intentions to hand over power to his son Pravind Jugnauth, who is currently serving as the country’s Minister of Finance.
In a public address aired on the state television on Saturday, the 86-year-old Prime Minister revealed his plan to step down on 23 January saying that the country needs a younger and more dynamic leader, according to the Reuters.
“The time has come for the country to have a young leadership that represents the future. I ask the population to support Pravind Jugnauth as it did for me,”.
The Prime Minister however insisted that he will continue serving in government in another unspecified capacity.
Mauritian opposition leaders led by former Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam have criticized the move saying the royal family wants to turn the island nation into a banana republic.
However, there is nothing the opposition can do to stop Mr. Jugnauth from appointing his son since the ruling coalition, Lepep, enjoys a majority in parliament.
A seasoned politician, Mr. Jugnauth was appointed Prime Minister in December 2014 after Lepep, a coalition of three main political parties, won a majority of the seats in parliament.
Even though one of the three coalition parties has since quit the alliance following a parliamentary row in December last year, the remaining two parties still have a lot of influence in the house.
The younger Jugnauth, 55, is the head of the Militant Socialist Movement, one of the parties that form the ruling coalition.
Political System in Mauritius
Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, practices a parliamentary system of government, whereby power is shared among three branches of government, namely; the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary.
Being a British colony, Mauritius still operates on the Westminster System of government with the unicameral house of parliament being the official National Assembly.
The National Assembly is supreme and is responsible for electing the President and the Prime Minister.
While the President of Mauritius must be voted by a single majority vote in parliament, the constitution allows the Member of Parliament who holds a majority of seats in the house to be the automatic Prime Minister.
The President is the Head of State while the Prime Minister is the Head of Government with full executive powers. The premier is usually assisted by a council of ministers.
BY FREDRICK NGUGI