The Founder Sir Anerood Jugnauth
Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council (1983)
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (1988)
Grand Prix de l’ Ordre de La Pléiade (1984)
Honorary Doctorate from Aix-Marseille University (March 1985)
Doctor of Civil Law (Honoris Causa) from the University of Mauritius (May 1985)
Order of the Rising Sun (January 1988)
Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour (March 1990)
Grand Commander of the Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean (2003)
Honorary Doctorate from Middlesex University (July 2009)
Sir Anerood Jugnauth will bear the title Right Honourable for life and the title Excellency while he is president. He is also entitled to use MP post-nominal and prefix, as he was an MP for more than 35 years.
Anerood Jugnauth (1930–1963)
The Honourable Anerood Jugnauth, MP (1963–1980)
The Honourable Anerood Jugnauth, QC, MP (1980–1983)
The Right Honourable Anerood Jugnauth, QC, PC, MP (1983–1988)
The Right Honourable Sir Anerood Jugnauth, KCMG, QC, PC, MP (1988–2003)
His Excellency The Right Honourable Sir Anerood Jugnauth, GCSK, KCMG, QC, PC,(2003–present)
Early career and education
Anerood Jugnauth was born on 29 March 1930 at La Caverne, Vacoas Phoenix, and was brought up there. He had his primary education at Palma Primary School and had his secondary education at Regent College. He taught for some time at New Eton College and later worked as a clerk in the Poor Law Department for some time before being transferred to the Judicial Department. In 1951, he left Mauritius for UK to study law. In 1964, he was elected Chairman of the Palma Village Council.
He was first elected to Parliament as an Independent Forward Block candidate in the constituency of Rivière-du-Rempart District in 1963. He served as a magistrate shortly after his resignation in 1966. In 1969, he was promoted to the Crown Law Office. In 1971, he was made Senior Crown Counsel.
In the beginning of the 1970s, Jugnauth joined the MMM. He became the president and subsequently the leader of the party. Re-elected at the general election held in 1976 in the constituency of Piton/Rivière-du-Rempart, he served as Leader of the Opposition from December 1976 to June 1982.
Jugnauth trained and worked in law and took an active role in the 1960s negotiations for independence. He was called to the Bar in London in 1954. His political career began with his being elected in the Constituency of Rivière-du-Rempart in 1963. He was the President of the Palma Village council in 1964. He became Leader of Opposition from December 1976 to June 1982, and he joined the Mauritian Militant Movement in 1970.
Anerood Jugnauth was first elected in the constituency No 14 of Riviere-du-Rempart in 1963 in the National Legislative Assembly and was candidate of the Independent Forward Block. He remained member up to 1967 where general elections were back. He held the office of different ministries.
He joined the All Mauritius Hindu Congress in 1965. State Minister for Development in the government of Seewoosagur Ramgoolam from 1965 to 1966, he was promoted Minister of Labour in November 1966. He took part in the London Constitutional Conference on Mauritius. He resigned from his office in April 1967.
The 1976 elections were contested by three of the most popular candidates on the island. These were the Independent Party [IP], an alliance of the Mauritian Labour Party, led by the Prime Minister, Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, and the Muslim Action Committee; Mauritian Social Democrat Party (PMSD) led by Gaëtan Duval; and the Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM) led by Paul Bérenger and Anerood Jugnauth himself. About 460 100 voters of the 0.8 million inhabitants of Mauritius registered, and 88% (404 918) of them actually voted. The election was closely fought, and no party was able to gain a majority of parliamentary seats (see 1976 Legislative Assembly election results). The MMM received most votes, 38.64%, but gained only 34 seats, two short of an absolute majority. The Independence Party (MLP and CAM) gained 37.90% and 28 seats, while the PMSD received 16.20% of the votes and eight seats. By once more forming a coalition with the PMSD, Ramgoolam managed to stay in power, but with a majority of only two seats in the Assembly.
Jugnauth in alliance with Paul Berenger formed a formidable leadership which would lead to the historic 60/0 victory in 1982.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam ruled over the house of Parliament with a majority of only two seats over the others. The Independence Alliance occupied 36 seats while MMM became opposition with 34 seats. Anerood Jugnauth was appointed as Leader of Opposition and he remained to the place until next general elections in 1982.
1982 elections and first tenure as Prime minister
From 1976 to 1982, The MLP had been weakened by the defection of part of its coalition partner, the PMSD, while the CAM declined to contest the election. The MMM had formed an alliance with Harish Boodhoo’s Parti Socialiste Mauricien known as PSM. Anerood Jugnauth hoped that this alliance would draw Hindu votes away from the MLP and ensure a MMM victory.
The election resulted in a landslide victory for the MMM-PSM alliance (formed by Jugnauth & Berenger in early 1981), which won 64.16% of the vote and all 60 elected seats (42 by the MMM, 18 by the PSM, and two for the allied Organisation du Peuple Rodriguais) (for more detail see 1982 Legislative Assembly election results). Voter turn-out was 87.3%, with 471 196 out of an electorate of 540 000 casting their votes for the 34 parties contesting 62 seats. The LP, which had dominated Mauritian politics since 1948, won no seats and (together with the Muslim Action Committee) only 25.78% of the vote. The PMSD did even worse, receiving only 7.79% of the vote. The LP and the PMSD each did eventually receive two seats in parliament under the best-loser provisions.
Anerood Jugnauth became Prime Minister for the first time, Boodhoo Deputy Prime Minister, and Paul Bérenger Minister of Finance. Jugnauth swept to power in 1982 in a dramatic election in which his MMM-PSM alliance won all seats in the Legislative Assembly. When he took the office, the country was wrecked by chronic unemployment, rapidly rising inflation and the infinite expectations of a volatile and highly politicized electorate. Within months of his election victory, he saw his massive and unassailable majority collapsing before his eyes as his political party tore itself apart through bitter in-fighting over personality and policy. He presided over the country’s rapid industrialization. In late 1982, the two party leaders, Harish Boodhoo and Paul Bérenger were both wanting absolute power over the Alliance, this led to their break up where the MMM & PSM became apart. Jugnauth who was thinking of a new political strategy was expected to resolve the issue but to everybody’s surprise, he let both parties go apart.
With this Paul Bérenger begun war by saying that Jugnauth had no right to control the MMM as he was not leader but only a member. This led to internal fights inside the MMM. Jugnauth being Prime Minister announced general elections in 1983 again. This time he was not a Candidate for the MMM but he proposed to Boodhoo of dissolving the PSM to make a new more stronger Party called the MSM. He created the MSM and in Alliance with the Mauritian Labour Party went to the general elections together trying to fight against Paul Berenger and the MMM.
Almost from the beginning, the governing alliance was rent by serious differences, partly of a personal nature but also over Bérenger’s stringent economic policies and his attempt to make Creole the national language (despite the Indian descent of the majority of the population). In March 1983, the government collapsed when the dominant faction within the MMM [Mouvement Militant Mauricien], led by Bérenger, split from Jugnauth’s leadership and resigned from the cabinet.
1983 and second tenure as Prime Minister
In early April 1983, Jugnauth formed a new party, the Mouvement Socialiste Militant (MSM), which, in May, amalgamated with the PSM led by Boodhoo, and was renamed the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM). However, the new government lacked a majority in the legislative assembly, and Jugnauth was obliged to dissolve the assembly in June. New elections were set for August 1993.Re-elected at the general elections held on 23 August 1983, Jugnauth was re-elected as Prime minister The MMM fought the election alone. Jugnauth’s MSM formed a new coalition – called the Alliance – with the Labour Party and the PMSD [Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate], the very parties that only a year ago had been ousted from power by the MMM, which was then led by Jugnauth.
The popular vote was very close (for detail see 1983 Legislative Assembly election results). The MMM received 209 845 votes (46.4%) – the highest proportion of the vote ever received by a single party in any Mauritian election. The Alliance received 236 146 votes (52.22%); independents and the Rodrigues parties got the remaining 1.38% and two seats. Of the 552 800 registered voters, 452 221 (81.8%) had voted. When seats were distributed, however, the Alliance held a substantial majority – 46 to the 22 received by the MMM. The disproportionate weighting of seats reflects the fact that MMM votes were concentrated in urban constituencies where large numerical majorities won only three seats, whereas the Alliance swept the rural constituencies where Hindus predominated. The election was a personal victory for Jugnauth and something of a comeback for Duval, who became deputy prime minister, and Ramgoolam, who was named Governor-General shortly after.
Commenting on the MMM’s fourteen months in power and the outcome of the 1983 election, Bowman (1991, 87) remarks that Mauritius worked itself “through a tumultuous political period in an orderly, constitutional way, without violence. Prominent leaders left power gracefully and allowed other parties and individuals to accede to leadership roles.” And whereas the MMM had been historically viewed as a more radical party than the MLP, once in power it actually provided considerable continuity of leadership.
1987 and third tenure
The years following the 1983 elections were marked by an endless succession of intra- and inter-party feuds as well as scandals involving high government members and officials in corruption, fraud and drug trafficking. Within months of taking office, the Alliance began a process of fragmentation that by 1986 left the government without a working majority in parliament. When in February 1984, the MLP [Mauritius Labour Party] left the government, 11 of its MPs continued to support the government and formed a faction within the MLP called the Rassemblement des Travaillistes Mauriciens (RTM). Upon proroguing Parliament in November 1986, Jugnauth agreed that an election was necessary.
Parliament was dissolved on 3 July, and the election date set for 30 August 1987, one year ahead of schedule. Campaigning started on 22 July 1987. The campaign was fought intensely but with less bitterness and blatant communal hostility than had been the case in the past. Jugnauth’s Alliance fought the election with his MSM [Mouvement Socialiste Mauricien], Duval’s MPSD [Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate], and both major factions of the MLP, the one led by Satcam Boolell and the RTM. The MMM allied itself with two small parties, the Mouvement Travailliste Démocrate (MTD) and the Front des Travailleurs Socialiste (FTS). A total of 639 488 voters were registered (approximately 60% of the total population) and of these, 546 623 (85.5%) cast their votes. A total of 359 candidates ran for the 62 elected seats. The ballot, like the electoral campaign, was held in an impassioned atmosphere, but there were no serious incidents. During the election campaign, the ruling MSM/MLP/PMSD alliance was known as the Sun (Soleil) and the opposing Union (composed of MMM/MTD/FTS) as the Heart (Coeur) after their respective emblems.
While overall participation of voters in the polling amounted to 85.5%, it ran up to 93% in some constituencies. The average size of the multimember constituencies was around 30 000. As in previous elections, the MMM and its partners received the highest percentage of votes, 48.12%, of which a small percentage can be attributed to its two small partners (see 1987 Legislative Assembly election results for more detail). It won 21 seats, comprising 19 of the 30 urban seats, and only two of the 30 rural seats. The Alliance (MSM/PMSD/MLP) won a total of 49.86% and 39 seats. After the best-loser seats were allocated, the Alliance held 46 seats to the MMM’s 24. The two seats of the Organisation du Peuple Rodriguais helped to raise those of the Alliance to 46. The outcome of the election highlighted an anomaly of the electoral system. A mere 1.7% of the votes cast separated the two political alliances, but in terms of seats the gap was 36.6 percentage points. The opposition called for electoral reforms, but the winning alliance was quite happy with things as they stood. The outcome of the 1991 general election added further impetus to demands for reform.
Jugnauth was once more elected with a majority in the Parliament and was once more elected as Prime Minister and took office for his 3rd term.
1991 and fourth tenure
On 6 August 1991, Jugnauth dissolved the National Assembly and announced that a general election would be held on 15 September, nearly a year early. Jugnauth led an alliance of his MSM [Mouvement Socialiste Mauricien] with the MMM [Mouvement Militant Mauricien] and the RTD [Rassemblement des Travaillistes Mauriciens] against an alliance of the MLP [Mauritius Labour Party] and the PMSD [Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate].
The MSM/MMM/RTD alliance was better prepared than the opposition. Before the election date had been announced, it had already drawn up its list of candidates for the 20 constituencies, and published its election manifesto. The opposition lost valuable time with lengthy negotiations concerning candidates and manifesto. The latter offered nothing new to the electorate and was broadly similar to the policies put forward by the government. Some 25 parties and independents and 331 candidates were involved.
According to official figures, 682 000 voters (about 63% of the total population of 1 083 000) were entitled to vote, and of these about 576 300 (84.5%) turned out (see 1991 National Assembly election results for more detail). The government alliance’s 56.3% of the vote gave it 57 seats in parliament, while the opposition’s 39.9% of the vote gave it only three seats — an even more glaring discrepancy than in 1987 (see 1987 National Assembly election results). Only four best-loser seats were allocated. Jugnauth once more ruled in the house of parliament for a 4th term and was once more elected Prime Minister reigning over as the Supreme King of politics.
1995 and onwards
He dissolved parliament on 16 November 1995 and called a snap election for 20 December. Candidates had to be nominated by 4 December, and the campaign was officially opened on 5 December. A record 506 candidates entered the fray in which some 42 parties and independents participated. A landslide victory for the opposition ended Jugnauth’s rule as Prime Minister which had lasted since 1982. The Labour Party (MLP)-MMM [Mouvement Militant Mauricien] alliance captured all 60 of the directly elected seats on the island of Mauritius with only 63.7% of the poll, representing a mere 51.1% of the total electorate [The two seats on the island of Rodeguas went to l'Organisation du Peuple de Rodrigues (OPR)]. The MSM-RMM alliance obtained 19.3% of the votes cast or the support of 15.4% of the total electorate, but even under the best-loser system it found itself without a single seat in the National Assembly. (The RMM – Renouveau Militant Mauricien, was the name adopted by a substantial part of the MMM led by Dr Prem Nababsing after Bérenger had broken away from it in 1993 and retained the right to the name of MMM [MSM = Mouvement Socialiste Mauricien]).
Only four best-loser seats were allocated and went to small parties with little national influence – two to the Mouvement Rodriguais in Rodrigues island and the other two respectively to the Hizbullah Party and the Parti Gaëtan Duval (PGD, formerly the PMSD).
Anerood Jugnauth stood as candidate at the by-election held in constituency No. 9 (Flacq/Bon Acceuil) in April 1998 but was defeated. He immediately initiated the idea of an MSM/MMM federation which eventually took shape in January 1999. However, the Federation was dissolved after the defeat of its candidate at the by-election held on 19 September 1999.
Jugnauth founded the MSM/MMM Alliance together with Paul Bérenger, leader of the MMM, on 14 August 2000, based on equal sharing of power. At the general elections held on 11 September 2000, he was elected as first member of constituency No 7 (Piton/Rivière-du-Rempart) and was appointed as Prime Minister.
The outgoing Prime Minister, Navin Ramgoolam of the Mauritian Labour Party (PTr), led a coalition with Xavier Luc Duval, the leader of the Parti Mauricien Xavier Duval (PMXD). Duval was Minister of Finance in the previous government alliance formed in mid-1999. The other alliance was formed (for the fourth time) between Sir Anerood Jugnauth (MSM) and Paul Bérenger (MMM). The MSM sought to appeal to the Hindu community while the MMM tried to base its membership from across the spectrum in Mauritius.
On 15 August 2000, the leaders of these two parties as well several other leaders from much smaller parties signed what they termed a ‘historical electoral accord’. The most outstanding aspect of this accord was the proposed sharing of the Prime ministerial post between MSM leader Sir Anerood Jugnauth and MMM leader Paul Bérenger. Under this arrangement, Jugnauth would hold the post of prime minister for the first three years and Bérenger for the remaining two years. After surrendering the premiership to Bérenger, Jugnauth would be called to assume the function of President of the Republic after reforms to strengthen of the presidency, which was largely a symbolic post. The MSM/MMM alliance argued that this reform was necessary because the prime minister held too much power in Mauritius, including the right to dissolve Parliament and call for fresh elections. They charged that this system created the opportunity for abuse. They illustrated this by recalling that Dr Ramgoolam dissolved parliament on 10 August 2000, issued the writs of election on the same day, fixed the nomination day for 26 August 2000 and the poll day for 11 September 2000, leaving the opposition only 32 days to organise. The accord also provided for a reform of the electoral system to replace the “best losers system” gradually by proportional representation, and to end the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation’s (MBC) monopoly over the electronic media. In addition to sharing the post of prime minister, what made the MSM/MMM electoral accord exceptional was the fact that it would allow, for the first time in the history of the island, a non-Hindu Mauritian to become the Prime Minister. The elections took place on 11 September 2000 with a total of 80.87% of registered voters casting their ballots. The MSM/MMM alliance won a resounding victory with 54 of the directly elected seats.
In early 1999 when the Labour Party and MMM decided to end up their team, MMM became the opposition party and MLP formed the government. Sir Anerood Jugnauth then initiated the idea of the “Medpoint Deal “The MSM led by Anerood Jugnauth and MMM led by Paul Bérenger agreed that if they won the election Anerood Jugnauth would become Prime Minister. They agreed that after 3 years he would step down as Prime Minister to become the President of Mauritius with enhanced powers and Bérenger would become Prime Minister, the first non-Hindu to do so. The idea was both agreed by the MSM members and MMM members. It was agreed that Paul Berenger would remain Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance for 3 years up to 2003 and after that would take up the leadership of both parties becoming prime minister for the rest of the term thus up to 2005.He was prime minister for 21 months. They formed up the MSM/MMM in 2000.
Jugnauth agreed to step down and become President as from 2003. Former president Karl Offmann was also of the game. He was put to the office of the president with the condition that he would remain president only for 19 months. Jugnauth became president under the transition with the so-called “sudden” resignation of President Offmann.
Jugnauth resigned as prime minister on 30 September 2003 at 13:30 pm and also as member of parliament at 15:00 pm, giving his resignation letter to Speaker of the House on the same day. He announced his departure in a 20-minute speech given to the members of parliament stating that he was leaving the office so as to make room for new prime ministers.
“Everything said and done about me, I am proud to go down in history as a no-nonsense, honest and dedicated prime minister having done my duty in good faith and without fear or favour. I have understood our political adversaries and, taken at its most, all divergent views and attitudes have been mere manifestations to our democracy at its best , said Jugnauth in the speech before his departure.”
He was sworn to presidency on 7 October 2003 following the resignation of former President Karl Offmann. Earlier in September as agreed in the MSM MMM alliance Paul Berenger had become Prime Minister, the first non hindu to lead the country.
Threats on Diego Garcia
Mrs Thatcher, Prime Minister of the UK wrote a letter to SAJ recognizing that the only country which could have a claim of sovereignty over the archipelago once it was no longer needed for defence purposes of the West would be Mauritius.
In 1987 elections, late Sir Satcam Boolell, then leader of the Labours did not approve the coalition between Jugnauth’s MSM, Duval’s PMSD and their parties. This led to their official break up in 1988 but 11 members of Parliament continued to support the MSM and thus broke the Labour Party in two blocks.
Jugnauth managed to keep a working majority and once again remained Prime Minister until 1991 when he calls for new elections The MSM made an alliance with the MMM and one block of the broken Labour Party namely the Democratic Labour Movement (MTD), led by Anil Baichoo, a minister which recently merged again with the Labours.
The 1991 elections saw Jugnauth remaining to power for a third consecutive term. Navin Ramgoolam and other leaders of the labour Party denounced the authoritarian style of leading the cabinet. In 1995, Ramgoolam proposed an alliance to the MMM and the result was the Labour-MMM alliance won all the seats thus making the second 60–0 of Mauritian political history. Jugnauth lost his seat in his constituency and this was the worst time that the MSM team had experienced since their creation.
Dr Navin Ramgoolam and the Social Alliance which won the elections of 2005. In May 2010, as the MSM joined hands with the Labour Party, Jugnauth released a press interview in the newspaper stating that he never liked the MMM and that they never had the intention to pursue development but rather strive for power only. He mentioned that Paul Berenger should be not trusted and Ramgoolam would be a better choice. The consequences were that the MSM-Labour alliance won together 41 with the support of the Social Democrats.
Parliament voted for SAJ to remain as President for a second Mandate in 2008. Shortly after ,during the by-election of 2008 in constituency No 8, the Militant Socialist Movement won with the support of the Labour Party and Pravind Jugnauth returned as MP for that constituency.
In 2010, two days after his 80th birthday , the labour-MSM-PMSD alliance was made and Navin Ramgoolam dissolved the parliament in respect for general elections .The alliance won the election and the MSM returned 13 Mps .
However in August 2011, the alliance broke and the MSM left the government leaving a very small majority for the Prime Minister.
In view of the current economic and social instability , Jugnauth made a statement that he might resign as President if the country needs him once again.