Mauritian Premier Succeeded by Son as Opposition Plans Protest

Port Louis (Capital Markets in Africa) – Pravind Jugnauth took over as Mauritius’s new prime minister, a day after his father resigned and bequeathed the premiership to his son, as the opposition announced plans to demonstrate against the transfer of power.

Jugnauth, 55, was sworn in Monday at a ceremony in the capital, Port Louis, and said he would retain his portfolio in the Finance Ministry. Opposition parties will gather in the city on Friday to protest the “indecent way the country is run,” Xavier Luc Duval, the head of the Parti Mauricien Social Democrate said.

“The handing over of power was done in accordance with the law and with respect for the institutions and the constitution,” Jugnauth said in a phone interview. “If there is anyone who thinks that my appointment was made without respecting the law, he can have recourse to justice.

Jugnauth, who served as Mauritius’s finance minister from 2003 to 2005 and 2010 to 2011, was reappointed to the post in May, hours after he won an appeal against a conviction on charges of corruption. In July, he delivered an annual budget that targeted development of the manufacturing, financial services, tourism, and aquaculture industries to help lift the country’s economic growth rate to 4.1 percent from 3.4 percent.

The new premier will outline the priorities for his government’s remaining three years in office in an announcement later on Monday, he said.

“We must redouble our efforts to ensure that the promised vision of a prosperous Mauritian island is realized as soon as possible,” Jugnauth said.

High-Income Economy
Mauritius is the easiest place in Africa to do business, according to the World Bank, while the African Development Bank ranks it as the most competitive economy in sub-Saharan Africa. The sugar and textile exporting nation is
 targeting becoming a high-income country, which is defined as an economy with a gross national income per capita above $12,735, by 2025.

Jugnauth is the leader of the Mouvement Socialiste Militant that has ruledMauritius since December 2014, when it came to power in an alliance with the PMSD and Muvmen Liberater. The PMSD quit the government in December, citing a disagreement over policy.

His father Anerood Jugnauth, 86, stepped down four months after saying he probably wouldn’t complete his term that was scheduled to end in 2019.

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