Democracy and rights
Abbreviated as MUS by Abbreviationfinder, Mauritius is a democratic state with a multi-party system and organized the change of power. The political scene is largely dominated by a few families.
Political elections are conducted according to democratic rules of the game and citizens are free to form political parties. About 40 parties took part in the 2014 elections. In a referendum held in conjunction with the 2014 parliamentary elections, a majority of voters voted against changing the constitution to extend the president’s powers (see Calendar).
Since political parties in Mauritius rarely get their own majority in the National Assembly, the government usually switches between different coalitions that are often difficult to hold together due to personal contradictions between leading politicians. Government periods are therefore often relatively short. Party politics is dominated by three parties that have been rotated in power (see Political system). The Hindu majority population.
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Women are under-represented in politics. After the 2014 election, almost twelve percent of the members of the National Assembly were women. In 2015, however, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim became the first woman in the presidential post (however, she was forced to resign in March 2018, see Calendar).
Freedom of assembly is usually respected.
There are functioning organs to counteract organs. In 2107, however, the Minister of Justice was forced to resign after being accused of money laundering.
According to the organization Transparency International’s index list of perceived corruption in the countries of the world, Mauritius 2018 ranked 56 out of 180 countries.
Freedom of expression and media
Mauritanian press has 200 years of history and is considered to be both versatile and outspoken. Freedom of the press and expression is guaranteed in the Constitution. However, it has appeared that police officers have threatened media workers and that politicians and government officials have used laws of defamation against journalists who have written disgraceful things to them. Journalists also run the risk of being sentenced to prison for “threatening the general order”.
A new law for online communications introduced in 2018, according to Reporters Without Borders, makes it punishable to create “trouble, grief or worry”, and can be used to silence uncomfortable journalists. According to the organization, it is extremely sensitive to report corruption, tourism and religious radicalization. The journalists who revealed the affair about the Minister of Justice 2017 were arrested in connection with this, but were released later the same day.
On Reporters Without Borders index of freedom of the press in the world, Mauritius in 2019 ranked 58 out of 180 countries, which was 14 positions better than 2014.
There are about 10 newspapers in Mauritius and the newspaper reading is relatively scattered. The state television and radio company Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) is supposed to be independent of the state powers but is sometimes accused by media experts and oppositionists for being government friendly. Domestic privately owned TVs do not exist, but foreign channels can be viewed via cable. Since the state gave up its radio monopoly in 2002, several privately owned radio stations have been started.
Almost all residents have access to the internet, most of them via their smart phones.
Information on the government’s work is posted online (including the state budget), but there are no laws that give citizens access to such material.
Judicial system and legal security
The judiciary is independent and judged to function relatively well. The system is based on French and British models. The number of judges at the three courts is determined by the National Assembly. There is an opportunity to appeal judgments to the Privy Council in London.
There are no political prisoners in Mauritius. The death penalty was abolished in 1995 and the last execution took place in 1987.
The police can make “provisional arrests” and keep suspects in custody for up to 21 days before a formal prosecution is brought. Some may also be imprisoned for several years while awaiting trial.
The police force has been charged with brutality during arrests and for violence against people detained and jailed. In an attempt to stop this, the government has introduced human rights courses in police training.
The right to return is withdrawn
The upper house of the British Parliament, which at this time serves as the UK’s highest court, cancels the May 2007 Court of Appeals ruling that Chagos residents have the right to return to their homes in the coral islands. Thus, the drawn-out dispute is settled.
The President re-elected
Anerood Jugnauth from MSM is re-elected president.
China makes room for business
China is starting to build a so-called zone for trade and economic cooperation in Mauritius. The zone will accommodate 40 Chinese companies.