Mauritius Ruling Party Agrees to Alliance With Main Opposition

The main political parties in Mauritius agreed to form an alliance that will seek to boost the powers of the president.

The ruling Labour Party, led by Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam, and the main opposition Mouvement Militant Mauricien, headed by Paul Berenger, agreed to a power-sharing deal, they told reporters in Vacoas, south of the capital Port Louis today. The alliance will promote “sustainable and inclusive growth,” Ramgoolam said in comments broadcast on Radio Plus.

The partnership plans to push through electoral reforms that will retain the powers of the prime minister and increase those of the president, who will have the authority to appoint the governor and deputy governors of the central bank, the finance minister and chair the Council of Ministers and National Assembly when deemed necessary. After elections, Ramgoolam will become President, while Berenger will be appointed Prime Minister, they said, without announcing the election date.

“It’s a historical moment” that will strengthen unity and democracy, Berenger said. “We also pledge to engage in a relentless fight against fraud and corruption. On the economic side, we need to accelerate the transition of Mauritius to a high-income country.”

The economy of Mauritius, which relies on tourism and exports of sugar and textiles for foreign currency, is forecast to expand 3.5 percent in 2014, according to the nation’s statistics agency. The Indian Ocean island is a net importer of food and fuel. The Mauritian currency, known as the rupee, weakened 3.7 percent this year to 31.21 per dollar at close in Port Louis, yesterday.

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