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Sun, 17 Nov 2019 10:05 GMT

Vote Counting Begins in Mauritius


7Dnews London

Fri, 08 Nov 2019 12:02 GMT

The counting of votes began on Friday November 8th in Mauritius following a strong turnout in an election to decide who will rule the stable democracy in the Indian Ocean, AFP reported.

Three-quarters of the island's almost one million eligible voters turned out to cast their ballot in a peaceful election, according to the Electoral Commissioner, Irfan Rahman.

Ballots were being counted at official centres across the country, with results expected later on Friday.

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth is seeking a popular mandate in one of Africa's wealthiest and most stable democracies for the next five years.

Jugnauth, who succeeded his father Anerood Jugnauth as prime minister without a popular vote when the older man stood down in 2017, asked voters to judge him on his short time in office, pointing to his record on modernising public infrastructure and economic reforms in the country.

Distinct political blocs compete for power in the parliamentary elections for the first time in decades.

Jugnauth, 57, who heads the centre right Morisian Alliance, faced two challengers who accuse the Jugnauth family of nepotism. Two-time former premier Navin Ramgoolam leads the centre left National Alliance and one of Rangoolam’s former allies, Paul Berenger is standing alone with his Mauritian Militant Movement.

Berenger, who was briefly prime minister between 2003 to 2005, also denounced dynastic politics and accused Jugnauth of presiding over "scandals of all kinds.”

New alliances could be likely if no party can win an absolute majority.

The country of 1.3 million people has developed from a poor, agriculture-based economy, to one of Africa's wealthiest nations and financial services hub.

The Electoral Commission recognised eight other representatives from among those not elected, but who received a high number of votes, to balance the distribution of seats between parties and communities in the national assembly.