The people of Mauritius are voting for the general election for the first time since Pravind Jagannath became Prime Minister after his father resigned. The son of Anirudh Jagannath, who renounced the post of Prime Minister two years before the scheduled term, became Prime Minister without a mandate. According to Mauritius officials, about 15 percent of the one million registered voters voted three hours after the start of voting. Pravind Jagannath is urging voters to vote on the basis of structural development and economic reforms done in their short tenure. But two of his rivals say that his appointment as prime minister was akin to nepotism. Significantly, this country, with a population of thirteen lakhs, has embarked on a journey from a poor agro-based economy to become one of Africa's wealthiest countries and a center of financial activity.
For the first time in several decades Three political factions of Mauritius are in the race for power in the general election. If no one gets a clear majority then the chances of forming a coalition government are strong. Jagannath is the president of the right-wing 'Mauritian' alliance, while Naveen Ramgoolam is the president of the Left National Alliance. Paul Berenger, one of Ramgoolam's former colleagues, is contesting the election with his party 'Mauritian Militant Movement'. Significantly, voters have to elect 62 MPs, out of which 60 will be elected from the main island and two from Rodrigues Island.