Mauritius. In August, President Cassam Uteem abruptly
dissolved the parliament following a series of corruption
scandals involving government members. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the turnout was 80%. Anerood Jugnauth was named Prime Minister, a post he also
held in 1982-95, in the leadership of a coalition between
his own MSM (Mouvement Socialiste Mauritius) and Paul
Bérenger's MMM (Mouvement Militant Mauritius). The two party
leaders concluded a deal that Jugnauth would be the
country's prime minister for three years, after which
Bérenger would take over the post.
In early November, Mauritania became one of the nine countries
that joined forces in the COMESA (Common Market for Eastern
and Southern Africa) free trade cooperation. In 2001,
another six countries were expected to join, and
consultations were ongoing with even more countries.
In January 2001, China declared that it would build a
textile factory in Mauritius to produce 18,000 tonnes of
cotton per year. The purpose was to take advantage of the
lower tariffs on textile imports from Africa to the EU,
which is a consequence of the EU-African cooperation
agreement on growth and development.
In February 2001, President Arianga Pillay signed the
Anti-Terrorism Act sent to Parliament. That led to the
resignation of Cassam Uteem and his predecessor Angidi
Chettiars. The law allows for detention of suspects for much
longer periods, and denies suspects of terrorism the right
In 2002 Karl Hoffman was elected chairman of the National
Assembly. Minister of Information, Technology and
Telecommunications Geehad Geelchand traveled to India, the
UK, France and Ireland to promote Mauritius as a new center
for IT development.
On the anniversary of the terrorist attack in New York,
Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth conducted a meeting with US
Ambassador to the country, John Price. The main theme of the
meeting was the fight against terrorism.
In early 2003, Anerood Jugnauth placed the leadership of
MSM in the hands of his son, Pravind, and in September he
left the Prime Minister's post to Paul Bérenger - the first
Hindu in the post. In October, Jugnauth assumed the post of
the country's president.
In early 2004, the police launched an investigation into
a transfer of DKK 25 million. US $ to a Swiss bank account
in 1997. The money apparently was to be used to support the
Labor Party, which at that time had government power. Among
the three responsible for the transfer were Navim Ramgoolam,
then prime minister.
In late January 2004, representatives of small island
states met in the Bahamas to prepare for the summit to be
held in Mauritius at the end of 2004 with the participation
of 300 representatives from the Caribbean, the
Mediterranean, southern China, the Pacific, the Atlantic and
the Indian Ocean.