Mauritius’ president to resign over financial scandal

Mauritius’ president to resign over financial scandal

Since 2015 her approval rating has plummeted and many Mauritians view her as a transitory president.

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Photo: AFP

Following ceremonies that mark the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence, Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim will resign today.

The decision comes amid accusations that she used a credit card issued by Planet Earth Institute, an NGO, for personal expenses, many of which consisted of jewellery and clothes. The president has denied wrongdoing and claimed to have refunded all the money.

A world-renowned chemist, Gurib-Fakim has been the recipient of numerous international honours, including the L’Oréal UNESCO Award for Women in Science. Though her global recognition made her a popular presidential candidate in 2015, her approval rating domestically has since plummeted; many Mauritians view her as a transitory president.

Pressure for her Gurib-Fakim’s resignation came from Alliance Lepep, the same coalition that appointed her three years ago. With national elections a year out, the Alliance likely sought to sever ties with the increasingly unpopular president. Going forward, the group will try to reinforce itself as the coalition for Mauritians. In the coming weeks, Vice President Barlen Vyapoory will ascend to the presidency and finish his predecessor’s term.

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