Mauritius Elects First Female President

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Prominent scientist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim was sworn as president of Mauritius today, becoming the first woman to hold the ceremonial position in the Indian Ocean island nation.

This Thursday the Parliament of Mauritius, which received independence from Britain in 1968, voted Gurib-Fakim’s into the Presidential Office. Her appointment came after former President Kailash Purryag, who was selected by the island’s previous Labour Party government, stepped down after having served as Mauritius’s President since July of 2012.

Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth told reporters, “I have always believed in the equality of men and women.”

Many officials from the opposition Party came out in support of her, despite the political divide in Mauritius’s Parliament. Her appointment was expected, and widely anticipated, after information that Purryag’s January 2015 resignation was announced. People were not satisfied with candidate Navin Ramgoolam, the previous Labour Party Prime Minister, because of multiple corruption allegations against him.

Ramgoolam, one of the many connivers ousted by the new upstanding government, was expelled from power following charges of conspiracy, cronyism, and money-laundering.