Early election results from Mauritius indicate the ruling Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) won more than half of the parliamentary seats up for grabs and helped secure incumbent Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth another five-year term.
MSM won 35 of the 62 seats while rivals, the Labour Party and the Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM), garnered 15 and 10 seats respectively.
Two seats on the island of Rodrigues were won by the Organisation of the People of Rodrigues (OPR) party.
The challenger parties all campaigned for change, saying that Jugnauth’s time in office had been marked by nepotism and corruption. They also promised to deliver a fairer distribution of the country’s wealth and introduce a minimum wage.
Jugnauth, who became prime minister in 2017 when his father stepped down from the post, has already introduced a minimum wage to try and improve income equality.
Mauritius expects its economy, which is dependent on tourism and financial services, to expand by 4.1% next year, up from a forecast 3.8% this year. Analysts expect economic diversification to proceed regardless of who wins the election.
Final results are expected later on Friday evening, Electoral Commissioner Irfan Rahman said.
Some 723,660 voters, 76.84 percent of those eligible, turned out for the ballot, officials said.
The turnout was 2% higher than the last election.