Jugnauth, Anerood (Mauritius)
One of the dominant figures of post-independence Mauritius, Sir Anerood Jugnauth has served as both president and prime minister. He was first elected premier in 1982 and his most recent tenure ended in Jan. 2017.
Sir Anerood Jugnauth was born in Vacoas-Phoenix on 29 March 1930. He attended Regent College in Quatre Bornes before working as a teacher and a government clerk. He went on to study law in the UK, being called to the Bar in 1954.
In 1963 he became a member of the National Assembly (then the Legislative Assembly) for the first time as a member of the Independent Forward Bloc. He joined the Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM) in 1971 and soon rose to become head, serving as leader of the opposition from 1976–82 until assuming the premiership for the first time.
Shortly afterwards he left the MMM to found the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM). Jugnauth led his new party to victory at elections in 1983 and remained as prime minister for the next 12 years, winning two further mandates in that time. Under his tenure, the economy thrived amid a liberalization programme and a reduction in dependency on the sugarcane industry.
Jugnauth and the MSM suffered a resounding defeat at elections in 1995 but he returned as prime minister 5 years later on the back of a power-sharing deal with Paul Bérenger, leader of the MMM. During this tenure he encouraged the growth of technology industries in Mauritius and adopted a punitive policy towards drug offending. He resigned in 2003 to become president—a largely ceremonial role—as agreed in the deal with the MMM. He was re-elected president by parliament in 2008 and held the office until 2012.
In Dec. 2014 Jugnauth received his sixth mandate as prime minister, succeeding his political rival Navin Ramgoolam.
Jugnauth was sworn in on 17 Dec. 2014, vowing to bolster the economy. Early in his latest term he met with officials from the Seychelles to discuss a strengthening of ties in the interests of mutual maritime security. In March 2015 he hosted a visit by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which India offered Mauritius a US$500 m.-credit line for infrastructure development while also highlighting fears that a bilateral tax treaty was being abused by some Indian citizens for tax evasion purposes.
On 21 Jan. 2017 Jugnauth resigned from his position and handed power to his son, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, the minister of finance and leader of the country’s main political party. Two days later his resignation became effective and he was appointed minister mentor, minister of defence and minister for Rodrigues in the new cabinet.