Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim will step down next week, the prime minister said on Friday, after she was accused of using a credit card issued by an international non-governmental organisation to buy clothes and jewellery.
Pravind Jugnauth, the prime minister, told reporters Gurib-Fakim would resign after March 12, after the celebration of the country’s 50th anniversary.
“The President of the Republic has told me that she will resign from her position,’‘ Jugnauth said. The prime minister chaired a cabinet meeting yesterday which agreed to start impeachment proceedings against the president after she initially refused calls to resign.
While the prime minister declined to announce the agreed date for the resignation announcemnt, it is expected that it will be before the resumption of Parliament scheduled on Tuesday 27 March.
He did not comment on the row over credit card expenditure but he has previously said everyone should shoulder their responsibility, when asked about the issue by reporters.
“The interest of the country comes first and I am proud of Mauritius image as a model of living democracy in the world.
Gurib-Fakim, a chemistry professor, was appointed to the largely ceremonial post in 2015, as the island nation’s first female president, has denied any wrongdoing and said she had refunded all the money in question.
“I do not owe anything to anybody. Why is this issue coming up now almost a year later on the eve of our independence day celebrations,” she said in a March 7 speech.
The local L’express newspaper reported that the president had shopped in Italy and Dubai, using a credit card issued by Planet Earth Institute.
The organisation supports education by offering scholarships, and the president served there as an unpaid director. The newspaper reported that the card was to promote a doctorate programme named after the president.
Planet Earth Institute was not immediately available for comment.
The prime minister concluded by urging Mauritians to come together and celebrate the independence of the country in harmony.
“It is important that we celebrate our 50th anniversary of Independence, with serenity as one nation, a united people, and be proud of our homeland.”
India President will be the Chief Guest at the celebrations along with other dignitaries from friendly countries and the Government want to give a welcome to all its guests.
However, opposition parties have said that they will boycott the celebrations should the President be still in power.
Source: Africa News