All of these conditions triggered fierce internal
contradictions between MMM and MSP, leading to a
postponement of elections in August 1983. In this election,
MMM suffered defeat and a new coalition government formed by
the Labor Party, the MSP and Duval's Social Democrats was
formed. Yet political stability was fragile. Alliances
within the government were constantly changing without being
able to consolidate. The major parties were split, leading
to the formation of new political groups such as the
Mauritius Socialist Movement (MSM) - a scaling off of the
MSP led by later Prime Minister Aneerood Jugnauth.
Mauritius' greatest economic potential lies within
industrial production - especially the textile industry. The
country's industrial free zones employ 90,000 people, or 10%
of the population. Average income per The population is 3-4
times higher than the average in Africa, but inflation has
increased by 16% annually. The lack of specialized labor
could trigger a new wave of emigration from Madagascar,
India and Kenya.
In 1988, in accordance with the Organization of African
Unity ( OAU ), Mauritius again demanded the island of
Tromelin (administered by France) and the Chagos archipelago
as well as demilitarization of the Indian Ocean, which was
the scene of major military maneuvers. The claim was
supported by environmental movements due to the
proliferation of nuclear weapons in the affected areas.
At the December 1987 parliamentary elections, the
coalition between the MSM, PSDM and the Labor Party achieved
a comfortable victory, giving it the majority of
parliamentary seats, and Aneerood Jugnauth was re-elected
prime minister. The MMM consolidated its position as the
country's main opposition party.
In the daily press, articles appeared that linked several
political leaders to drug trafficking and laundering of drug
dollars. At the same time, the prime minister was subjected
to several assassination attempts, at least one of which was
carried out by drug dealers.
In the September 1991 parliamentary elections, the MSM
succeeded in retaining Jugnauth in the post of prime
minister by entering into a "historic" alliance with the MMM.
In March 1992, the country ceased to be a constitutional
monarchy, was transformed into a republic, and in June
Cassam Uteem was named the country's first president.
In August 1993, MMM Foreign Minister Paul Bérenger
withdrew from the government and Jugnauth no longer had an
absolute majority. In 1994, the World Bank and other
international institutions continued to assess the country's
financial performance as satisfactory. Foreign debt
accounted for 25% of GDP and per capita. The capita income
was $ 2,740 a year.
In January 1995, Jugnauth engaged representatives of the
right-wing PSDM in its government. At the December
parliamentary elections, an opposition coalition consisting
of the MMM and the Labor Party led by Paul Bérenger and
Nuvin Ramgoolam received two-thirds of the seats in
parliament. Ramgoolam was subsequently appointed prime
The country's social indicators improved in 1996. The
average life expectancy was 70 years and the literacy rate
was 81.7%. The majority of the population had access to
health care, 99% to drinking water and a similar proportion
In June 1997, the MMM withdrew from the government
coalition and Rangoolam assumed the post of Foreign
Minister. A few days later, Parliament re-elected Cassam
Uteem to the presidential post.
In March 2000, Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee
visited the country. The visit coincided with the 30th
anniversary of Mauritius' independence and enabled the
signing of several agreements between the two countries in
the areas of trade, technology and coastguard.