MAURITIUS — President Prithvirajsing Roopun has announced the death Mauritius’ former Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth who passed on aged 91.
“It is with deep sadness and greater regret that we announce the death of Sir Anerood Jugnauth on June 3 as a result of illness,” said the president.
Jugnauth was the longest serving leader of the country’s economic transformation. He was considered father of the Mauritian economic miracle of the 1980’s.
He served as a prime minister for 18 years overtaking Seewoosagur Ramgoolam who held office for 14 years.
Jagnauth assumed his position as prime minister in 1982 to 1995, then resumed in 2000 to 2003 after a long break. He would later become president in 2003 to 2012.
Following his party’s victory in the 2014 general electiosn, he was appointed again to serve his sixth term as Prime Minister by President Kalyash Puryag on 14 December 2014.
He resigned in 2017 and handed over power to his son Pravind, the country’s serving prime minister, who won a subsequent five-year term in the 2019 elections.
In 1965, he participated in an historic conference in London that paved the way for the adoption of a constitution in the then-British colony, and independence some three years later.
He also campaigned to have Chagos islands returned to Mauritius. Chagos islands is a British overseas territory in Indian Ocean that hosts a key Unitedv States airbase.
The deceased who doubled as a lawyer ventured into politics in 1953 after being elected to parliament.
Among other leaders, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi eulogized him with accolades terming him as an “architect of modern Mauritius.”
“Padma Vibhushan Sir Anerood Jugnauth, a tall leader & statesman, was the architect of modern Mauritius. A proud Pravasi Bharatiya, he helped forge the special bilateral relationship that will benefit from his legacy. Condolences to his family & the people of Mauritius. Om Shanti,” said Modi
Flags in all public buildings have been lowered at half-mast with his funeral slated for Friday.