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Pravind Kumar Jugnauth born 25 December 1961 is a politician who is the current Prime Minister of Mauritius. He is the leader of the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM). Pravind Jugnauth previously served as Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation following the victory of their alliance LEPEP in the 2014 general elections from December 2014 to July 2015. He has occupied various positions in both government and opposition since 2000. He was Minister of Agriculture from 2000 to 2003, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2005. While he served in Navin Ramgoolam's cabinet from 2010 to 2011 as Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance[2] He is also Member of Parliament for the 8th constituency Quartier Militaire and Moka.[3] He left the coalition government and was appointed Leader of the Opposition in September 2014 until he was named as minister in his father's cabinet following their victory.


Pravind Jugnauth

Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.jpg
5th Prime Minister of Mauritius
Assumed office
23 January 2017
PresidentAmeenah Gurib
Barlen Vyapoory (Acting)
DeputyIvan Collendavelloo
Preceded byAnerood Jugnauth
Minister of Finance
Assumed office
26 May 2016
Prime MinisterAnerood Jugnauth
Preceded byAnerood Jugnauth (Acting)
In office
11 May 2009 – 26 July 2011
Prime MinisterNavin Ramgoolam
Preceded byRama Sithanen
Succeeded byXavier Luc Duval
In office
7 October 2003 – 5 July 2005
Prime MinisterPaul Berenger
Preceded byPaul Berenger
Succeeded byRama Sithanen
Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation
In office
14 December 2014 – 1 July 2015
Prime MinisterAnerood Jugnauth
Preceded byChedumbrum Pillay
Succeeded byEtienne Sinatambou
Leader of Opposition
In office
15 September 2014 – 14 December 2014
Prime MinisterAnerood Jugnauth
Preceded byPaul Bérenger
Succeeded byPaul Bérenger
Vice Prime Minister of Mauritius
In office
11 May 2010 – 26 July 2011
Prime MinisterNavin Ramgoolam
Preceded byRama Sithanen
Succeeded byAnil Bachoo
Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius
In office
7 October 2003 – 5 July 2005
Prime MinisterPaul Bérenger
Preceded byPaul Bérenger
Succeeded byRashid Beebeejaun
Leader of the Militant Socialist Movement
Assumed office
30 October 2003
Preceded byAnerood Jugnauth
Member of the National Assembly
for Quartier Militaire and Moka
Assumed office
9 May 2009
Preceded byAshok Jugnauth
Majority20,080 (57.10%)[1]
Personal details
Born (1961-12-25) 25 December 1961 (age 57)
La Caverne, British Mauritius
Political partyMilitant Socialist Movement
Spouse(s)Kobita Ramdanee
Children3
RelativesAnerood Jugnauth (Father)
Sarojini Ballah (Mother)
Alma materUniversity of Buckingham
Inns of Court School of Law
Aix-Marseille University

He is the only son of Sir Anerood Jugnauth and Sarojini Ballah. His candidacy for Parliamentary General Elections in Constituency No 9, Rose Belle and Vieux Grand Port in 2000 made him elected as Member of Parliament from there. He was appointed as Minister of Agriculture by President Uteem to serve in the cabinet. He served as Minister under the premiership of his father Anerood Jugnauth who became Prime Minister in 2000 after winning the elections with the MSM/MMM coalition.

He was initially found guilty of conflict of interest for a transaction of Rs. 144 million under the Prevention of Corruption Act (POCA) Law and was sentenced by the Intermediate court of Mauritius for 1 year of imprisonment. He was accused of having reallocated funds to purchase the Medpoint Clinic in which his sister held a majority of shares. He resigned from the government as minister following the sentence. However, he appealed to the Supreme Court of Mauritius and won his appeal.[4] He was then appointed as Minister of Finance.

On 23 January 2017, he was chosen as the next Prime Minister by his father and leader of the coalition government, Anerood Jugnauth, following his resignation. In 2017 he has awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the President of India.

In November 2019 elections, Mauritius’ ruling Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) has won more than half of the seats in parliament, securing incumbent Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth a five-year term. MSM won 38 of the 62 seats up for grabs while its rivals, the Labour Party and the Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM), garnered 14 and 8 seats respectively.[5]

Early life and educationEdit

Born on 25 December 1961 in La Caverne, a suburb area in Vacoas-Phoenix, Mauritius, Jugnauth was born into a high class Hindu Ahir (Yadav) family. He was born to Anerood Jugnauth, a famous well known barrister who was the second prime minister of Mauritius and Sarojini Ballah, a school teacher from a well-off family. He has an elder sister, Shalini Jugnauth, married to Dr Kishan Malhotra.

In various interviews, Pravind stated that he has lived a political life since birth. He stated that his father and uncles were all members of Independent Forward Bloc, a political party led by Sookdeo Bissoondoyal (a former Minister in the Cabinet of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam) during the independence rally made by the country in 1967 so as to obtain autonomy from British Authorities.

His father was one of the few people to attend the conference and meeting on negotiations on the independence of Mauritius. Pravind Jugnauth states that he remembers all part of it. After independence, his uncle was appointed Attorney General in cabinet and his father was appointed as Junior Minister. He said he still remembers all negotiations on different aspects on the new constitution.

His mother put him in the school she was teaching and luckily she became his teacher He always mentioned his mother as his confidant and his father as his inspiration. After primary schooling, he went to Royal College Curepipe where he passed his O Levels and A levels. He then went on to study law in UK.

Jugnauth studied Law at University of Buckingham, gaining a first class honours degree. He then joined the Lincoln's Inn and became a Barrister. He then joined Aix-Marseille University in France where he graduated with an LLM. He officially joined the MSM in 1990 and was honored Doctor from the University of Buckingham with a Honoris Causa in 2005.

2000 to 2005Edit

As Minister of Agriculture from 7 September 2000 to 7 October 2003, Jugnauth presented the Sugar Sector Strategic Plan and led a reform process in the sugar sector to ensure its long-term viability and competitiveness. He initiated a process to convert the sugar industry from relying almost exclusively on the production of sugar into a fully diversified sugar cane industry with emphasis on the production of ethanol, agricultural rhum, special sugars, electricity generation from bagasse and other high value added products. After these reforms, the sugar sector has been able to bring down its production costs significantly and better face the challenges stemming from the reduction in the guaranteed sugar price under the Sugar Protocol with the European Union.

While working on the reforms in the sugar sector, he negotiated a package for workers under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme. Some 8,000 workers who opted for voluntary retirement received cash compensation exceeding 2.5 billion rupees and some 825 arpents of land worth 3 billion rupees.

Jugnauth also made reforms in the non-sugar agricultural sector by placing non-sugar agriculture on the path of modernization and sophistication. He encouraged hydroponics and other modern methods of production while at the same time strived for excellence in agricultural biotechnology research and expertise in the field. He initiated actions to set up a National Agricultural Biotechnology Institute and Food Technology Laboratory in Mauritius; he later launched the Small Planters Welfare Fund. The fund caters to the welfare of planters and their families and provides crop insurance schemes designed to financially support planters whose crops are affected by unfavorable weather conditions.

As Minister of Finance from 7 October 2003 to 5 July 2005, Jugnauth reduced taxes on thousands of commodities. He increased subsidies on basic commodities and gave salary compensations well above inflation rates in two successive years. He launched a project to make Mauritius a Duty Free Island.

Pravind Jugnauth had some clashes with his then Prime Minister Paul Berenger however stayed and supported the coalition government.

Leaders said the alliance MSM / MMM, Rama Sithanen insult himself and makes demagogy when it's a failure of government economic policy. In 2004 Pravind Jugnauth mentioned that from 1995 and 2000, the unemployment rate rose from 5.5% to 8.8% with 45,000 unemployed, while in the last three years, 32,000 jobs were created. He also mentioned that despite this heavy legacy, the government MSM / MMM kept the budget deficit to 6% and hopes to return to 5.5% in 2004/2005 and 4% in 2005/2006.[6]

2005 to 2009Edit

Paul Berenger dissolved parliament in June 2005 and announced that the elections would be held on 3 July. The MSM-MMM coalition knowing the fact that the MSM had weakened throughout the years decided to propose Paul Berenger as candidate for Prime Minister. Navin Ramgoolam maintained his alliance called the Social Alliance which was composed of the Labour party and other small parties.

The Social Alliance won a total seat of 38 against the MSM-MMM which obtained only 24 seats. Pravind Jugnauth was defeated in his constituency and received 48% of vote.[7] While the MSM had 14 seats and the MMM,the remaining 10,the MSM-MMM proposed Paul Berenger as Leader of the Opposition and maintained the alliance.

In 2006, Paul Berenger proposed Rajesh Bhagwan another member of the MMM as Opposition Chief Whip. The MSM having more seats than its sister party therefore removed their support from Paul Berenger and broke the coalition. Nando Bodha, general secretary of the MSM became Leader of the Opposition and Pravind Jugnauth continued as Leader outside of Parliament.

Another feud exploded when Pravind Jugnauth did not approve of Ashok Jugnauth- who was an elected MSM MP in 2005 and who is Pravind's uncle- to become Leader of the party and assume the responsibilities of Leader of opposition. Ashok Jugnauth left the MSM for democratic reasons stating that the party was a democratic dictatorship with Pravind as the only leader.

In 2007,two more members of the MSM namely Joe Lesongard, the party's then president and Sekar Naidu left the MSM and sworn allegiance to Berenger and thus he became Leader of the Opposition.

The MSM had weakened more and more since the leader was not in parliament and therefore they did not have a firm authority.

2009 By-ElectionEdit

Ashok Jugnauth who is the brother of Sir Anerood Jugnauth and uncle of Pravind was the only MSM MP in constituency Quartier Militaire and Moka and lost his seat as the Supreme Court of Mauritius had convicted him for fraud and corruption during 2000 to 2005 when he was Minister of Health. According to law, a MP who is convicted by the court loses his/her seat with immediate effect. Prime Minister Ramgoolam then announced that a By Election would be happening in order to elect an MP.

Ashok Jugnauth announced his candidacy for the By Elections and received the support of Paul Berenger and his MMM. The Labour Party decided not to align any candidate in the By-elections and to everybody's surprise provided their support to Pravind Jugnauth and his MSM who then announced his candidacy in the 8th constituency.[8] On 2 March 2009, he beat out his own relative in the partial elections and gained back his seat in Parliament. His uncle was in the other camp and accepted his defeat humbly.

The By-elections sealed the Labour Party and the Militant Socialist Movement alliance for the general elections in 2010.

2010-2014Edit

In 2010, he and the MSM joined hands with the Mauritian Labour Party and Mauritian Social Democrat Party and formed a coalition known as Ptr-MSM-PMSD which won the parliamentary elections. President Sir Anerood Jugnauth on the advice of Navin Ramgoolam then appointed him as Vice Prime Minister & Minister of Finance taking office as from 11 May 2010.[9] Ion 26 July 2011, he resigned from his office of minister as well as all other MSM Ministers due to a scandale involving one of the MSM ministers.[10][11]

In 2014, following the resignation of Paul Berenger as Leader of the Opposition,President Purryag appointed Jugnauth to hold the constitutional office.[12][13]

In a highly controversial judgement, he was convicted on charges on conflict of interest by an intermediate court in Mauritius on 30 June 2015. He was found guilty of acting as Minister of Finance to reallocate funds to purchase a private hospital (namely Medpoint) of which his sister Shalini Malhotra was a shareholder. The judges ruled that the show of proper ethical standards by PKJ in refusing to have any active decision-making role did not hold any legal standing. This ruling was highly criticised by Senior Counselss including Yousouf Mohamed Q.C, S.C. The ruling was reversed after appeal by the Supreme Court of Mauritius. However, in the interim PKJ submitted his resignation to President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim as a government minister on 1 July 2015.

Medpoint ScandalEdit

In 2010, the government decided to buy a hospital and to make it a specialized geriatric center. The cabinet of Ministers approved of buying the MedPoint private Clinic which was owned by Dr Kishan Malhotra and Mrs Shalini Devi Jugnauth Malhotra who is the sister of incumbent Minister of Finance Pravind Jugnauth and daughter of incumbent President Sir Anerood Jugnauth.[14]

In such matters involving large outlay of public funds, there is what is often called a gestation period and procedures have to be strictly followed and no stone should be left unturned. Although the decision to purchase MedPoint, which was not operating as a clinic at the time and still not operating, was taken by the government, in the use of public funds, the government is under obligation to consider whether this purchase is in the public interest and whether all possible measures have been taken to clinch the deal at the best possible price for the public and not for the owners of MedPoint. The government is also under obligation to demonstrate what safeguards have been put in place to guard against matters such as abuse of power, corruption and so on.

The government already had in its possession a Valuation Report for « Land and Building » for Rs75 million conducted by the government department Valuation and Real Estate Consultancy Services (VRECS) and signed Roshnee Bissessur, No.2 at the Valuation Office, a department affiliated with the Ministry of Finance led by Minister Pravind Jugnauth, brother in law of Dr Malotra, owner of ex-MedPoint Clinic.

Mrs Maya Hanoomanjee, then Minister for Health who is a cousin of the Jugnauth family requested, in September 2010, a new valuation for « Land, Building and Services » to be obtained within two weeks with the view to closing the deal in December 2010. Mrs Hanoomanjee's yet unjustified urgent request prompted Mr Yodhun Bissessur, the Director of the Valuation Department, to write, on 21 September 2010, to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) headed by Minister Anil Bachoo requesting the expert help of that Ministry in Quantity Surveying for the purposes of the valuation of ex-Medpoint Clinic, which proposed acquisition was for use as a Geriatric Hospital, bearing in mind that the new valuation had to include Services.

After missed site visit, further correspondence and twists and turns, the private contractors Hoolooman & Associates were hired to conduct the survey and valuation, reason given being that Navin Ramgoolam's government lacked the necessary quantity surveying human resources to do so. Mr Ramdyal of the Quantity Surveying Unit of the MPI felt the exercise would take at least two months and not two weeks as allegedly demanded by Mrs Hanoomanjee. Also, the new valuation is not said to be confined only to the MedPoint property after depreciation for the purposes of the purchase, but to second hand medical equipment and the cost of a new replacement building at current prices which Mrs Hanoomanjee allegedly wanted, hence her need for a Quantity Surveyor, who is a professional in the construction industry concerned with building costs. Hoolooman & Associates were also originally involved in the construction of the MedPoint Clinic and they valued the Land, Building and Services at Rs.145 millions (US$5 Millions). If this valuation contained the replacement cost of the building, the government would have therefore purchased a building which is non-existent and paid the seller for a fictitious building. This in itself should go to the root of the contract and be enough to set it aside.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), was formally requested to investigate what has come to be known as MEDPOINTGATE, or the MEDPOINT SCANDAL, a scandal which has the potential to bring down the whole government. Similarities are already drawn with WATERGATE and IRANGATE. In line with the MedPoint investigations, ICAC proceeded to the arrest of two Civil Servants involved in the decisions taken to give the go ahead to the new Rs145m valuation conducted by Hooloman & Associates and upon which the government solely relied for the purchase. The two Civil Servants, Yodhun Bissessur and Aneerood Jeebodhun, the respective Number 1 and Number 3 at the government's Valuation and Real Estate Consultancy Services (VRECS), have, on 5 April 2011, been provisionally charged with "public official using office for gratification", for having ordered a second valuation by Hooloman & Associates which allegedly favoured MedPoint over other contenders through the procedure of tender. The charge implies that the two Civil Servants allegedly took bribes when ordering and accepting the Hooloman & Associates Rs145m valuation without question when their own original valuation was for Rs75m. Mr Bissessur reportedly admitted that he knew the private firm had worked for Dr Malotra and detained « Bill of Quantities » for his clinic, but nevertheless accepted the firm's valuation of Rs145m without disputing it. Hence, the decision of ICAC to proceed to the arrest of the two Civil Servants in question in the course of their investigations does appear justified.[15]

Then Minister of Health, Maya Hanoomanjee was arrested by the ICAC police and the government chief valuer was suspended from his duties. Pravind Jugnauth was also arrested in respect for conflicts of interest in the matter.[16]

On 30 June 2015, Jugnauth was found guilty of "Conflict of Interest" under the Article 13 of the Prevention Of Corruption Act 2002 (PoCA).[17]

However, he appealed to the Supreme Court of Mauritius and won his appeal.[4] He was then appointed as Minister of Finance. The prosecution appealed to the Privy Council, but the prosecution appeal was unsuccessful.

2014-presentEdit

He was appointed as Minister of Information Technology following the alliance LEPEP's victory. Local political analysts predicted instability in the government as he was leader of the largest party in parliament and was therefore holding a parallel position to the Prime Minister (his father) in the Westminster style of government.

Though there was various moments of major disagreement including the nomination of Menon Murday as Vice President, the revocation of Roshi Badhain as minister, the dismissal of Vishnu Lutchmeenaraido following the Badhain-Lutchmeenaraidoo dispute and also on government policies. He nevertheless supported the Prime Minister and continued as minister.

While many politicians and observers see him as the prime minister in waiting due to Anerood Jugnauth's advanced age, the opposition claims that it would be blatantly undemocratic to appoint him as prime minister without going through the polls in the event that Jugnauth Sr. was not prime minister anymore. On 21 January, Aneerod Jugnauth announced that he will be resigning as Prime Minister as of 23 January, and that he will be succeeded by his son, Pravin Jugnauth. The appointment of Pravin Jugnauth as Prime Minister by his father,Sir Aneerod Jugnauth, was pointed at as a form nepotism, where the father is favoring his son instead of consulting a panel of experts or the general public. Even though it is legal to do so, this law still remains controversial and is often a matter of debate, specially in the UK in the Westminster parliament, from which it is based on.

Family lifeEdit

Pravind Jugnauth married Kobita Ramdanee in 1992 and is the father of three daughters: Sonika, Sonali and Sara. His father is Sir Anerood Jugnauth and his mother is Sarojini Ballah. His sister is Shalini Jugnauth Malhotra.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Constituency No.8 - Quartier Militaire and Moka" (PDF). Electoral.govmu.org. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 October 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 May 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Incumbent PM wins Mauritian elections after party secures parliamentary majority | UMMnews". www.ummnews.biz. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  6. ^ "5plusltd.com - 5plusltd Resources and Information". 5plusltd.com. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 November 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 October 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ "Mauritius's Jugnauth to Hold Briefing After Resign Report". Bloomberg.com. 26 July 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "ASSEMBLÉE NATIONALE : Changing of Guards ! - Le Mauricien". Lemauricien.com. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Maya Hanoomanjee and the MSM conspiracy and extremism". Ile-maurice.com. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Pravind Jugnauth's 26th September 2011 incriminating MedPoint statement to ICAC". Ile-maurice.com. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Pravind Jugnauth found guilty of conflict of interests in the MedPoint case". Indian Ocean Times. Indian Ocean Times. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Anerood Jugnauth
Prime Minister of Mauritius
2017–present
Incumbent