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Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century and subsequently settled by the Dutch - who named it in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU - in the 17th century. The French assumed control in 1715, developing the island into an important naval base overseeing Indian Ocean trade, and establishing a plantation economy of sugar cane. The British captured the island in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars. Mauritius remained a strategically important British naval base, and later an air station, playing an important role during World War II for anti-submarine and convoy operations, as well as the collection of signal intelligence. Independence from the UK was attained in 1968. A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has earned one of Africa's highest per capita incomes.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Mauritius
Conventional short form Mauritius
Local long form Republic of Mauritius
Local short form Mauritius

Government type
Parliamentary democracy

Capital
Name Port Louis
Geographic coordinates 20 09 S, 57 29 E
Time difference
UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
9 districts and 3 dependencies*; Agalega Islands*, Black River, Cargados Carajos Shoals*, Flacq, Grand Port, Moka, Pamplemousses, Plaines Wilhems, Port Louis, Riviere du Rempart, Rodrigues*, Savanne

Independence
12 March 1968 (from the UK)

Constitution
12 March 1968; amended 12 March 1992

Legal system
Civil legal system based on French civil law with some elements of English common law

International law organization participation
Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Rajkeswur Kailash PURRYAG (since 21 July 2012); note - former President Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH resigned on 31 March 2012
Head of government
Prime Minister Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM (since 5 July 2005)
Cabinet
Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
Elections
President and vice president elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 21 July 2012 (next to be held in 2017); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president, responsible to the National Assembly; note - former President Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH resigned on 31 March 2012
Election results
Rajkeswur Kailash PURRYAG elected president by unanimous vote; percent of vote by the National Assembly - NA

Legislative branch
Unicameral National Assembly (70 seats; 62 members elected by popular vote, 8 appointed by the election commission to give representation to various ethnic minorities; members to serve five-year terms)
Elections
Last held on 5 May 2010 (next to be held in 2015)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - AF 41, MMM 18, MR 2, MSF 1; appointed seats - to be assigned 8

Judicial branch
Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders
Alliance of the Future or AF [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM] (governing coalition - includes MLP, MMSM, MR, MSD, PMSD); Mauritian Labor Party or MLP [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM]; Mauritian Militant Movement or MMM [Paul BERENGER]; Mauritian Militant Socialist Movement or MMSM [Pravind JUGNAUTH]; Mauritian Socialist Militant Movement or MSMM [Madan DULLOO]; Mauritian Solidarity Front of FSM [Cehl FAKEERMEEAH]; Mouvement Republicain or MR [Jayarama VALAYDEN]; Maurition Social Democratic Party or PMSD [Xavier Luc DUVAL]; Rodrigues Movement or MR [Joseph (Nicholas) Von MALLY]; Rodrigues Peoples Organization or OPR [Serge CLAIR]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Other Various labor unions

International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, C, COMESA, CPLP (associate), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SAARC (observer), SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Somduth SOBORUN
Chancery
1709 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; administrative offices - 3201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 441, Washington, DC 20036
Telephone
[1] (202) 244-1491 through 1492
FAX [1] (202) 966-0983

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Troy FITRELL
Embassy
4th Floor, Rogers House, John Kennedy Street, Port Louis
Mailing address
International mail: P. O. Box 544, Port Louis; US mail: American Embassy, Port Louis, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2450
Telephone [230] 202-4400
FAX [230] 208-9534

Flag description
Four equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, yellow, and green; red represents self-determination and independence, blue the Indian Ocean surrounding the island, yellow has been interpreted as the new light of independence, golden sunshine, or the bright future, and green can symbolize either agriculture or the lush vegetation of the island

National anthem
Name "Motherland"
Lyrics/music
Jean Georges PROSPER/Philippe GENTIL
Note Adopted 1968


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  Mauritius (Port Louis):


  GPS points from Mauritius (Port Louis)

La Porte Black River District

Pointe Aux Cannoniers Pamplemousses District

Grand Baie Riviere Du Rempart District

Flacq Flacq District

Mont Plate Rodrigues

Riviere Du Post Savanne District

Pave Citron Bridge Moka District

Little Malabar Plaines Wilhems District




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