Former President and Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth (SAJ) died on 3 June at the age of 91.
He studied in the United Kingdom and began his career in politics in 1956. He was the Minister of Development and Minister of Labour, Prime Minister for five mandates and President of the Republic for two mandates. In 1983, he created his own party, the Mouvement socialiste militant (MSM), by joining forces with some members of the MMM (Mouvement militant mauricien).
It was at that time, between 1983 and 1995, that he initiated the Mauritian economic turnaround. Alongside prominent industrialists such as José Poncini and Amédée Maingard, he positioned the island as a manufacturing centre of excellence with free trade zone status and as a leading tourist destination.
In 2000-2003, he was again elected Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Interior and External Communication. In 2003, he gave way to Paul Bérenger and became President of the Republic until 2012. In 2013, he made a comeback and won the elections, becoming Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Home Affairs and Minister of Rodrigues. In 2017, he handed over his role to his son, currently Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.
The memory of SAJ lives on as the longest serving Prime Minister in the country, with over 18 years in office. With regard to the economy, his contribution to the industrial development of the 1980s will be forever etched in history.
By Loveena Harooa