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AfricaMoney | August 24, 2017

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Mauritius Finance Minister Duval resigns amid PM’s plans for MMM alliance

Mauritius Finance Minister Duval resigns amid PM’s plans for MMM alliance

The island economy is currently ruled by a coalition of Ramgoolam and Duval’s parties, and Ramgoolam’s move to form an alliance with the main opposition party MMM, has not gone down well with Duval. (Image: Government)

Mauritian Finance Minister Xavier Luc Duval resigned amid plans by the ruling Labor Party to let go of its alliance with PMSD.

Duval, 56, handed in his resignation to Vice President Monique Ohsan-Bellepeau at 2 pm today in the capital, Port Louis, Mahmad Kodabaccus, general-secretary of the Parti Mauricien Social Democrate (PMSD), announced today.

Besides, the other two MPs from the PMSD, Aurore Perraud and Thierry Henry, also resigned from the government.

“The three MPs of PMSD resigned from the government following a strong disagreement with the Labour Party regarding the future and stability of the country,” Xavier Duval told a news conference. Duval himself was one of the three members of parliament that had government posts.

Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam yesterday said “all conditions have been met” for his Labor Party and Paul Berenger’s Movement Militant Mauricien (MMM) to form an alliance to compete in elections that must take place by next year.

Ramgoolam has said he plans to meet Paul Berenger on Saturday.

Duval opposes Labour and MMM proposal for electoral and constitutional reform. “We say no to constitutional reform without a referendum,” he said.

Mauritius is currently ruled by a coalition of Ramgoolam and Duval’s parties, and Ramgoolam’s move to form an alliance with the main opposition party MMM, has not gone down well with Duval.

Duval held the job of finance and economic development minister for almost three years. During that period, he guided the Indian Ocean island economy through the global economic downturn, which curbed earnings in the nation’s vital tourism industry, and helped deliver what the International Monetary Fund said in February is a low rate of inflation.

Under Duval’s leadership, the Finance Ministry pushed for maintaining or lowering the benchmark interest rate to boost economic growth even as the Bank of Mauritius, including Governor Rundheersing Bheenick, argued that inflationary pressures warrant monetary tightening.

The Monetary Policy Committee voted 5-3 to maintain the key lending rate at 4.65 percent at its last meeting on April 28. Bheenick and his two deputies favored a 50 basis point rise.

Duval was first elected to parliament in 1987 and has held several ministerial posts since 1995, including leading the economic empowerment, tourism and industry portfolios.

He holds a degree in economics from Leeds University in the UK and he is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, according to a statement on the Finance Ministry’s website.

Recently, Duval received the Southern African Economic Development Champion Award 2014 from the African Leadership Magazine.

The magazine noted that, thanks to the efforts of its Finance Minister, the Mauritian economy, already among the most competitive countries in Africa, has been able to compete successfully on the global stage

Furthermore, Duval was credited with having made finance more accessible to the common man with continuous improvements in the macroeconomic fundamentals as well as the socio-economic development of the country.

Besides, Duval was the beneficiary of the African Finance Minister of the year Award by the African Leadership Magazine in 2012. He also won the Africa Investor Award for Best Finance Minister of Africa over two consecutive years in 2012 and 2013 for showing his leadership skills in the financial domain.

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