Mauritius President to Step Down Amid Row Over Credit Card Spending
The president of Mauritius, who was accused of using a credit card issued by a charity to buy clothes and jewelry worth tens of thousands of dollars, will step down, the prime minister announced on Friday.
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth told reporters that Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, the first female president of the island nation off the east coast of Africa, would resign after Monday, when the country marks its 50th anniversary.
“The president of the republic told me that she would resign from office and we agreed on the date of her departure,” Mr. Jugnauth said in Port Louis, the capital, according to the BBC.
He did not provide the exact date of her departure, but he said her resignation would take place before Parliament returns at the end of the month.
“The interest of the country comes first, and I am proud of Mauritius’s image as a model of living democracy in the world,” Mr. Jugnauth added.
Ms. Gurib-Fakim, a chemistry professor who was appointed to the largely ceremonial post in 2015, has denied any wrongdoing and said she had refunded all the money she spent.
“I do not owe anything to anybody,” she said on Wednesday. “Why is this issue coming up now, almost a year later, on the eve of our independence day celebrations?”
The local newspaper L’express published bank documents purporting to show that the president had shopped in Italy and Dubai in 2016 with a credit card issued by Planet Earth Institute, a London-based charitable organization, according to the BBC.
Ms. Gurib-Fakim, Africa’s only female head of state, was appointed to the charity’s board as an unpaid director in 2015, but resigned two years later.