Mauritius: Electoral Boundaries Commission

Updated May 2010

The Electoral Boundaries Commission is established under section 38(1) of the Constition of the Republic of Mauritius 1968 and delimits and reviews the constituencies and their boundaries (Constitution 1968 39(2)).

Composition

The Commission consists of a Chairperson and not less than two, or more than seven other members (Constitution 1968 38(1)). The President makes the appointments, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, after the latter has consulted with the Leader of the Opposition. The members are not allowed to be a member of, or candidate for election to the Assembly or any local authority, or be a public officer or local government officer (Constitution 1968 38(1)).

Term of Office

The term of office is 5 years (Constitution 1968 38(4)(a)).

Members

The members are the same as for the Electoral Supervisory Commission (EBC 2009, 1):

  • Mr Yusuf H Aboobaker, CSK, SC (Chairperson)
  • Mr Désiré Basset, SC
  • Mr Pramahunse Bissessur
  • Mrs Narghis Bundhun
  • Dr Charles Yip Tong
  • Mr Oograssen Devpal Cowreea
  • Mr Georges André Robert

Mrs CR Seewooruthun is the Secretary to the EBC.

Constituency review

The Island of Rodrigues is defind as one constitutency by the Constitution (1968, 39(1)) and therefore requires no review, and it is the 20 constiuencies on the Island of Mauritius and the islands associated with it that are the focus of the EBC's attention. In principle the EBC should delimit these 20 constituencies in such a way that "the number of inhabitants of each constituency is as nearly equal as is reasonably practicable to the population quota"; the population quota is simply the total population of the Island as determined from the last census report divided by 20 (Constitution 1968 39(3),(5)). However, the number of inhabitants may differ from the quota to take into acout factors such as (Constitution 1968 39(3):

  • means of communication
  • geographical features
  • density of population
  • the boundaries of administrative areas

See Rouikaya Kasenally 2009 Delimitation of constituencies for more information.

Delimitation report

The EBC is required to present a report its review of the boundaries of the constituencies to the National Assembly every 10 years (Constitution 1968, 39(2),(3)). The National Assembly approves or rejects the recommendations, but may not vary them; if they are approved then the delimitation takes effect as from the next dissolution of Parliament, ie for the next general election (Constitution 1968, 39(4)). The EISA Oberver Mission to the 2005 National Assembly election noted: "The EBC has subsequently reviewed the boundaries of constituencies in 1976, 1986 and 1999, as stipulated in the Constitution, but none of its recommendations has been implemented" (EISA 2006, 12). The EBC's 2009 report is listed in the References below.

Funding and expenditure

The Electoral Boundaries Commission receives an annual allocation from the government earmarked and voted for in the budget (See Cost of elections for details).

Sachs Report electoral bodies and parties

Extracted from: Rouikaya Kasenally 2009 "Chapter 8: Mauritius" IN Denis Kadima and Susan Booysen (eds) Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa 1989-2009: 20 Years of Multiparty Democracy, EISA, Johannesburg, 277-278.

However, the Sachs Report [2001] emphasised the urgent need to streamline, enhance and strengthen the electoral bodies (ESC and EBC). This was subsequently reinforced by the two select committees set up by government in 2004 (Recommendation on Sachs Report and Funding of Political Parties). In fact, there were a whole series of recommendations made, ranging from empowering the electoral bodies to regulate and monitor political parties finances during elections, to enforcing a code of conduct for political parties as well as encouraging the electoral bodies to invest more significantly in voter education. A number of observers believe that the electoral bodies must have functions and responsibilities beyond elections so that they can regulate, monitor and enforce the various rules in a more sustained manner. It is expected that these changes would be implemented as part of electoral reform.

References

CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF MAURITIUS 1968, [www] http://www.gov.mu/portal/site/AssemblySite/menuitem.ee3d58b2c32c60451251701065c521ca/ [opens new window] (accessed 22 Feb 2010).

EISA 2006 Election Observer Mission Report: Mauritius National Assembly Elections, 3 July 2005 [PDF document].

ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES COMMISSION (EBC) 2009 Report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission on a Review of the Boundaries of the Constituencies, [www] http://www.gov.mu/portal/site/eco/menuitem.9f73b64c918f0cb5d61f2e9848a521ca/?content_id=4ae27fa963f6f110VgnVCM1000000a04a8c0RCRD [MS Word document] (accessed 5 May 2010).

SACHS COMMISSION 2001 Report of the Commission on Constitutional and Electoral Reform 2001/02, [www] http://www.gov.mu/portal/goc/pmo/file/reform.doc [MS Word document] (accessed 22 Feb 2010).

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