Mauritius: General election of December 1976

Extracted from: "Mauritius" IN Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa (2002), edited by Tom Lodge, Denis Kadima and David Pottie, EISA, 166-167.

The elections were contested by about 400 candidates representing 31 parties, but only three of these nominated candidates in all 20 constituencies on the island.These were the Independent Party [IP], an alliance of the Labour Party, led by the Prime Minister, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, and the Muslim Action Committee; the Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate (PMSD) led by Gaëtan Duval; and the Mouvement Militant Mauricien (MMM) led by Paul Bérenger. About 460 100 voters of the 0,8 million inhabitants of Mauritius registered, and 88% (404 918) of them actually voted. The election was closely fought, and no party was able to gain a majority of parliamentary seats (see 1976 Legislative Assembly election results). The MMM received most votes, 38.64%, but gained only 34 seats, two short of an absolute majority. The Independence Party (MLP and CAM) gained 37.90% and 28 seats, while the PMSD received 16.20% of the votes and eight seats. By once more forming a coalition with the PMDS, Ramgoolam managed to stay in power, but with a majority of only two seats in the Assembly.

Ethnic Composition of the Assembly

Ethnic group No seats IP MMM PMSD
Hindus 39 22 17 0
Creoles 19 4 9 6
Muslim 9 2 7 0
Chinese 1 0 1 0
Franco-Mauritians 2 0 0 2
Total 70 28 34 8

Table source:

MANNICK, A R "Mauritius" IN The Development of a Plural Society; Nottingham: Spokesman, 1979, 148.

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