Mauritius: General election of June 1982

Extracted from: "Mauritius" IN Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa (2002), edited by Tom Lodge, Denis Kadima and David Pottie, EISA, 167-168.

The election was contested by 22 parties and 360 candidates. The MLP had been weakened by the defection of part of its coalition partner, the PMSD, while the CAM declined to contest the election. The MMM had formed an alliance with Harish Boodhoo's Parti Socialiste Mauricien (PSM). The MMM hoped that this alliance would draw Hindu votes away from the MLP and ensure a MMM victory.

The election resulted in a landslide victory for the MMM-PSM alliance (formed in early 1981), which won 64.16% of the vote and all 60 elected seats (42 by the MMM, 18 by the PSM, and two for the allied Organisation du Peuple Rodriguais) (for more detail see 1982 Legislative Assembly election results). Voter turn-out was 87.3%, with 471 196 out of an electorate of 540 000 casting their votes for the 34 parties contesting 62 seats. The LP, which had dominated Mauritian politics since 1948, won no seats and (together with the Muslim Action Committee) only 25.78% of the vote. The PMSD did even worse, receiving only 7.79% of the vote. The LP and the PMSD each did eventually receive two seats in parliament under the best-loser provisions.

According to Larry W Bowman (1991, 81), the 1982 election was "a powerful endorsement of the democratic process. In an open and free election, an aging elite that had run out of ideas was replaced by a much younger and basically untested group of individuals who promised new programs and new hope. It was a democratic transformation of remarkable proportions and suggested that Mauritius was beginning to move beyond intensely communal politics." Aneerood Jugnauth became Prime Minister, Boodhoo Deputy Prime Minister, and Bérenger Minister of Finance.


BOWMAN, LW 1991 Mauritius: Democracy and Development in the Indian Ocean; Boulder & San Francisco: Westview Press.

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