Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim resigns following Financial Scandal

Mauritius president resigns amid financial misconduct claims

The President of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Africa's only female head of state, has submitted her resignation in the "interests of the nation", her lawyer Yousouf Mohamed told reporters.

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth announced a week ago that Gurib-Fakim had agreed to resign, with a date set for her departure after last Monday's ceremony celebrating the Indian Ocean archipelago's 50 years of independence.

Mohamed told local Radio Plus that she had made a decision to resign "to prevent a constitutional crisis". He added that her resignation would take effect on March 23.

Gurib-Fakim, 58, whose role is mostly ceremonial, earlier had earlier said she was the victim of a smear campaign and said she would not resign.

"She is also willing to go to court to defend herself against the slanderous accusations against her".

The president was left fighting for her political career after local media published a report that she had paid for personal expenses on a credit card given to her by London-based charity Planet Earth Institute (PEI) in 2016.

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The presidency said that in May 2016, she received a credit card from PEI to pay for travel and logistical expenses linked to her role but inadvertently used it for unrelated personal expenses.

This allegedly led her to accidentally mix up the two cards.

Gurib-Fakim maintains that she immediately realized her mistake, informed PEI of the transactions, reimbursed them for the purchases, as well as for all of her expenses related to her PEI mission.

That claim was confirmed by PEI in a public statement, in which the organisation also said Gurib-Fakim had resigned from PEI.

In 2017, he was allowed to set up an investment bank in Mauritius, which prompted critics to accuse the government of playing favouritism.

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, president of the Republic of Mauritius.

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