The Constitution of Mauritius

(Cont.)

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CHAPTER III - CITIZENSHIP

20 Persons who became citizens on 12 March 1968

(1) Every person who, having been born in Mauritius, was on 11 March 1968 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies became a citizen of Mauritius on 12 March 1968.

(2) Every person who, on 11 March 1968, was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies -

(a) having become such a citizen under the British Nationality Act 19481, by virtue of his having been naturalised by the Governor of the former Colony of Mauritius as a British subject before that Act came into force; or

(b) having become such a citizen by virtue of his having been naturalised or registered by the Governor of the former Colony of Mauritius under that Act, became a citizen of Mauritius on 12 March 1968.

(3) Every person who, having been born outside Mauritius, was on 11 March 1968 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, if either of his parents became, or would but for his death have become, a citizen of Mauritius by virtue of subsection (1) or subsection (2), became a citizen of Mauritius on 12 March 1968.

(4) For the purposes of this section, a person shall be regarded as having been born in Mauritius if he was born in the territories which were comprised in the former Colony of Mauritius immediately before 8 November 1965 but were not so comprised immediately before 12 March 1968 unless either of his parents was born in the territories which were comprised in the Colony of Seychelles immediately before 8 November 1965.

[Amended 23/95]

21 Persons entitled to be registered as citizens

(1) Any person who, on 12 March 1968, was or had been married to another person -

(a) who became a citizen of Mauritius by virtue of section 20; or

(b) who, having died before 12 March 1968 would, but for his death, have become a citizen of Mauritius by virtue of section 20, shall be entitled, upon making application and, if he is a British protected person or an alien, upon taking the oath of allegiance, to be registered as a citizen of Mauritius

Provided that, in the case of any person who, on 12 March 1968 was not a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, the right to be registered as a citizen of Mauritius under this section shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interest of national security or public policy.

(2) Any application for registration under this section shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed as respects that application.

[Amended 23/95]

22 Persons born in Mauritius after 11 March 1968

Every person born in Mauritius after 11 March 1968 shall become a citizen of Mauritius at the date of his birth

Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Mauritius by virtue of this section if at the time of his birth -

(a) neither of his parents is a citizen of Mauritius; or

(b) either of his parents is an enemy alien and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by the enemy.

[Amended 23/95]

23 Persons born outside Mauritius after 11 March 1968

A person born outside Mauritius after 11 March 1968 shall become a citizen of Mauritius at the date of his birth if at that date either of his parents is a citizen of Mauritius otherwise than by virtue of this section or section 20 (3).

[Amended 23/95]

24 Marriage to a citizen of Mauritius

Any person who, after 11 March 1968, marries another person who is or becomes a citizen of Mauritius shall be entitled, upon making application in such manner as may be prescribed and, if he is a British protected person or an alien, upon taking the oath of allegiance, to be registered as a citizen of Mauritius

Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen of Mauritius under this section shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy.

[Amended 23/95]

25 Commonwealth citizens

(1) Every person who under this Constitution or any other law is a citizen of Mauritius or under any enactment for the time being in force in any country to which this section applies is a citizen of that country shall, by virtue of that citizenship, have the status of a Commonwealth citizen.

(2) Every person who is a British subject without citizenship under the British Nationality Act 19482, or continues to be a British subject under section 2 of that Act or is a British subject under the British Nationality Act 19653 shall, by virtue of that status, have the status of a Commonwealth citizen.

(3) Except as may be otherwise provided by regulations made by the Prime Minister, the countries to which this section applies are Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, St. Christopher-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom and Colonies, Vanuatu, Western Samoa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

[Amended 48/91]

26 Powers of Parliament
  1. Parliament may make provision -

(a) for the acquisition of citizenship of Mauritius by persons who are not eligible or who are no longer eligible to become citizens of Mauritius by virtue of this Chapter;

(b) for depriving of his citizenship of Mauritius any person who is a citizen of Mauritius otherwise than by virtue of section 20, 22 or 23;

(c) for the renunciation by any person of his citizenship of Mauritius; or

(d) for the maintenance of a register of citizens of Mauritius who are also citizens of other countries.

[Amended 23/95]

27 Interpretation

(1) In this Chapter, "British protected person" means a person who is a British protected person for the purposes of the British Nationality Act 19484.

(2) For the purposes of this Chapter, a person born aboard a registered ship or aircraft, or aboard an unregistered ship or aircraft of the government of any country, shall be deemed to have been born in the place in which the ship or aircraft was registered or, as the case may be, in that country.

(3) Any reference in this Chapter to the national status of the parent of a person at the time of that person's birth shall, in relation to a person born after the death of his parent, be construed as a reference to the national status of the parent at the time of the parent's death, and where that death occurred before 12 March 1968 and the birth occurred after 11 March 1968, the national status that the parent would have had if he had died on 12 March 1968 shall be deemed to be his national status at the time of his death.

[Amended 23/95]


CHAPTER IV - THE PRESIDENT AND THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MAURITIUS

28 The President

(1) There shall be a President who shall be the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of Mauritius.

(2)

(a) The President shall -

(i) be elected by the Assembly on a motion made by the Prime Minister and supported by the votes of a majority of all the members of the Assembly; and

(ii) subject to this section and section 30, hold office for a term of 5 years and shall be eligible for re-election.

(b) A motion under paragraph (a) shall not be the subject matter of a debate in the Assembly.

(3) No person shall be eligible for election to the office of President unless he is a citizen of Mauritius who is not less than 40 years of age and has resided in Mauritius for a period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding the election.

(4) Where a person is elected to the office of President, he shall not, whilst in office, -

(a) hold any other office of emolument, whether under the Constitution or otherwise;

(b) exercise any profession or calling or engage in any trade or business.

(5) The President shall, at the expiry of his term, continue to hold office until another person assumes office as President.

(6) The office of the President shall become vacant -

(a) subject to subsection (5), at the expiry of his term of office;

  1. where he dies or resigns his office by writing addressed to the Assembly and delivered to the Speaker; or

(c) where he is removed or suspended from office under section 30.

  1. Where the office of President is vacant, or the President is absent from Mauritius or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office, those functions shall be performed -

(a) by the Vice-President; or

(b) where there is no Vice-President -

(i) elected under section 29 (2) or (7); and

(ii) able to perform the functions of the office of President, by the Chief Justice.

  1. The person performing the functions of President under subsection (7) shall cease to perform those functions as soon as -

(a) another person is elected as President or the President resumes his office, as the case may be; or

(b) in the case of the Chief Justice, a Vice-President is elected under section 29 (2) or (7) and assumes office or the Vice-President resumes his office, as the case may be.

[Amended 48/91]

29 The Vice-President

(1) Subject to subsection (7), there shall be a Vice-President of the Republic of Mauritius.

(2) The Vice-President shall -

(a) be elected in the manner specified in section 28 (2) (a) (i) and, subject to this section and section 30, hold office for a term of 5 years and shall be eligible for re-election;

(b) perform such functions as may be assigned to him by the President.

(3) No person shall be eligible for election to the office of Vice-President unless he satisfies the conditions specified in section 28 (3).

(4) Where a person is elected to the office of Vice-President, he shall not, whilst in office, -

(a) hold any other office of emolument, whether under the Constitution or otherwise;

(b) exercise any profession or calling or engage in any trade or business.

(5) The Vice-President shall, at the expiry of his term, continue to hold office until another person assumes office as Vice-President.

(6) The office of the Vice-President shall become vacant -

(a) subject to subsection (5), at the expiry of his term of office;

(b) where he dies or resigns his office by writing addressed to the Assembly and delivered to the Speaker, or

(c) where he is removed or suspended from office under section 30.

(7)

(a) Where the office of Vice-President is vacant, or the Vice-President is absent from Mauritius or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office, those functions may be performed by such person as may be elected by the Assembly in the manner specified in section 28 (2) (a) (i).

(b) No person may be elected under paragraph (a) unless he satisfies the conditions specified in section 28 (3).

(8) The person performing the functions of Vice-President under subsection (7) shall cease to perform those functions as soon as another person is elected and assumes office as Vice-President or the Vice-President resumes his office, as the case may be.

[Amended 48/91]

30 Removal of the President and the Vice-President

(1) The President or the Vice-President may be removed from office in accordance with this section for -

(a) violation of the Constitution or any other serious act of misconduct;

(b) inability to perform his functions whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or from any other cause.

(2) Where the President fails to comply with section 46 (2), he may be removed from office on a motion made by the Prime Minister in the Assembly and supported by the votes of a majority of all the members of the Assembly.

(3) The President or the Vice-President shall not be removed from office for any other cause unless -

(a) a motion that the circumstances requiring the removal of the President or the Vice-President be investigated by a tribunal is made in the Assembly by the Prime Minister;

(b) the motion states with full particulars the ground on which the removal of the President or the Vice-President is sought;

(c) the motion is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the Assembly;

(d) the tribunal, after its investigation, forwards a written report on the investigation addressed to the Assembly and delivered to the Speaker and recommends the removal of the President or the Vice-President; and

(e) subject to paragraph (f), a motion made by the Prime Minister and supported by the votes of a majority of all the members of the Assembly requires the removal of the President or the Vice-President on a recommendation to that effect by the tribunal;

(f) a motion under paragraph (e) is made -

(i) where the Assembly is sitting, within 20 days of the receipt of the report of the tribunal by the Speaker;

(ii) where the Assembly is not sitting, within 20 days of the day on which the Assembly resumes its sitting.

(4) The President or the Vice-President shall have the right to appear and to be represented before the tribunal during its investigation.

(5) Where the Assembly supports a motion under subsection (3) (c), it may suspend the President or the Vice-President from performing the functions of his office.

(6) A suspension under subsection (5) shall cease to have effect where -

(a) a report under subsection (3) (d) does not recommend that the President or the Vice-President ought to be removed from office; or

(b) the Assembly does not support a motion under subsection (3) (e) requiring the removal of the President or the Vice-President.

(7) Where the Assembly supports a motion under subsection (3) (e) requiring the removal of the President or the Vice-President, the office of the President or the Vice-President, as the case may be, shall become vacant.

(8) In this section, "tribunal" means a tribunal consisting of a chairman and 2 or 4 other members appointed by the Chief Justice from amongst persons who hold or have held office as a Judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil or criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from such a court.

[Amended 48/91]

30A Privileges and immunities

(1) Subject to section 64 (5), no civil or criminal proceedings shall lie against the President or the Vice-President in respect of the performance by him of the functions of his office or in respect of any act done or purported to be done by him in the performance of those functions.

(2) Subject to section 64 (5), no process, warrant or summons shall be issued or executed against the President or the Vice-President during his term of office.

(3) The President or the Vice-President shall be entitled -

(a) without payment of any rent or tax to the use of his official residence;

(b) to such emoluments, allowances and privileges, exempt from any tax thereon, as may be prescribed.

(4) No alteration to any of the entitlements specified in subsection (3) which is to the disadvantage of the President or the Vice-President shall have effect without his consent.

[Added 48/91]

30B Oaths to be taken by the President and the Vice-President

(1) A person elected to the office of President or Vice-President or who assumes the functions of any of those offices shall, before assuming his functions, take and subscribe the appropriate oath as set out in the Third Schedule.

(2) An oath under this section shall be administered by the Chief Justice.

[Added 48/91]


CHAPTER V - PARLIAMENT

PART I - THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

31 Parliament of Mauritius

(1) There shall be a Parliament for Mauritius, which shall consist of the President and a National Assembly.

(2) The Assembly shall consist of persons elected in accordance with the First Schedule, which makes provision for the election of 70 members.

[Amended 48/91]

32 Speaker and Deputy Speaker

(1)

(a) The Assembly shall, at its first sitting after any general election, on motion supported by the votes of a majority of all the members of the Assembly elect -

(i) from among its members or otherwise, a Speaker;

(ii) from among its members, a Deputy Speaker.

(b) A motion under paragraph (a) shall not be the subject matter of a debate in the Assembly.

(2) A person who is a Minister shall not be qualified for election as Speaker or Deputy Speaker.

(3) The office of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker shall become vacant -

(a)

where -

(i) the Speaker, in the case of a Speaker who is a member of the Assembly; or

(ii) the Deputy Speaker ceases to be a member of the Assembly otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of the Assembly;

(b) where he -

(i) is convicted of a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment by a court in any part of the Commonwealth;

(ii) is adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt in any part of the Commonwealth; or

(iii) is adjudged to be of unsound mind or is detained as a criminal lunatic under any law in force in Mauritius; and the Assembly passes a resolution supported by the votes of a majority of all the members requiring his removal from office;

(c) where he becomes a Minister;

(d) where the Assembly passes a resolution supported by the votes of two-thirds of all the members requiring his removal from office;

(e) where the Assembly first sits after any general election;

(f) in the case of the Deputy Speaker, when the Assembly first sits after being prorogued;

(g) in the case of a Speaker who is not a member of the Assembly, where, without leave of the President previously obtained, he is absent from the sittings of the Assembly for a continuous period of 3 months during any session for any reason other than his being in lawful custody in Mauritius;

(h) where he becomes a party to any contract with the Government for or on account of the public service, or where any firm in which he is a partner or any company of which he is a director or manager becomes a party to any such contract, or where he becomes a partner in a firm or a director or manager of a company which is a party to any such contract, or where he becomes a trustee, manager or, with his consent, a beneficiary of a trust which is a party to any such contract.

(4) Where the office of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker becomes vacant at any time, the Assembly, in the manner specified in subsection (1), shall, unless it is sooner dissolved, elect -

(a) from among its members or otherwise, a Speaker

(b) from among its members, a Deputy Speaker.

(4A) No person shall be eligible for election as Speaker unless he is a citizen of Mauritius.

(4B) A person elected as Speaker shall not, whilst in office -

(a) hold any other office of emolument, whether under the Constitution or otherwise;

(b) exercise any profession or calling.

(5) A person holding the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker may resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Assembly and the office shall become vacant when the writing is received by the Clerk to the Assembly.

(6) No business shall be transacted in the Assembly (other than the election of a Speaker) at any time when the office of Speaker is vacant.

(7) Where a motion is presented for the purposes of subsection (3) (b) or (d), the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker, as the case may be, shall not preside over the proceedings of the Assembly at that sitting.

(8) (a) Notwithstanding any pending judicial proceedings by or against the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker or any thing contained in the Standing Orders of the Assembly, where a motion is presented to the Speaker by the Prime Minister for the purposes of subsection (3) (b) or (d), the motion shall -

(i) be required to specify the ground for such removal;

(ii) form part of the business of the Assembly when it first sits after presentation of the motion;

(iii) have priority over all other business of the Assembly;

(iv) be the subject matter of a debate in the Assembly;

(v) be put to the vote of members at that sitting.

(b) Where a motion presented by the Prime Minister for the purposes of subsection (3) (b) or (d) does not form part of the business of the Assembly as provided under paragraph (a) (ii), the Prime Minister may, before the commencement of the business at the sitting, table the text of the motion in the Assembly, and the motion shall thereupon be dealt with in accordance with this subsection.

[Amended 2/82; 36/90; 1/96]

33 Qualifications for membership

Subject to section 34, a person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the Assembly if, and shall not be so qualified unless, he -

(a) is a Commonwealth citizen of not less than the age of 18 years;

(b) has resided in Mauritius for a period of, or periods amounting in the aggregate to, not less than 2 years before the date of his nomination for election;

(c) has resided in Mauritius for a period of not less than 6 months immediately before that date; and

(d) is able to speak and, unless incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause, to read the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him to take an active part in the proceedings of the Assembly.

34 Disqualifications for membership

(1) No person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the Assembly who -

(a) is, by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a power or state outside the Commonwealth;

(b) is a public officer or a local government officer;

(c) is a party to, or a partner in a firm or a director or manager of a company which is a party to, any contract with the Government for or on account of the public service, and has not, within 14 days after his nomination as a candidate for election, published in the English language in the Gazette and in a newspaper circulating in the constituency for which he is a candidate, a notice setting out the nature of such contract and his interest, or the interest of any such firm or company, therein;

(d) has been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in any part of the Commonwealth and has not been discharged or has obtained the benefit of a cessio bonorum in Mauritius;

(e) is a person adjudged to be of unsound mind or detained as a criminal lunatic under any law in force in Mauritius;

(f) is under sentence of death imposed on him by a court in any part of the Commonwealth, or is serving a sentence of imprisonment (by whatever name called) exceeding 12 months imposed on him by such a court or substituted by competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him by such a court, or is under such a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which has

been suspended;

(g) is disqualified for election by any law in force in Mauritius by reason of his holding, or acting in, an office the functions of which involve -

(i) any responsibility for, or in connection with, the conduct of any election; or

(ii) any responsibility for the compilation or revision of any electoral register; or

(h) is disqualified for membership of the Assembly by any law in force in Mauritius relating to offences connected with elections.

(2) Where it is prescribed by Parliament that any office in the public service or the service of a local authority is not to be regarded as such an office for the purposes of this section, a person shall not be regarded for the purposes of this section as a public officer or a local government officer, as the case may be, by reason only that he holds, or is acting in, that office.

(3) For the purpose of this section -

(a) 2 or more terms of imprisonment that are required to be served consecutively shall be regarded as a single term of imprisonment for the aggregate period of those terms; and

  1. imprisonment in default of payment of a fine shall be disregarded.

35 Tenure of office of members

(1) The seat in the Assembly of a member shall become vacant -

(a) upon a dissolution of Parliament;

(b) where he ceases to be a Commonwealth citizen;

(c) where he becomes a party to any contract with the Government for or on account of the public service, or where any firm in which he is a partner or any company of which he is a director or manager becomes a party to any such contract, or where he becomes a partner in a firm or a director or manager of a company which is a party to any such contract Provided that, where in the circumstances it appears to him to be just to do so, the Speaker (or, where the office of Speaker is vacant or he is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office, the Deputy Speaker) may exempt any member from vacating his seat under this paragraph where such member, before becoming a party to such contract, or before or as soon as practicable after becoming otherwise interested in such contract (whether as a partner in a firm or as a director or manager of a company), discloses to the Speaker or, as the case may be, the Deputy Speaker the nature of such contract and his interest or the interest of any such firm or company therein;

(d) where he ceases to be resident in Mauritius;

(e) where, without leave of the Speaker (or, where the office of Speaker is vacant or he is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office, the Deputy Speaker) previously obtained, he is absent from the sittings of the Assembly for a continuous period of 3 months during any session for any reason other than his being in lawful custody in Mauritius;

(f) where any of the circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Assembly, would cause him to be disqualified for election thereto by virtue of section 34 (1) (a), (b), (d), (e), (g) or (h);

(g) in the circumstances mentioned in section 36.

(2) A member of the Assembly may resign his seat by writing under his hand addressed to the Speaker and the seat shall become vacant when the writing is received by the Speaker or, if the office of Speaker is vacant or the Speaker is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office, by the Deputy Speaker or such other person as may be specified in the rules and orders of the Assembly.

(3) Where the seat in the Assembly of a member who represents a constituency becomes vacant otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of Parliament, the writ for an election to fill the vacancy shall, unless Parliament is sooner dissolved, be issued within 90 days of the occurrence of the vacancy.

[Amended 2/82]

36 Vacation of seat on sentence

(1) Subject to this section, where a member of the Assembly is sentenced by a court in any part of the Commonwealth to death or to imprisonment (by whatever name called) for a term exceeding 12 months, he shall forthwith cease to perform his functions as a member of the Assembly and his seat in the Assembly shall become vacant at the expiration of a period of 30 days thereafter Provided that the Speaker (or, where the office of Speaker is vacant or he is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office, the Deputy Speaker) may, at the request of the member, from time to time extend that period of 30 days to enable the member to pursue any appeal in respect of his conviction or sentence, so however that extensions of time exceeding in the aggregate 330 days shall not be given without the approval of the Assembly signified by resolution.

(2) Where at any time before the member vacates his seat he is granted a free pardon or his conviction is set aside or his sentence is reduced to a term of imprisonment of less than 12 months or a punishment, other than imprisonment is substituted, his seat in the Assembly shall not become vacant under subsection (1) and he may again perform his functions as a member of the Assembly.

(3) For the purpose of this section -

(a) 2 or more terms of imprisonment that are required to be served consecutively shall be regarded as a single term of imprisonment for the aggregate period of those terms; and

(b) imprisonment in default of payment of a fine shall be disregarded.

36A Validity of previous elections

Notwithstanding any provision of this Constitution relating to the election of members of the Assembly or to their tenure of office as members of the Assembly, where, in relation to any general election held between 1 January 1967 and 30 September 1991, any person has committed an offence against an electoral law by reason of any act or omission in relation to the printing, publishing or posting of any bill, placard or poster, that act or omission shall not be held -

(a) to have affected or to affect the validity of the election of that person to the Assembly or of anything done by the Assembly or that member;

(b) to have disqualified or to disqualify that person from membership of the Assembly.

[Added 16/92]

37 Determination of questions as to membership

(1) The Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question whether -

(a) any person has been validly elected as a member of the Assembly;

(b) any person who has been elected as Speaker or Deputy Speaker was qualified to be so elected or has vacated the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker as the case may be; or

(c) any member of the Assembly has vacated his seat or is required, under section 36, to cease to perform his functions as a member of the Assembly.

(2) An application to the Supreme Court for the determination of any question under subsection (1) (a) may be made by any person entitled to vote in the election to which the application relates or by any person who was a candidate at that election or by the Attorney-General and, where it is made by a person other than the Attorney-General, the Attorney-General may intervene and may then appear or be represented in the proceedings.

(3) An application to the Supreme Court for the determination of any question under subsection (1) (b) may be made by any member of the Assembly or by the Attorney-General, and, where it is made by a person other than the Attorney-General, the Attorney-General may intervene and may then appear or be represented in the proceedings.

(4) An application to the Supreme Court for the determination of any question under subsection (1) (c) may be made -

(a) by any member of the Assembly or by the Attorney-General; or

(b) by any person registered in some constituency as an elector, and, where it is made by a person other than the Attorney-General, the Attorney-General may intervene and may then appear or be represented in the proceedings.

(5) Parliament may make provision with respect to -

  1. the circumstances and manner in which and the imposition of conditions upon which any application may be made to the Supreme Court for the determination of any question under this section; and

(b) the powers, practice and procedure of the Supreme Court in relation to any such application.

(6) A determination by the Supreme Court in proceedings under this section shall not be subject to an appeal Provided that an appeal shall lie to the Judicial Committee in such cases as may be

prescribed by Parliament.

(7) In the exercise of his functions under this section, the Attorney-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

[Amended 48/91]

38 Electoral Commissions

(1) There shall be an Electoral Boundaries Commission which shall consist of a chairman and not less than two nor more than seven other members appointed by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister tendered after the Prime Minister has consulted the Leader of the Opposition.

(2) There shall be an Electoral Supervisory Commission which shall consist of a chairman appointed by the President in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission and not less than 2 nor more than seven other members appointed by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister tendered after the Prime Minister has consulted the Leader of the Opposition.

(3) No person shall be qualified for appointment as a member of the Electoral Boundaries Commission or the Electoral Supervisory Commission if he is a member of, or a candidate for election to, the Assembly or any local authority or a public officer or a local government officer.

(4) Subject to this section, a member of the Electoral Boundaries Commission or the Electoral Supervisory Commission shall vacate his office -

(a) at the expiration of 5 years from the date of his appointment; or

  1. where any circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Commission, would cause him to be disqualified for appointment as such.

(5) The provisions of section 92 (2) to (5) shall apply to a member of the Electoral Boundaries Commission or the Electoral Supervisory Commission as they apply to a Commissioner within the meaning of section 92.

[Amended 48/91]

39 Constituencies

(1) There shall be 21 constituencies and accordingly -

(a) the Island of Mauritius shall be divided into 20 constituencies;

(b) Rodrigues shall form one constituency

Provided that the Assembly may by resolution provide that any island forming part of Mauritius that is not comprised in the Island of Mauritius or Rodrigues shall be included in such one of the constituencies as the Electoral Boundaries Commission may determine and with effect from the next dissolution of Parliament after the passing of any such resolution, this section shall have effect accordingly.

(2) The Electoral Boundaries Commission shall review the boundaries of the constituencies at such times as will enable them to present a report to the Assembly 10 years, as near as may be, after 12 August 1966 and, thereafter, 10 years after presentation of their last report

Provided that the Commission may at any time carry out a review and present a report if it considers it desirable to do so by reason of the holding of an official census of the population of Mauritius and shall do so if a resolution is passed by the Assembly in pursuance of subsection (1).

(3) The report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission shall make recommendations for any alterations to the boundaries of the constituencies as appear to the Commission to be required so that the number of inhabitants of each constituency is as nearly equal as is reasonably practicable to the population quota

Provided that the number of inhabitants of a constituency may be greater or less than the population quota in order to take account of means of communication, geographical features, density of population and the boundaries of administrative areas.

(4) The Assembly may, by resolution, approve or reject the recommendations of the Electoral Boundaries Commission but may not vary them; and, if so approved, the recommendations shall have effect as from the next dissolution of Parliament.

(5) In this section, "population quota" means the number obtained by dividing the number of inhabitants of the Island of Mauritius (including any island included in any constituency in the Island of Mauritius by virtue of any resolution under subsection (1)) according to the latest official census of the population of Mauritius by 20.


40 Electoral Commissioner

(1) There shall be an Electoral Commissioner, whose office shall be a public office and who shall be appointed by the Judicial and Legal Service Commission.

(2) No person shall be qualified to hold or act in the office of Electoral Commissioner unless he is qualified to practise as a barrister in Mauritius.

(3) Without prejudice to section 41, in the exercise of his functions under this Constitution, the Electoral Commissioner shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

41 Functions of Electoral Supervisory Commission and Electoral Commissioner

(1) The Electoral Supervisory Commission shall have general responsibility for, and shall supervise, the registration of electors for the election of members of the Assembly and the conduct of elections of such members and the Commission shall have such powers and other functions relating to such registration and such elections as may be prescribed.

(2) The Electoral Commissioner shall have such powers and other functions relating to such registration and elections as may be prescribed, and he shall keep the Electoral Supervisory Commission fully informed concerning the exercise of his functions and shall have the right to attend meetings of the Commission and to refer to the Commission for their advice or decision any question relating to his functions.

(3) Every proposed Bill and every proposed regulation or other instrument having the force of law relating to the registration of electors for the election of members of the Assembly or to the election of such members shall be referred to the Electoral Supervisory Commission and to the Electoral Commissioner at such time as shall give them sufficient opportunity to make comments thereon before the Bill is introduced in the Assembly or, as the case may be, the regulation or other instrument is made.

(4) The Electoral Supervisory Commission may make such reports to the President concerning the matters under their supervision, or any draft Bill or instrument that is referred to them, as they may think fit and if the Commission so requests in any such report, other than a report on a draft Bill or instrument, that report shall be laid before the Assembly.

(5) The question whether the Electoral Commissioner has acted in accordance with the advice of or a decision of the Electoral Supervisory Commission shall not be enquired into in any court of law.

[Amended 48/91]

42 Qualifications of electors

(1)

Subject to section 43, a person shall be entitled to be registered as an elector if,

and shall not be so entitled unless -

(a)

he is a Commonwealth citizen of not less than the age of 18 years; and

(b)

either he has resided in Mauritius for a period of not less than 2 years

immediately before such date as may be prescribed by Parliament or he is

domiciled in Mauritius and is resident there on the prescribed date.

(2)

No person shall be entitled to be registered as an elector -

(a)

in more than one constituency; or

(b)

in any constituency in which he is not resident on the prescribed date.

43 Disqualifications of electors

No person shall be entitled to be registered as an elector who -

(a)

is under sentence of death imposed on him by a court in any part of the

Commonwealth, or is serving a sentence of imprisonment (by whatever name

called) exceeding 12 months imposed on him by such a court or substituted

by competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him by such a

court, or is under such a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which has

been suspended;

(b)

is a person adjudged to be of unsound mind or detained as a criminal lunatic

under any law in force in Mauritius; or

(c)

is disqualified for registration as an elector by any law in force in Mauritius

relating to offences connected with elections.

44 Right to vote at elections

(1)

Any person who is registered as an elector in a constituency shall be entitled to

vote in such manner as may be prescribed at any election for that constituency unless he is

prohibited from so voting by any law in force in Mauritius because -

(a)

he is a returning officer; or

(b)

he has been concerned in any offence connected with elections

Provided that no such person shall be entitled so to vote if on the date prescribed for

polling he is in lawful custody or (except in so far as may otherwise be prescribed) he is for any

other reason unable to attend in person at the place and time prescribed for polling.

(2)

No person shall vote at any election for any constituency who is not registered as

an elector in that constituency.


PART II - LEGISLATION AND PROCEDURE IN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

45 Power to make laws

(1)

Subject to this Constitution, Parliament may make laws for the peace, order and

good government of Mauritius.

(2)

Without prejudice to subsection (1), Parliament may by law determine the

privileges, immunities and powers of the Assembly and its members.

46 Mode of exercise of legislative power

(1)

The power of Parliament to make laws shall be exercisable by Bills passed by the

Assembly and assented to by the President.

(2)

(a)

Subject to paragraphs (b) and (c), where a Bill is submitted to the President

for assent in accordance with this Constitution, he shall signify that he assents or that he

withholds assent.

(b)

The President shall not withhold assent under paragraph (a) -

(i)

in the case of a Bill which makes provision for any of the purposes

specified in section 54;

(ii)

in the case of a Bill which amends any provision of the Constitution

and which is certified by the Speaker as having complied with the

requirements of section 47;

(iii)

in the case of any other Bill, unless he is of opinion, acting in his own

deliberate judgement, that the Bill including any proposed amendment

thereto, should be reconsidered by the Assembly.

(c)

Where the President withholds assent under paragraph (b) (iii), he shall,

within 21 days of the submission of the Bill for assent, return the Bill to the

Assembly with a request that it should reconsider the Bill, including any

proposed amendment thereto.

(d)

Where a Bill is returned to the Assembly under paragraph (c), the Assembly

shall reconsider the Bill accordingly, and where it is passed again by the

Assembly with or without amendment and submitted anew to the President

for assent, the President shall signify his assent.

(3)

Where the President assents to a Bill that has been submitted to him in

accordance with this Constitution, the Bill shall become law and the President shall thereupon

cause it to be published in the Gazette as a law.

(4)

No law made by Parliament shall come into operation until it has been published

in the Gazette but Parliament may postpone the coming into operation of any such law and may

make laws with retrospective effect.

(5)

All laws made by Parliament shall be styled "Acts of Parliament'' and the words

of enactment shall be "Enacted by the Parliament of Mauritius''.

[Amended 48/91]

47 Alteration of Constitution

(1)

Subject to this section, Parliament may alter this Constitution.

(2)

A Bill for an Act of Parliament to alter any of the following provisions of this

Constitution -

(a)

this section;

(b)

sections 28 to 31, 37 to 46, 56 to 58 other than 57 (2), 64, 65, 71, 72 and

108;

(c)

Chapters II, VII, VIII and IX;

(d)

the First Schedule; and

(e)

Chapter XI, to the extent that it relates to any of the provisions specified in

paragraphs (a) to (d),

shall not be passed by the Assembly unless it is supported at the final voting in the Assembly

by the votes of not less than three quarters of all the members of the Assembly.

(3)

A Bill for an Act of Parliament to alter the provisions of section 1 or 57 (2) shall

not be passed by the Assembly unless -

(a)

the proposed Bill has before its introduction in the Assembly been submitted,

by referendum, to the electorate of Mauritius and has been approved by the

votes of not less than three quarters of the electorate;

(b)

it is supported at the final voting in the Assembly by the votes of all the

members of the Assembly.

(4)

A Bill for an Act of Parliament to alter any provision of this Constitution (but

which does not alter any of the provisions of this Constitution as specified in subsection (2))

shall not be passed by the Assembly unless it is supported at the final voting in the Assembly

by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the Assembly.

(5)

In this section, references to altering this Constitution or any part of this

Constitution include references -

(a)

to revoking it, with or without re-enactment or the making of different

provision;

(b)

to modifying it, whether by omitting or amending any of its provisions or

inserting additional provisions in it or otherwise; and

(c)

to suspending its operation for any period, or terminating any such

suspension.

[Amended 2/82; 48/91]

48 Regulation of procedure in National Assembly

Subject to this Constitution, the Assembly may regulate its own procedure and may, in

particular, make rules for the orderly conduct of its own proceedings.

[Amended 48/91]

49 Official language

The official language of the Assembly shall be English but any member may address

the chair in French.

50 Presiding in National Assembly

The Speaker or in his absence the Deputy Speaker or in their absence a member of the

Assembly (not being a Minister) elected by the Assembly for the sitting, shall preside at any

sitting of the Assembly.

[Amended 2/82; 48/91]

51 National Assembly may transact business notwithstanding vacancies

The Assembly may act, notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, (including any

vacancy not filled when the Assembly first meets after any general election) and the presence or

participation of any person not entitled to be present at, or to participate in, the proceedings of

the Assembly shall not invalidate those proceedings.

[Amended 2/82; 48/91]

52 Quorum

(1)

Where at any sitting of the Assembly a quorum is not present and any member of

the Assembly who is present objects on that account to the transaction of business and, after

such interval as may be prescribed by the Assembly, the person presiding at the sitting

ascertains that a quorum is still not present, he shall adjourn the Assembly.

(2)

For the purposes of this section, a quorum shall consist of 17 members of the

Assembly in addition to the person presiding.

53 Voting

(1)

Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, all questions proposed for

decision in the Assembly shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members present

and voting; and a member of the Assembly shall not be precluded from so voting by reason only

that he holds the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker or is presiding in the Assembly.

(2)

Where, upon any question before the Assembly that falls to be determined by a

majority of the members present and voting, the votes cast are equally divided, the Speaker,

whether he is a member of the Assembly or not, or any other person presiding, shall have and

shall exercise a casting vote.

[Amended 1/96]

54 Bills, motions and petitions

Except upon the recommendation of a Minister, the Assembly shall not -

(a)

proceed upon any Bill (including any amendment to a Bill) that, in the

opinion of the person presiding, makes provision for any of the following

purposes -

(i)

for the imposition of taxation or the alteration of taxation otherwise

than by reduction;

(ii)

for the imposition of any charge upon the Consolidated Fund or other

public funds of Mauritius or the alteration of any such charge

otherwise than by reduction;

(iii)

for the payment, issue or withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund or

other public funds of Mauritius of any money not charged on it or any

increase in the amount of such payment, issue or withdrawal; or

(iv)

for the composition or remission of any debt to the Government;

(b)

proceed upon any motion (including any amendment to a motion) the effect of

which, in the opinion of the person presiding, would be to make provision for

any of those purposes; or

(c)

receive any petition that, in the opinion of the person presiding, requests that

provision be made for any of those purposes.


55 Oath of allegiance

(1)

No member of the Assembly shall take part in the proceedings of the Assembly

(other than proceedings necessary for the purposes of this section) until he has taken and

subscribed before the Assembly the oath of allegiance prescribed in the Third Schedule.

(2)

Where a person other than a member of the Assembly is elected as Speaker, he

shall not preside at any sitting of the Assembly unless he has taken and subscribed before the

Assembly the oath of allegiance prescribed in the Third Schedule.

[Amended 1/96]

56 Sessions*

(1)

The sessions of the Assembly shall be held in such place and begin at such time as

the President by Proclamation may appoint

Provided that the place at which any session of the Assembly is to be held may be

altered from time to time during the course of the session by further Proclamation made by the

President.

(2)

A session of the Assembly shall be held from time to time so that a period of 12

months shall not intervene between the last sitting of the Assembly in one session and its first

sitting in the next session.

(3)

The President may address the Assembly at the first sitting of every session.

(4)

Writs for a general election of members of the Assembly shall be issued within 60

days of the date of any dissolution of Parliament and a session of the Assembly shall be

appointed to commence within 30 days of the date prescribed for polling at any general

election.

[Amended 2/82; 48/91]

57 Prorogation and dissolution of Parliament

(1)

The President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, may at

any time prorogue or dissolve Parliament

Provided that -

(a)

where the Assembly passes a resolution that it has no confidence in the

Government and the Prime Minister does not within 3 days either resign from

his office or advise the President to dissolve Parliament within 7 days or at

such later time as the President, acting in his own deliberate judgement, may

consider reasonable, the President, acting in his own deliberate judgement,

may dissolve Parliament;

(b)

where the office of Prime Minister is vacant and the President considers that

there is no prospect of his being able within a reasonable time to appoint to

that office a person who can command the support of a majority of the

members of the Assembly, the President, acting in his own deliberate

judgement, may dissolve Parliament.

(2)

Parliament unless sooner dissolved, shall continue for 5 years from the date of the

first sitting of the Assembly after any general election and shall then stand dissolved.

(3)

At any time when Mauritius is at war, Parliament may from time to time extend

the period of 5 years specified in subsection (2) by not more than 12 months at a time

Provided that the life of Parliament shall not be extended under this subsection for

more than 5 years.

(4)

At any time when there is in force a Proclamation by the President declaring, for

the purposes of section 19 (7) (b), that a state of public emergency exists, Parliament may from

time to time extend the period of 5 years specified in subsection (2) by not more than 6 months

at a time

Provided that the life of Parliament shall not be extended under this subsection for

more than one year.

(5)

Where, after a dissolution and before the holding of the election of members of

the Assembly, the Prime Minister advises the President that, owing to the existence of a state of

war or of a state of emergency in Mauritius or any part thereof, it is necessary to recall

Parliament, the President shall summon the Parliament that has been dissolved to meet.

(6)

Unless the life of Parliament is extended under subsection (3) or subsection (4),

the election of members of the Assembly shall proceed, notwithstanding the summoning of

Parliament under subsection (5) and the Parliament that has been recalled shall, if not sooner

dissolved, again stand dissolved on the day before the day prescribed for polling at that

election.

[Amended 2/82; 48/91]