Africa
8 months ago

Court upholds election of Mauritius PM in 2019

The court rejected an appeal by an opposition candidate who claimed PM Pravind Jugnauth was improperly elected

Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth addresses the 77th United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters, in New York City, New York, US, Sept 23, 2022.
Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth addresses the 77th United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters, in New York City, New York, US, Sept 23, 2022. Photo : REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/File Photo

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A British court sitting as the final court of appeal for Mauritius on Monday upheld the 2019 election to parliament of Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, rejecting an appeal by an opposition candidate who alleged it was improperly obtained.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC), which acts as a final court of appeal for 27 countries and territories that were once part of the British Empire, upheld a 2021 ruling on the matter by the Supreme Court of Mauritius.

The case was brought by Surendra Dayal, who unsuccessfully ran for a parliamentary seat in the same constituency where Jugnauth was elected.

Dayal was seeking a court ruling that the election of Jugnauth and of two other candidates from his political alliance was invalid on the grounds that it had been obtained through bribery and undue influence.

After the Supreme Court of Mauritius rejected his petition, Dayal appealed to the JCPC. A panel of five judges heard arguments from both sides at a hearing on July 10.

Delivering the JCPC's ruling, judge Sue Carr said the panel had unanimously dismissed Dayal's appeal on all grounds.

Reuters published and later withdrew a story saying that the British court had ruled Jugnauth’s election as invalid.

“A Reuters story saying that a British court had ruled on Monday that the 2019 election of Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth was invalid, is withdrawn,” the newswire service wrote on Facebook. “The court has not yet ruled on the matter.”

Reuters later updated the story to include the court’s decision to uphold the election.

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