Mauritius (1968, 1992)
--- Independence Day, Republic Day
Elections in 1947 for the newly created Legislative Assembly marked Mauritius's first steps toward self-rule, and were won by the Labour Party, headed by Guy Rozemont. It was the first time the elite Francophones were ousted from power. An independence campaign gained momentum after 1961, when the British agreed to permit additional self-government and eventual independence. A coalition composed of the Mauritian Labour Party (MLP), the Muslim Committee of Action (CAM) of Sir Abdool Razack Mohamed, and the Independent Forward Bloc (IFB) – a traditionalist Hindu party – won a majority in the 1967 Legislative Assembly election, despite opposition from Franco-Mauritian and Creole supporters of Gaetan Duval's and Jules Koenig's Mauritian Social Democratic Party (PMSD). The contest was interpreted locally as a referendum on independence. The election was won by a small margin. Constituency No. 15 was key to the victory by the pro-independence coalition. The MLP led alliance was able to win this constituency only due to the support of the CAM. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, MLP leader and chief minister in the colonial government, became the first prime minister after independence, on 12 March 1968. This event was preceded by a period of communal strife, brought under control with assistance from British troops. The communal strife that preceded independence led to around 300 deaths. Mauritius became an independent state on 12 March 1968, with Elizabeth II as Queen of Mauritius, represented as head of state the Governor-General. The last Governor, Sir John Shaw Rennie served as the first Governor-General until 27 August 1968.
In December 1991, the Constitution was amended to make Mauritius a republic within the Commonwealth. Mauritius became a republic on 12 March 1992, with the last Governor General, Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo, as interim President. He was succeeded by Cassam Uteem on 30 June 1992. Navin Ramgoolam led a MLP-MMM coalition to victory at the 1995 general elections, replacing Sir Aneerood Jugnauth as Prime Minister, a post the latter had occupied for 13 years. The governing coalition split in 1997, with the MMM going back to the Opposition and Navin Ramgoolam staying on as Prime Minister.