PORT LOUIS, (Reuters) – Six ministers, including the finance minister, resigned from the Mauritius government today, local radio reported, throwing the Indian Ocean island into political turmoil.
The resignations by all the ministers from the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM), led by Finance Minister Pravind Jugnauth, followed the arrest of the health minister on graft charges last week. He was also among those who resigned.
None of the ministers was immediately available for comment.
Local radio stations said Jugnauth would hold a news conference later today.
The MSM formed an alliance with the ruling Labour Party ahead of a parliamentary election in May last year. The alliance won a landslide victory, handing Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam a second term.
Last week, the Indian Ocean island’s anti-corruption watchdog arrested Health Minister Santi Bai Hanoomanjee, who is a member of the MSM, on charges of inflating a government tender to acquire a private hospital.
The arrest, the first high-profile one of its kind in the last few years, followed a seven-month inquiry by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
Hanoomanjee was released on bail but is still being questioned by the ICAC. Mauritius generally has a better reputation on corruption than other African countries.