Pravind Kumar Jugnauth MP Esq. (French
pronunciation: [pʁavɛ̃ ʒyɲot]; born 25 December 1961) is
Mauritian politician who is Prime Minister of Mauritius, in office
since 2017, and also holds another portfolio as Minister of Finance.
He is currently leader of the
Militant Socialist Movement
Militant Socialist Movement (MSM), which
has the majority seats in the National Assembly since December 2014.
He previously served as Minister of Technology, Communication and
Innovation following the victory of their alliance LEPEP in the 2014
general elections from December 2014 to July 2015. He has occupied
various positions in both government and opposition since 2000. He was
Minister of Agriculture from 2000 to 2003, Deputy Prime Minister &
Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2005. While he served in Navin
Ramgoolam's cabinet from 2010 to 2011 as Vice Prime Minister and
Minister of Finance He is also
Member of Parliament for the 8th
constituency Quartier Militaire and Moka. He left the coalition
government and was appointed Leader of the Opposition in September
2014 until he was named as minister in his father's cabinet following
He is the only son of Sir
Anerood Jugnauth and Sarojini Ballah. His
candidacy for Parliamentary General Elections in Constituency No 9,
Rose Belle and Vieux Grand Port in 2000 made him elected as Member of
Parliament from there. He was appointed as
Minister of Agriculture by
President Uteem to serve in the cabinet. He served as Minister under
the premiership of his father
Anerood Jugnauth who became Prime
Minister in 2000 after winning the elections with the MSM/MMM
He was initially found guilty of conflict of interest for a
transaction of Rs. 144 million under the Prevention of Corruption Act
Law and was sentenced by the Intermediate court of Mauritius
for 1 year of imprisonment. He was accused of having reallocated funds
to purchase the Medpoint Clinic in which his sister held a majority of
shares. He resigned from the government as minister following the
sentence. However, he appealed to the Supreme Court of
won his appeal. He was then appointed as Minister of Finance.
On 23 January 2017, he was chosen Prime Minister by his father,
Anerood Jugnauth, following the resignation of the latter; who was the
leader of the coalition government.
1 Early life and education
2 Early politics
3 2000 to 2005
4 2005 to 2009
5 2009 By-Election
7 Medpoint Scandal
9 Family life
Early life and education
Born on 25 December 1961 in La Caverne, a suburb area in
Vacoas-Phoenix, Mauritius, Jugnauth was born into a modest Hindu
family of labourers. He was born to Anerood Jugnauth, a barrister, and
Sarojini Ballah, a school teacher. He has an elder sister, Shalini
Jugnauth, married to Dr Kishan Malhotra.
In various interviews, Pravind stated that he has lived a political
life since birth. He stated that his father and uncles were all
members of Independent Forward Bloc, a political party led by Sookdeo
Bissoondoyal (a former Minister in the Cabinet of Sir Seewoosagur
Ramgoolam) during the independence rally made by the country in 1967
so as to obtain autonomy from British Authorities.
His father was one of the few people to attend the conference and
meeting on negotiations on the independence of Mauritius. Pravind
Jugnauth states that he remembers all part of it. After independence,
his uncle was appointed
Attorney General in cabinet and his father was
appointed as Junior Minister. He said he still remembers all
negotiations on different aspects on the new constitution.
He went on to study at the local Primary School where he obtained his
mother as teacher. He always mentioned his mother as his confidant and
his father as his inspiration. After primary schooling, he went to
Royal College Curepipe
Royal College Curepipe where he passed his O Levels and A levels. He
then went on to study law in UK.
Law at University of Buckingham, gaining a first
class honours degree. He then joined the
Lincoln's Inn and became a
Barrister. He then joined
Aix-Marseille University in France where he
graduated with an LLM. He officially joined the MSM in 1990 and was
honored Doctor from the
University of Buckingham
University of Buckingham with a Honoris Causa
Pravind Jugnauth officially joined the
Militant Socialist Movement
Militant Socialist Movement in
1990 and helped as an activist member of the party. He saw his father
remaining in power for a fourth time as Prime Minister in 1991 where
he became more active in politics. He was candidate for the first time
in the general elections of 1995 in constituency Vieux Grand Port and
Rose Belle but was defeated and came fourth due to the landslide
victory of the Labour Party and
Mauritius Militant Movement. In
1996 he was elected as Councillor in the town of
2000 where he stood as candidate in the same constituency but returned
as first member of parliament for the same constituency as 1995. He
was elected as Deputy Leader of the MSM in 1999.
He was appointed as Leader of the
Militant Socialist Movement
Militant Socialist Movement in May
2003 following the retirement of his father as politician. Anerood
Jugnauth resigned in September 2003 as Prime Minister. Pravind
Jugnauth supported candidate
Paul Berenger to become Prime Minister.
Whilst Berenger was head of the cabinet, Jugnauth became Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Finance.
Pravind Kumar Jugnauth experienced both the downfall and upsurge of
his political party. The electorate of the MSM has been estimated to
have shifted from the support of more than 30% in 2000 to an estimated
5% as at 2014. In 2004 while the MSM was the largest party in
parliament and forming a coalition government, a poll indicated that
the Labour Party had a support of 46%, the
Mauritian Militant Movement
had 39% and only 15% associated them with the MSM. While the Labour
party was seen to have increased from a support of less than 10% in
2000(following a landslide victory of the MSM-MMM alliance) to 46% in
2014, the MMM also had an increase in approval ratings. Following the
political retirement of its historical leader (Sir Aneerood Jugnauth),
the MSM was seen to have weakened.
In 2008 the MSM was again seen to have lost some of its supporters. A
new poll was made 2008 by a local newspaper which gave the Labour
Party a total of 51% of support of the population, the MMM coming in
second position with 45 and the MSM came last with only 4% of the
poll. Pravind Jugnauth's image as a young, strongly ethical and more
democratic leader did not attract as many supporters in the world of
cut-throat politics. Many MSM members joined either the MMM or the
Labour party. In an Issue of 2 October 2011, a local newspaper
published yet another poll and the MMM was adjudged to have 64%
approval ratings; the Labour Party received 39%. However, the MSM
ratings were not measured in that poll, so it can only be assumed that
remaining 5% who did not associate with the two parties were
supporters of the MSM.
2000 to 2005
Minister of Agriculture from 7 September 2000 to 7 October 2003,
Jugnauth presented the Sugar Sector Strategic Plan and led a reform
process in the sugar sector to ensure its long-term viability and
competitiveness. He initiated a process to convert the sugar industry
from relying almost exclusively on the production of sugar into a
fully diversified sugar cane industry with emphasis on the production
of ethanol, agricultural rhum, special sugars, electricity generation
from bagasse and other high value added products. After these reforms,
the sugar sector has been able to bring down its production costs
significantly and better face the challenges stemming from the
reduction in the guaranteed sugar price under the Sugar Protocol with
the European Union.
While working on the reforms in the sugar sector, he negotiated a
package for workers under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme. Some 8,000
workers who opted for voluntary retirement received cash compensation
exceeding 2.5 billion rupees and some 825 arpents of land worth 3
Jugnauth also made reforms in the non-sugar agricultural sector by
placing non-sugar agriculture on the path of modernisation and
sophistication. He encouraged hydroponics and other modern methods of
production while at the same time strived for excellence in
agricultural biotechnology research and expertise in the field. He
initiated actions to set up a National Agricultural Biotechnology
Institute and Food Technology Laboratory in Mauritius; he later
launched the Small Planters Welfare Fund. The fund caters to the
welfare of planters and their families and provides crop insurance
schemes designed to financially support planters whose crops are
affected by unfavourable weather conditions.
As Minister of Finance from 7 October 2003 to 5 July 2005, Jugnauth
reduced taxes on thousands of commodities. He increased subsidies on
basic commodities and gave salary compensations well above inflation
rates in two successive years. He launched a project to make Mauritius
a Duty Free Island.
Pravind Jugnauth had some clashes with his then Prime Minister Paul
Berenger however stayed and supported the coalition government.
Leaders said the alliance MSM / MMM,
Rama Sithanen insult himself and
makes demagogy when it's a failure of government economic policy. In
Pravind Jugnauth mentioned that from 1995 and 2000, the
unemployment rate rose from 5.5% to 8.8% with 45,000 unemployed, while
in the last three years, 32,000 jobs were created. He also mentioned
that despite this heavy legacy, the government MSM / MMM kept the
budget deficit to 6% and hopes to return to 5.5% in 2004/2005 and 4%
2005 to 2009
Paul Berenger dissolved parliament in June 2005 and announced that the
elections would be held on 3 July. The MSM-MMM coalition knowing the
fact that the MSM had weakened throughout the years decided to propose
Paul Berenger as candidate for Prime Minister. Navin Ramgoolam
maintained his alliance called the Social Alliance which was composed
of the Labour party and other small parties.
The Social Alliance won a total seat of 38 against the MSM-MMM which
obtained only 24 seats.
Pravind Jugnauth was defeated in his
constituency and received 48% of vote. While the MSM had 14 seats
and the MMM,the remaining 10,the MSM-MMM proposed
Paul Berenger as
Leader of the Opposition and maintained the alliance.
Paul Berenger proposed Rajesh Bhagwan another member of the
MMM as Opposition Chief Whip. The MSM having more seats than its
sister party therefore removed their support from
Paul Berenger and
broke the coalition. Nando Bodha, general secretary of the MSM became
Leader of the Opposition and
Pravind Jugnauth continued as Leader
outside of Parliament.
Another feud exploded when
Pravind Jugnauth did not approve of Ashok
Jugnauth- who was an elected MSM MP in 2005 and who is Pravind's
uncle- to become Leader of the party and assume the responsibilities
of Leader of opposition.
Ashok Jugnauth left the MSM for democratic
reasons stating that the party was a democratic dictatorship with
Pravind as the only leader.
In 2007,two more members of the MSM namely Joe Lesongard, the party's
then president and Sekar Naidu left the MSM and sworn allegiance to
Berenger and thus he became Leader of the Opposition.
The MSM had weakened more and more since the leader was not in
parliament and therefore they did not have a firm authority.
Ashok Jugnauth who is the brother of Sir
Anerood Jugnauth and uncle of
Pravind was the only MSM MP in constituency Quartier Militaire and
Moka and lost his seat as the Supreme Court of
Mauritius had convicted
him for fraud and corruption during 2000 to 2005 when he was Minister
of Health. According to law, a MP who is convicted by the court loses
his/her seat with immediate effect. Prime Minister Ramgoolam then
announced that a By Election would be happening in order to elect an
Ashok Jugnauth announced his candidacy for the By Elections and
received the support of
Paul Berenger and his MMM. The labour Party
decided not to align any candidate in the By-elections and to
everybody's surprise provided their support to
Pravind Jugnauth and
his MSM who then announced his candidacy in the 8th constituency.
On 2 March 2009, he beat out his own relative in the partial elections
and gained back his seat in Parliament. His uncle was in the other
camp and accepted his defeat humbly.
The By-elections sealed the Labour Party and the Militant Socialist
Movement alliance for the general elections in 2010.
In 2010, he and the MSM joined hands with the
Mauritian Labour Party
Mauritian Social Democrat Party and formed a coalition known as
Ptr-MSM-PMSD which won the parliamentary elections. President Sir
Anerood Jugnauth on the advice of
Navin Ramgoolam then appointed him
as Vice Prime Minister & Minister of Finance taking office as from
11 May 2010. Ion 26 July 2011, he resigned from his office of
minister as well as all other MSM Ministers due to a scandale
involving one of the MSM ministers.
In 2014, following the resignation of
Paul Berenger as Leader of the
Opposition,President Purryag appointed Jugnauth to hold the
In a highly controversial judgement, he was convicted on charges on
conflict of interest by an intermediate court in
Mauritius on 30 June
2015. He was found guilty of acting as Minister of Finance to
reallocate funds to purchase a private hospital (namely Medpoint) of
which his sister Shalini Malhotra was a shareholder. The judges ruled
that the show of proper ethical standards by PKJ in refusing to have
any active decision-making role did not hold any legal standing. This
ruling was highly criticised by Senior Counselss including Yousouf
Mohamed Q.C, S.C. The ruling was reversed after appeal by the Supreme
Court of Mauritius. However, in the interim PKJ submitted his
resignation to President
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim as a government minister
on 1 July 2015.
In 2010, the government decided to buy a hospital and to make it a
specialized geriatric center. The cabinet of Ministers approved of
buying the MedPoint private Clinic which was owned by Dr Kishan
Malhotra and Mrs Shalini Devi Jugnauth Malhotra who is the sister of
incumbent Minister of Finance
Pravind Jugnauth and daughter of
incumbent President Sir Anerood Jugnauth.
In such matters involving large outlay of public funds, there is what
is often called a gestation period and procedures have to be strictly
followed and no stone should be left unturned. Although the decision
to purchase MedPoint, which was not operating as a clinic at the time
and still not operating, was taken by the government, in the use of
public funds, the government is under obligation to consider whether
this purchase is in the public interest and whether all possible
measures have been taken to clinch the deal at the best possible price
for the public and not for the owners of MedPoint. The government is
also under obligation to demonstrate what safeguards have been put in
place to guard against matters such as abuse of power, corruption and
The government already had in its possession a Valuation Report for
« Land and Building » for Rs75 million conducted by the
government department Valuation and Real Estate Consultancy Services
(VRECS) and signed Roshnee Bissessur, No.2 at the Valuation Office, a
department affiliated with the Ministry of Finance led by Minister
Pravind Jugnauth, brother in law of Dr Malotra, owner of ex-MedPoint
Mrs Maya Hanoomanjee, then Minister for Health who is a cousin of the
Jugnauth family requested, in September 2010, a new valuation for
« Land, Building and Services » to be obtained within two
weeks with the view to closing the deal in December 2010. Mrs
Hanoomanjee’s yet unjustified urgent request prompted Mr Yodhun
Bissessur, the Director of the Valuation Department, to write, on 21
September 2010, to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) headed
Anil Bachoo requesting the expert help of that Ministry in
Quantity Surveying for the purposes of the valuation of ex-Medpoint
Clinic, which proposed acquisition was for use as a Geriatric
Hospital, bearing in mind that the new valuation had to include
After missed site visit, further correspondence and twists and turns,
the private contractors Hoolooman & Associates were hired to
conduct the survey and valuation, reason given being that Navin
Ramgoolam’s government lacked the necessary quantity surveying human
resources to do so. Mr Ramdyal of the Quantity Surveying Unit of the
MPI felt the exercise would take at least two months and not two weeks
as allegedly demanded by Mrs Hanoomanjee. Also, the new valuation is
not said to be confined only to the MedPoint property after
depreciation for the purposes of the purchase, but to second hand
medical equipment and the cost of a new replacement building at
current prices which Mrs Hanoomanjee allegedly wanted, hence her need
for a Quantity Surveyor, who is a professional in the construction
industry concerned with building costs. Hoolooman & Associates
were also originally involved in the construction of the MedPoint
Clinic and they valued the Land, Building and Services at Rs.145
millions (US$5 Millions). If this valuation contained the replacement
cost of the building, the government would have therefore purchased a
building which is non-existent and paid the seller for a fictitious
building. This in itself should go to the root of the contract and be
enough to set it aside.
ICAC, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, was formally
requested to investigate what has come to be known as MEDPOINTGATE, or
the MEDPOINT SCANDAL, a scandal which has the potential to bring down
the whole government. Similarities are already drawn with WATERGATE
and IRANGATE. In line with the MedPoint investigations, ICAC proceeded
to the arrest of two Civil Servants involved in the decisions taken to
give the go ahead to the new Rs145m valuation conducted by Hooloman
& Associates and upon which the government solely relied for the
purchase. The two Civil Servants, Yodhun Bissessur and Aneerood
Jeebodhun, the respective Number 1 and Number 3 at the government’s
Valuation and Real Estate Consultancy Services (VRECS), have, on 5
April 2011, been provisionally charged with "public official using
office for gratification", for having ordered a second valuation by
Hooloman & Associates which allegedly favoured MedPoint over other
contenders through the procedure of tender. The charge implies that
the two Civil Servants allegedly took bribes when ordering and
accepting the Hooloman & Associates Rs145m valuation without
question when their own original valuation was for Rs75m. Mr Bissessur
reportedly admitted that he knew the private firm had worked for Dr
Malotra and detained « Bill of Quantities » for his
clinic, but nevertheless accepted the firm’s valuation of Rs145m
without disputing it. Hence, the decision of ICAC to proceed to the
arrest of the two Civil Servants in question in the course of their
investigations does appear justified.
Then Minister of Health,
Maya Hanoomanjee was arrested by the ICAC
police and the government chief valuer was suspended from his duties.
Pravind Jugnauth was also arrested in respect for conflicts of
interest in the matter.
On 30 June 2015, Jugnauth was found guilty of "Conflict of Interest"
under the Article 13 of the Prevention Of Corruption Act 2002
However, he appealed to the Supreme Court of
Mauritius and won his
appeal. He was then appointed as Minister of Finance.
He was appointed as Minister of Information Technology following the
alliance LEPEP's victory. Local political analysts predicted
instability in the government as he was leader of the largest party in
parliament and was therefore holding a parallel position to the Prime
Minister (his father) in the Westminster style of government.
Though there was various moments of major disagreement including the
nomination of Menon Murday as Vice President, the revocation of Roshi
Badhain as minister, the dismissal of Vishnu Lutchmeenaraido following
the Badhain-Lutchmeenaraidoo dispute and also on government policies.
He nevertheless supported the Prime Minister and continued as
While many politicians and observers see him as the prime minister in
waiting due to Anerood Jugnauth's advanced age, the opposition claims
that it would be blatantly undemocratic to appoint him as prime
minister without going through the polls in the event that Jugnauth
Sr. was not prime minister anymore. On 21 January, Aneerod Jugnauth
announced that he will be resigning as Prime Minister as of 23
January, and that he will be succeeded by his son, Pravin Jugnauth.
Pravind Jugnauth married Kobita Ramdanee in 1992 and is the father of
three daughters: Sonika, Sonali and Sara. His father is Sir Anerood
Jugnauth and his mother is Sarojini Ballah. His sister is Shalini
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Prime Minister of Mauritius
Vice Prime Ministers of Mauritius
Rama Sithanen (2005-2010)
Pravind Jugnauth (2010-2011)
Xavier Luc Duval
Xavier Luc Duval (2005-Present)
Anil Bachoo (2011-Present)
Deputy Prime Ministers of Mauritius
Dr. Rashid Beebeejaun
Sir Abdool Razack Mohamed
Sir Gaëtan Duval
Sir Satcam Boolell