Mauritius’ first female president, who is also the only serving female president in Africa, has been told to leave office after being implicated in an expenses scandal.
President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has been accused of spending tens of thousands of dollars of public money on personal purchases.
According to reports in L’express newspaper, these include payments to a dressmaker in Italy, duty-free purchases in Dubai and a platinum credit card offered by the Planet Earth Institute, a foundation belonging to controversial Angolan billionaire Alvaro Sobrinho.
Government ministers met on Thursday and agreed to begin the impeachment process, after President Gurib-Fakim refused to step down at the prime minister’s request.
But Ms Gurib-Fakim is defiant, telling Mauritius’ Radio Plus station:
“I will not resign. Let them institute their tribunal. I will see later if I am guilty”.
A national assembly is likely to be called next week, after independence day celebrations on 12 March, where a motion to remove the president from office in line with the constitution for “violation of the constitution or any other serious act of misconduct” will be on the agenda.
Should the motion be successful a tribunal will start an investigation.
It can then recommend to the national assembly that the president be removed.