The Constitution of Mauritius provides for
the Parliament of Mauritius to consist of the
President and the National Assembly. The Parliament of Mauritius is modelled after the
Westminster system of parliamentary democracy, where Members of Parliament are voted in
at regular general elections, on the basis of a first past the post system.
The Assembly is made up of 70 Members of
whom 62 are directly elected in 21 constituencies. The island of Mauritius is divided
into 20 constituencies returning 3 members each and that of Rodrigues is a single
constituency returning 2 members. After a general election, the Electoral Supervisory
Commission may nominate up to a maximum of 8 additional members in accordance with
section 5 of the First Schedule of the Constitution with a view to correct any imbalance
in community representation in Parliament. This system of nominating members is commonly
called the best loser system.
The political party or party alliance which
wins the majority of seats in Parliament forms the government and its leader usually
becomes the Prime Minister. It is the Prime Minister who selects the members of the
composition of the Cabinet from elected members of the Assembly, except for the Attorney
General who may not be an elected member of the Assembly The political party or alliance
which has the second largest majority forms the Official Opposition and it's leader is
normally nominated by the President of the Republic as the Leader of the Opposition. The
Assembly elects a Speaker, a Deputy Speaker and a Deputy Chairman of Committees as one
of its first business.