Frequently Asked Questions
On what Parliamentary System is based the Parliament of Mauritius?

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.

What is the constitution of The National Assembly?

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 it’s first business.

What are the Roles of different people in the National assembly?

Roles

Hon. Sooroojdev PHOKEER,
GCSK, GOSK
​ Elected Speaker as from
21 November 2019

The Speakership is the most important office in the House. The first business of the House is to elect a Speaker when the Assembly first meets, after a general election. The Constitution provides that the Speaker may or may not be an elected Member of the House. The Government and the Opposition normally agree on a candidate.
The main function of the Speaker is to ensure that the Standing Orders and Rules of the National Assembly are complied with. The Speaker interprets and enforces the Standing Orders and for the purpose of interpretation, recourse is often had to Erskine May’s Parliamentary Practice, responds to Members’ points of order and give rulings when necessary. His ruling cannot be challenged, except on a substantive motion to that effect, and any criticism of his actions outside Parliament may amount to contempt of the National Assembly.

Roles

The Deputy Speaker of ​the ​N​ational Assem​​​bly

Hon. NAZURALLY Mohammud Zahid,
​Elected Deputy Speaker as from
21 November 2019

At the beginning of each Parliament, the House also elects a Member to the position of Deputy Speaker, proceeding in the same manner as for the election of the Speaker. In the absence of the Speaker or whenever requested by the latter, the Deputy Speaker takes the Chair and has the same powers and functions as the Speaker.
The Deputy Speaker is also the Chairman of Committees when the Speaker chooses not to chair the Committee.

Roles

The Deputy Chairman of Committees

ITTOO-Ashley

Honourable Ashley Ittoo, MP

The Deputy Chairman of Committees is another official of the National Assembly elected from amongst its Members. The process of election of the Deputy Chairman of Committees is similar to that of the Deputy Speaker . In the absence of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, the Deputy Chairman of Committees presides over the Committee of the whole House.

See more Former Deputy Chairman of Committees

Roles

The Leader of ​the House

Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth
The Leader of the House
as from 24 January 2017

The Leader of the House is normally the Leader of a Party or Alliance, who controls the majority in the House, and as such, it is the Prime Minister who assumes this role.

List of Former Leaders of the House

Roles

The Leader of ​the Opposition​

MOHAMED-Shakeel-Ahmed-Yousouf-Abdul-Razack
Honourable Shakeel Ahmed Yousuf Abdul Razack Mohamed, MP
The Leader of the Opposition

After a general election, the party or party alliance which commands a majority forms the Government, while the other party or party alliance provides the Opposition. The Leader of the second largest majority party in the Assembly becomes the Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition is appointed by the President. His task is usually to level criticism against the policy and administration of Government and to outline the alternative policies.​

Title Name Telephone No Fax No E-mail Address
Confidential Secretary
DUSORUTH Vijaya (Mrs.)
260-4292
214-4160
vdusoruth@govmu.org
​Office Auxiliary/Senior Office Auxiliary
L’EVEILLLE Jean Clement​
260-4292
214-4160

Roles

The Whips

DOOLUB-Rameswar
ASSIRVADEN-Patrick-Gervais

Chief Government Whip

Hon. DOOLUB Rameswar

Deputy Chief Government Whip

Hon. TOUR Marie Joanne Sabrina

 

Opposition Whip

Hon. ASSIRVADEN

Patrick Gervais

At the beginning of each Parliament, a Government Chief Whip, a Deputy Government Whip and an Opposition Whip are appointed. The main responsibility of the Whips is to ensure the smooth running of the parliamentary machinery. The parliamentary work load of the Chief Government Whip is somewhat heavier by reason that he is concerned, amongst other matters, with the details of the Government business of the day, for example, to estimate the time likely to be taken by each item. He is directly responsible to the Leader of the House.

The Government Chief Whips and the Opposition Whip liaise with each other in relation to business arrangements and to matters of concern to the House such as, drawing up a list of orators for the debate in respect of a Bill, which is being presented.

The Whips keep their Members informed about the business of the House, secure the attendance of Members and act as intermediairies between the leaders and the rank and file of their parties in order to keep each informed of the views of the other.

Roles

The Clerk of the National Assembly​

Clerk Assistants of the National Assembly​:

GOPALL Navin (Mr)

SEETUL Darshinee (Ms)

NAIKA-CAHANEEA Prishnee (Mrs)

Clerk of the National Assembly:

RAMCHURN Urmeelah Devi (Ms)

Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly:

 

The Secretariat of the Assembly is headed by the Clerk of the Assembly. She provides the Speaker and Members with secretarial assistance. She is the chief administrative officer of the National Assembly and works under the control of the Speaker. She is a permanent officer and a member of the Civil Service, having expert knowledge in parliamentary procedures and practice. She is the custodian of all documents and records pertaining to the Assembly. She advises the Speaker and Members on matters of procedure. She sits at the Table. She sends to each Member a copy of the Order Paper. The Clerk must see to it that the bills passed by the National Assembly are assented to by the President of the Republic and published in the Government Gazette.​

 

In the performance of her duties, the Clerk is assisted by the Deputy Clerk and two Clerk Assistants.

Roles

The Mace

The Mace is the symbol of the authority of the House

The Mace is the symbol of the authority of the House. The Mace used in Mauritius is a gift of the British House of Commons. On entering and leaving the Chamber – at the beginning and end of the sitting – the Speaker is preceded by the Mace, which is carried by the Serjeant-at-arms on his right shoulder. When the Speaker is in the Chair, that is, when the House is sitting as a House, the Mace lies on the Table of the House, resting in the upper brackets. When the House sits as a committee, that is, when the Speaker leaves the Chair, the Mace is removed into the lower brackets beneath the Table. When the Mace is not in the House, no business can be carried out.​​

Roles

The Serjeant at Arms

sergeant

Mr Anirood Bundhoo
The Serjeant​ At Arms as from 23 March 2021

The duty of the Serjeant-at-Arms is to maintain order within the grounds of Parliament House. He lea​​ds the procession at the Parliament sitting, bearing the Ma​​ce on his right shoulder. ​​ He regulates the admission of the public to Parliament House and has the power to arrest, without a warrant, upon the orders of the Speaker, any person creating a disturbance in Parliament.​​
The former Serjeant-at-Arms
Mr Jugdish Fokeerah
Late Mr Kishore Chandra Munroop
Mr Anirood Bundhoo
Mr Vinod Pannoo

Roles

The Secretariat

The staff of the Secretariat consists of the Clerk, the Deputy Clerk, the Clerk Assistant, the librarian, the parliamentary reporters and supporting staff.​

Roles

The Parliament Library

​The Parliament Library is meant for the exclusive use of Members of Parliament. It is involved in the collection, organization and dissemination of information. The library has a collection of approximately 800​0 volumes, consisting of books, journals, newspapers, parliamentary publications, debates and legislation. Parliamentary business is now available online. Members of Parliament benefit also from Internet facilities.​​​

Roles

The Parliamentary Reporters

The Parliamentary reporters take down, word-for-word, what is being said in the debates. These reporters take their notes in shorthand before transcribing them. The notes are then compiled and published as the Official Reports of Parliament, more popularly known as the Hansard. The reporters record in verbatim the proceedings in the House and take turns to sit in the Chamber for 10 minutes. The parliamentary reporters also take down the note for the meetings of the various committees of Parliament.

What are Functions of the National Assembly?

The functions of the National Assembly include the making of laws, the controlling of the finances of the State and also a critical role to check the actions of government and the Ministries.

The power to make laws is exercisable by Bills. All Bills, other than a Private Bill or a Private Member’s Bill, must be presented by a Minister. A Bill may be presented as a private Bill, provided it is not a Money Bill, that is, a Bill related to taxation, the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund. Every Bill which is presented must be passed by the National Assembly for it to become an Act.

A Bill passed by the National Assembly does not become law until it has been submitted to and has received the assent of the President of the Republic. The President cannot withhold assent to a Bill which amends the Constitution and is certified by the Speaker as having complied with S 47 of the Constitution which lays down that certain amendments must, at the final voting, be voted by not less than three quarters of all the Members of the Assembly or of two thirds of all the Members, as the case may be.

Similarly, the President cannot withhold assent to Bills specified in section 54 of the Constitution. But the President may withhold assent to any other bill, in which case he would return it to the Assembly for reconsideration within 21 days, of its being submitted to him for assent. Upon the bill being reconsidered and passed, with or without amendment, it is again submitted to the President, who is bound to signify his assent. When the Bill has been assented to by the President, it must then be published in the Government Gazette for it to have the force of law.

Inherent in the power to make laws is the power to amend or repeal it or to suspend its operation or even to give it retrospective effect and to delegate the law-making powers to the executive.

The power to make laws includes the power to raise revenue and authorise expenditure. No revenue can be raised by way of a tax or the imposition of license fees, customs dues and other charges without the authorisation of Parliament. Expenditure must equally be authorised by Parliament. Appropriation laws are accordingly passed to enable withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund. The Annual Budget Speech usually takes place in early June before the beginning of the financial year on the 01 July ensuing. The Minister of Finance presents his Budget Speech, reviewing the country’s economic performance in the previous year and announcing economic proposals for the coming year. There is a debate and eventually a vote is taken on the Appropriation Bill.

Questions to Ministers are put only on Tuesday Sittings and the order of business provides for a 3 hour Question Time. This Question Time allows the Members of Parliament to raise questions with the Ministers on the ministries which fall under their respective responsibilities. However, questions, including Private Notice Questions, are not put at the sitting when the Presidential Address is delivered at the beginning of a session, on the day of the presentation of the Budget Speech and when an Appropriation Bill is being considered by the Committee of Supply.

Through questions and motions, Parliament makes the Government account for its actions. This Question Time starts with the Leader of the Opposition, who never puts down a question on the Order Paper for oral answer and is allowed to set down a Private Notice Question. The time allocated to this question is 30 minutes. Next, a special Prime Minister’s Question Time of 30 minutes is provided whereby all the Questions are addressed to the Prime minister. The other Members put questions and supplementary ones to all the ministers during the rest of the Question Time on practically every aspect of their administration. Through parliamentary debates, the public can listen to a spectrum of views and opinions and find out how decisions affecting them are made.

Members of Parliament represent the people who had voted for them in the general election. As such, they are responsible to look into the needs of their constituents and to make their concerns heard in Parliament.

What are the Constituency boundaries of Mauritius?

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Who are the Parliamentary Members?

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