Road to Independence

Mauritius came under British rule in 1810 following the capture of the island from the French. In 1825, it obtained its first Constitution under British Rule and a Council of Government was set up to assist and counsel in the administration of the Government. It was an all-British Council with four top officials namely the Chief Justice, the Chief Secretary, the Commander of the Forces and the Collector of Customs.

In 1948, the British Government approved a new Constitution for Mauritius. Under this new Constitution, women were given the right to vote, property qualifications for the franchise was abolished, but still inhabitants had to go through a simple literacy test. As a result, the electorate increased from 12 000 to 71 806 people.The First Legislative Council, comprising 19 elected members, 12 members appointed by the Governor and three officials, met on 1 September 1948. Three members of the Executive Council were appointed ‘Liaison Officers’ in 1951. A Few years later, in 1955 and in 1957, the second and third Constitutional Conferences led to the introduction of the ministerial system.

After the general elections in 1963 when the Chief Minister became Premier. On 12 March 1964, internal self-government was introduced with the Governor retaining wide powers.At the Constitutional Conference held in September 1965 in London, the Secretary of State, Mr. Anthony Greenwood, announced that the island should move to independence after the general elections based on a new electoral system to be recommended by a Commission.

There were 307 908 electors for the General Elections held on 7 August 1967. The Elections were held on the basis of 20 three-member constituencies for Mauritius and a single constituency of two members for Rodrigues. Eight best-loser seats were allocated to ensure adequate representation of each community according to its population strength. The main election issue was the independence of Mauritius or its association with Britain.

On 12th August 1967, Mauritius had a new Constitution. The island became a self-governing nation except in matters relating to external affairs, defence and internal security. Under this Constitution, Governor John Shaw Rennie appointed Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam as Premier.

On 12 March 1968, Mauritius had a new Constitution which characterised Mauritius as a sovereign democratic State with a Parliament having supreme power as regards legislations. Consequently, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam became Prime Minister.

Photo - Evolution of Mauritius
Photo - Evolution of Rodrigues

Event 2013
Road to Independence
12 March 1968 - Archives
Mauritius- Then & Now
The Programme Constitutional evolution leading to Independence and admission to UN PM Message to the Nation Photo
Guest of Honour Mauritius Indepence Order (GN 54 of 1968) Cabinet List/Attendeance Members Legislative Assembly Table - Comparative Economic and Social Indicators (1698, 1985, 2000 and 2011)
Transport Facilities Hansard Press Clipping  
Traffic Arrangement Mauritius Independence Act (UK) SSR Address Legislative Assembly  
Message to Students National Antheme Photo Ceremony at Champ De Mars  
PM address to the Nation National Flag Video - Flag raising ceremony  
Confluence August 1967 Election results    
Song and dance fiesta Press Clipping    
  Constitution of Mauritius (1968)    
  Constitution of Mauritius