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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.