Six Mauritian ministers quit to protest colleague arrest
PORT LOUIS - Six Mauritian ministers resigned from the government Tuesday to protest the anti-corruption body's accusations against one of their colleagues, their party leader announced.
The ministers are from the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM), a member of the Indian Ocean island's ruling alliance, led by finance minister Pravind Jugnauth.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) had accused MSM member and health minister Maya Hanoomanjee of favouring a bidder in a tender to buy a clinic building.
"We handed our resignation in solidarity with the health minister Maya Hanoomanjee. We are certain that she has nothing to do with the charges brought by the Independent Commission Against Corruption," Jugnauth told reporters.
"When preliminary charges against a minister are levelled by the ICAC, we think that the minister should resign.
"Maya Hanoomanjee was right to resign although we are convinced that she is a victim of blatant injustice," Jugnauth added.
The 24-strong Mauritian cabinet comprises members from three parties. The minister who resigned said they however remained part of the ruling coalition.
Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam is currently on a visit to Britain, but said he had been informed by Jugnauth about the resignation.
Several government officials are under investigation by the anti-graft body over the health ministry tender. The health minister was arrested and charged on Friday but freed on bail.