Mauritius President Rejects Resignation Calls Over Credit Card Scandal

The President of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim rejected calls for her to resign over accusations of financial misconduct. She will provide evidence to debunk these, her office said in a statement today.

In February, local L’express newspaper said Gurib-Fakim had used a credit card issued by an international non-governmental organization to buy clothes and jewelry in Italy and Dubai.

She has denied any wrongdoing and said she had refunded all the money in question.

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said Gurib-Fakim, the first woman to hold the largely ceremonial role, would step down on March 12. However, she contradicted this in a statement published on the website of her office on Wednesday.

“Her Excellency rejects any resignation prospect. “She is ready to take legal action before the courts to defend herself against the slanderous accusations,” the State House statement said.

A report says Mauritius is trying to shift an economy mostly focused on sugar, textiles, and tourism toward offshore banking, business outsourcing, luxury real estate and medical tourism. The report in the L’express newspaper said Gurib-Fakim had used a credit card issued by Planet Earth Institute, an organization which supports education by offering scholarships.

The president had served as an unpaid director of the NGO and that the credit card was to be used to pay for the promotion of a doctorate programme named after the president.

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