The people of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean went to the polls on Monday (20 December) in the country's first election since its independence from Britain in 1968.
SV PAN: election posters on wall and car with flags and election posters.
SV PAN: labour election posters and flag. (2 shots)
SV: MMM party slogan and emblem. (2 shots)
SV: election posters on car.
SV PAN: MMM election posters on wall.
CU: MMM tee-Shirt on girl arriving at polling station. (2 shots)
SV: people arriving to vote. (2 shots)
GV: people queueing outside polling station (2 shots)
SV AND CU: people voting (3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The people of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean went to the polls on Monday (20 December) in the country's first election since its independence from Britain in 1968.
SYNOPSIS: General elections were due in 1972, but a ruling coalition of Labour and social democratic parties postponed the poll until this year. The Labour Party led by Prime Minister Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam remains one of the three major parties contesting the election. The Movement Militant Mauricien (MMM) and the Parti Mauricien Social Democrate are the other main parties involved, and there are at least three smaller parties in the poll. The last time the population went to the polls was in 1967 when a majority voted in favour of independence being granted to the country.
There are more than 460,000 voters in the population of 850,000 and young people from the age of 18 have been given the vote. They were choosing from about 400 candidates for 70 seats in the 20 constituencies in the islands of Mauritius itself and neighbouring Rodrigues Island. The ruling Labour Party and its Muslim Action Committee party (CAM) allies controlled 46 of the 61 seats in the old assembly.
It's estimated more than 50 percent of the voters are in the 18 to 29 age group and will be voting in an election for the first time. The three main parties have candidates in virtually all of the 20 constituencies.