History and Constitution

The island was known to the Arabs in the nineteenth century. Discovered in 1505 by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Mascarenhas, the island was occupied successively by the Dutch (1598-1710), the French (1715-1810) and was ceded to Britain in 1814 by the Treaty of Paris.
Mauritius gained independence 12 March 1968 and the Republic was proclaimed 12 March 1992.

Mauritius is a parliamentary democracy modeled in part on the British model. The Parliament consists of 62 members elected every five years by universal suffrage. The President is the Head of State but all constitutional powers are exercised by the Prime Minister and the cabinet.