Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, the Indian Ocean island nation’s first female head of state, has finally resigned and will leave office on March 23, her lawyer said.
“In the supreme interest of the country and that of the Mauritian population, she prefers to go,” Gurib-Fakim’s lawyer Yusuf Mohamed said in comments broadcast by Port Louis-based Radio Plus.
Gurib – Fakim had earlier refused to resign, clashing with the country’s prime minister Pravind Jugnauth, who led a cabinet meeting that asked her to resign or be impeached.
Jugnauth on Friday rubbished a commission of inquiry set up by the president to investigate her conduct in relation to the credit card issued by Planet Earth Institute.
The president has been embroiled in a scandal that involved her using a credit card issued by a non – governmental organisation, Planet Earth Institute (PEI), to do personal shopping in Europe.
Gurib-Fakim has since explained that she “inadvertently” used the PEI payment card that was identical to a bank card she already had.
After informing the London-based charity she’d used their card for about $27,000 of “out-of-pocket expenses,” Gurib – Fakim says she immediately reimbursed the institute in addition to other expenses incurred on a PEI trip.
The president’s lawyer said her resignation will help avoid a constitutional crisis.
“She does not want to see the population and economy suffer,” said Mohamed.
58 year old Gurib – Fakim became the first female president of Mauritius on 5 June, 2015.