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Introduction
Sources:
Africa 2006,

The Dutch first came to this island in 1638 and named it Mauritius (after the Dutch leader, Mauritz of Nassau). They made way for the French in 1715, who renamed it Isle de France, stayed until 1810 and lost it to the British, who reinstated the name Mauritius. Indentured Hindu workers were brought from India to work on sugar estates. Their descendants are in the majority, followed by Creoles (of mixed, predominantly African slave origin), Muslim Indians, Chinese and a few Europeans. The Creole population gave birth to a language based on the French, Malagasy and African languages, which became the lingua franca of the island. Mauritius received its independence under the British crown in 1968 and became a Republic in 1992. Continuous political squabbles, splits and shifting alliances do not seem to have derailed a climate of continuity and stability. Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam headed an unstable coalition government for 5 years before being ousted at the polls by an opposition alliance in September 2000. Sir Anerood Jugnauth, leader of the Movement Socialiste Miltant or Militant Socialist Movement (MSM), served as prime minister for 3 years before handing over to his coalition partner, Paul Bérenger, of the Mouvement Militant Mauricien (MMM). In the 2005 National Assembly elections, the opposition Social Alliance (AS) spearheaded by Navin Ramgoolam's Mauritius Labour Party (MLP) defeated the incumbent Mauritian Militant Movement- Mauritian Socialist Movement (MMMMSM). This enabled Ramgoolam to regain the premiership in a truly democratic and transparent fashion.  


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