Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, the first female president of Mauritius, will step down next week, Pravind Jugnauth, the Prime Minister, said on Friday, March 9, 2018.
Jugnauth said Gurib-Fakim would resign after she was accused of using a credit card issued by an international Non-Governmental Organisation to buy clothes and jewelry.
The prime minister added that the president would resign after the March 12, 2018, celebration of the country’s 50th anniversary.
The prime minister, who did not comment on the row over credit card expenditure, had previously said that everyone involved would shoulder his or her responsibility when asked about the issue by reporters.
Gurib-Fakim, a chemistry professor appointed to the largely ceremonial post in 2015 as the island nation’s first female president had denied any wrongdoing, saying she had refunded the money in question.
“I do not owe anything to anybody. Why is this issue coming up now almost a year later on the eve of our independence day celebrations,” she said in a March 7 speech.
The local L’express newspaper reported that the president had shopped in Italy and Dubai using a credit card issued by Planet Earth Institute.
The organisation supports education by offering scholarships, and the president served there as unpaid director.
The newspaper reported that the card was to promote a doctorate programme named after the president. Planet Earth Institute was not immediately available for comment.