Muslim scientist becomes first female president of Mauritius

SHAFAQNA - Prominent Muslim scientist Bibi Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim was on Thursday approved by the parliament of Mauritius as the Indian Ocean island nation’s new president, making her the first woman to hold the ceremonial position, according to media reports. 

Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth moved the motion for the election of the new president. 

In his address, the PM stated that the election of Dr Gurib-Fakim as president of the Republic will certainly go down in history as another landmark in government’s relentless pursuit to place women in their rightful place in the Republic of Mauritius. 

The island nation gained independence from Britain in 1968 and replaced Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as its head of state in 1992. 

Gurib-Fakim,56, is currently director of the CIDP Research & Innovation (formerly Cephyr, Centre for Phytotherapy Research), which carries out research on the medical and nutritive implications of indigenous plants of Mauritius for use in cosmetics, nutrition and therapy. 

According to the PM, the name of Dr Gurib-Fakim had been proposed as future president of the Republic and the proposal was acclaimed by a large majority of the population. 

“We have today not only fulfilled a pledge which we made to the nation, but we have also written one of the most glorious pages of our history by electing the first woman to the highest constitutional office”, he said.

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