Mauritius: The Prospect of Independence

Citizens of the tiny British crown colony of Mauritius, 1,400 miles off the African coast, take their politics seriously. The island's 32 newspapers and one radio station covered the latest parliamentary election campaign in twelve languages from English to Urdu. Interest ran so high that nearly 90% of the eligible voters cast ballots, and Premier Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam's Independence Party, which campaigned on a platform calling for complete freedom from Britain, won 43 of 70 seats in the legislative assembly.

The prospect of losing the 720-sq.-mi. island with its depressed sugar industry, chronic unemployment and dangerous racial tensions does...

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