Mauritian Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth has handed leadership of his party to his son Pravind Jugnauth.
By Nishan Degnarain
In an emotional one hour special meeting of the Movement Socialist Mauricien's (MSM) political bureau, a tearful leader announced that "he had reached the end of this road."
Passing the baton from father to son
Pravind Jugnauth takes over leadership of the MSM, which is in a ruling coalition with the Movement Militant Mauricien (MMM) Party led by Deputy Prime Minister Paul Berenger.
Although Sir Anerood Jugnauth has stepped down from his party, he remains prime minister until September 2003, when he is expected to become the country's president.
In an alliance made during the September 2000 general election, the MMM and MSM formed a coalition to challenge the ruling Labour Party.
As part of the agreement, it was decided that Anerood Jugnauth would serve as prime minister for three years with Paul Berenger as his deputy during that period.
Sir Anerood is to step down in 2003 to permit Mr Berenger to take over as prime minister for the remaining two years of the term.
Since the 2000 elections, the arrangement has been widely criticized by opposition groups.
If the agreement follows as planned, Paul Berenger, who is from the minority white population, will become the first non-Hindu prime minister of Mauritius.
Anerood Jugnauth's announcement marks the end of a colourful chapter in Mauritian politics. He founded the MSM in 1983 and has led it since then.
In an island dominated by political families, the father-son relationship in the MSM party is not the only connection the Jugnauth family has with Mauritian politics.
Sir Anerood's brother, Ashoke, is also a senior member of the MSM and minister of health in the present government.
Since independence from Britain in 1968, Mauritius has had three prime ministers, with Sir Anerood serving on two separate occasions (1982-1995 and since 2000).
Former prime minister and current leader of the opposition Dr Navin Ramgoolam is the son of the first post-colonial Prime Minister Sir Seewoosagar Ramgoolam.