Page last updated at 10:15 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 11:15 UK

Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam wins Mauritius election

Navin Ramgoolam
Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam is part of the country's Hindu majority

Opposition leader Paul Berenger has conceeded defeat in parliamentary elections in Mauritius.

Confirmed results gave incumbent Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam's Labour alliance 41 out of the 62 parliamentary seats that were being contested.

A BBC reporter in Mauritius says turnout was high at 78%.

Economic and constitutional reform, fraud, corruption, drug trafficking and ethnicity were some of the main issues of the election.

"The entire population has adhered to our philosophy of unity, equality and modernity," Mr Ramgoolam said at a press conference, reports the Mauritian internet newspaper Newsnow.

"I have been able to rally a majority of the population. It is vote for national unity," he said.

There have been growing divisions between the country's majority Hindus and groups of Christians, Muslims, Creoles and Mauritians of European, mostly French, descent.

Prime Minister Ramgoolam is a Hindu and Mr Berenger is a white Mauritian, who became the island's first non-Hindu prime minister in 2003.

"We should not be discouraged. We should not feel bitter," Mr Berenger said.

Mauritius is regarded as one of Africa's few social and economic success stories.

It has an effective democracy and has enjoyed years of constitutional order.

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