Reuters International

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) - Mauritius Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth picked his son Pravind as finance minister, the president's office said on Wednesday.

The younger Jugnauth, 53, was earlier in the day cleared by the country's supreme court of a conflict-of-interest conviction.

A lower court had found him guilty, while previously serving as finance minister, of being party to a decision to reallocate health ministry funds to acquire a private hospital, Medpoint, in which his sister had shares.

The appointment of Pravind Jugnauth, who also previously served as technology minister, had been widely expected once his conviction had been quashed.

Anerood Jugnauth has been covering the finance ministry brief since March, when Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo quit citing personal reasons.

The prime minister, who was also head of government from 1982 to 1995 and from 2000 to 2003, is hailed by his supporters as the father of the Mauritius economic miracle of the 1980s, when the Indian Ocean island liberalised its economy and began the process of reducing it dependency on sugar cane production.

It now serves as an offshore financial centre favoured by many firms and investors as an entry point into Africa.

Pravind Jugnauth's first major challenge will be to draft a budget for presentation to parliament next month in line with government commitments to stimulate growth, attract investment and create jobs.

(Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by John Stonestreet)

reuters_tickers

 Reuters International