Mauritius appoints first female president

*The new president is a world renowned professor of chemistry

Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim

Mauritius appointed Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim as its first woman president on Thursday after her predecessor stepped down from the the ceremonial position last week.

“It is the first time in the history of Mauritius that a woman has acceded to this post,” parliament speaker Santi Bai Hanoomanjee said after lawmakers approved Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth’s motion proposing Gurib-Fakim.

Jugnauth’s ruling coalition said during last December’s electoral campaign it would nominate Gurib-Fakim, 55, a world renowned chemistry professor.

“I take it with humility. I feel there is a consensus among members of parliament and also among the population,” she was quoted as saying in L’Express, the leading daily on the Indian Ocean island.

Rajkeswar Purryag stepped down on May 29, saying he had agreed with Jugnauth to resign in May.