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Mauritius: Ameenah Gurib-Fakim resigns over credit card scandal

Mauritius: Ameenah Gurib-Fakim resigns over credit card scandal
From Al Jazeera - March 17, 2018

Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has resigned after allegations of credit card fraud, according local media.

Gurib-Fakim's lawyer made the announcement on Saturday, telling reporters that she will leave office on March 23.

Gurib-Fakim has been accused of buying jewellery and clothing using a credit card provided by an NGO, founded by an Angolan banker interested in doing business in Mauritius.

Last week, Gurib-Fakim said she would not leave office despite Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth announcing she would resign.

In a response to that announcement, the office of Gurib-Fakim, whose role as president is mostly ceremonial, released a statement detailing that she would remain in office.

"Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, having nothing to feel guilty about and able to provide corroborating evidence, rejects any idea of resigning," that statement read.

"She is also willing to go to court to defend herself against the slanderous accusations against her."

The allegations against the president, who is also a renowned biologist, stem from her joining the London-based Planet Earth Institute (PEI) in 2015 in an effort to further develop the scientific field in Africa.

In 2016, she received a credit card from PEI to pay for travel and other expenses related to her work for the organisation.

Gurib-Fakim, 58, allegedly used the credit card to buy items worth $26,000 not related to her work for PEI.

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