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Rodrigues Regional Assembly

 Introduction

The Rodrigues Regional Assembly is the Regional Parliament of the Island of Rodrigues which forms part of the Republic of Mauritius. The Regional Assembly was established following the passing at the National Assembly of Mauritius of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly Act 2001(RRA Act 2001) which granted the island autonomy. The RRA Act 2001 (Section 3(2)) sets the Regional Assembly as a body corporate exercising its function on behalf of the government of Mauritius.The Rodrigues Regional Assembly is a Parliament established to allow the population of Rodrigues Island the possibility to have more say in the decision making process for the development of the Island. Prior to the advent of the autonomy of Rodrigues, the local population fought for the recognition by the Government of Mauritius of the specificities of the island which were often not catered for by Central Government policies. In addition, the administration of Rodrigues was much fettered as many a file was on the to and fro in between Port Louis and Port Mathurin. This, for instance, caused simply administrative procedures to be unduly long as compared to similar situations in mainland Mauritius.

Hence, the RRA Act 2001 came to allow any Mauritian citizen, whether Rodriguan born or not, having resided on the Island of Rodrigues for a minimum of two years prior to the date of a regional poll to be eligible to be a Member of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly. A Member sits in the Regional House of Parliament, whether on Government or Opposition side, to see to it that the best interests of the Rodriguan population are protected. Moreover, in addition to drastically reducing the length of administrative procedures, the RRA Act 2001 and Constitution of Mauritius both grant to the Regional Assembly the power to make policy decisions, through its Executive Council (equating the role of Government Cabinet) in the areas of responsibility that have been vested into it by law and which are thereby brought from time to time to the House of Parliament to be debated by the elected representatives of the local population. The House has the power to pass new laws and regulations which only affect Rodrigues and which are devised to better cater for the specificities of the island.

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