Rajkeswur Purryag (Hindi:रज्केस्वुर पुर्र्यग also known as Kailash Purryag), GCSK GOSK is a Mauritian politician who has been President of Mauritius since 2012. He was elected as the fifth President of Mauritius by the National Assembly and took office on 21 July 2012. He succeeded Sir Anerood Jugnauth, who spent nine years as President from 2003 until resigning in March 2012. Kailash Purryag previously served as Member of Parliament, Minister and Speaker of the National Assembly; he made his debut in the political arena at an early age in 1976.
Rajkeswur Purryag, better known as Kailash, was born on 12 December 1947 in Camp Fouquereaux, Mauritius. He is a Mauritian of Indian origin that is an Indo-Mauritian. He attended the Shree Shamboonath Government School and later the Mauritius College. He was sworn in as attorney-at-law in 1973. The same year he joined the Mauritian Labour Party. He became general secretary of the party in 1984 and president in 1995.
Kailash Purryag was elected to the Legislative assembly for the first time in 1976. He has occupied several Ministerial responsibilities, he was the Minister of Social security from January 1980 to June 1982, Minister of Health from January 1984 to January 1988, Minister of Economic Planning and Information and Telecommunication from December 1995 to July 1997, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign affairs and International Trade from July 1997 to September 2000. He was elected Speaker of the National Assembly of Mauritius in 2005, when the Mauritian Labour Party won the election, and remained in that post until 2012.
He is a prominent member of the Labour Party and was a cabinet minister from 1980 to 1982 and again in the coalition government of Sir Anerood Jugnauth and the Labour Party from 1984 to 1985. Finally he served in the cabinet of Navin Ramgoolam. He was general secretary of the Labour Party in the 1980s. He is an attorney at law and practices in Mauritius. He is recipient of both highest order merits in Mauritius. He was elevated in 1998 as Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean and was made Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean in 2009.
On Friday 20 July, the Clerk of the National Assembly of Mauritius informed the House that, immediately following his election as President of the Republic at to-day’s sitting, the Honourable Rajkeswur Purryag, GCSK, GOSK, has submitted his resignation as Speaker of the National Assembly.
As stated on the Section 28 (2) (a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Mauritius, the President shall be elected by the Assembly on a motion made by the Hon. Prime Minister and supported by the votes of a majority of all the Members of the Assembly. On Friday 20 July, the National Assembly voted Rajkeswur Purryag, the then Speaker as President of the Republic of Mauritius. The motion was presented by the Prime Minister, Dr Navin Ramgoolam and seconded by Dr Rashid Beebeejaun. Kailash Purryag became the fifth President of Mauritius and has taken office on 21 July 2012. His first official visit was at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden where he meditate at the monument of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the father of the nation.
Purryag Kailash was living at La Caverne-Phoenix before he became president, he is the eldest of a family comprising seven children, he is married to Aneetah Purryag since 8 December 1973, he has a daughter and two grandchildren. Kailash Purryag like the songs of Lata Mangeshkar and enjoys swimming in his spare time and is also an avid of lecture.
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- "Dans l’intimité du couple présidentiel – Aneetah Purryag : " Je suis tombée amoureuse de Kailash au premier regard "". defimedia. http://www.defimedia.info/dimanche-hebdo/dh-people/item/15988-dans-l%E2%80%99intimit%C3%A9-du-couple-pr%C3%A9sidentiel-%E2%80%93-aneetah-purryag-je-suis-tomb%C3%A9e-amoureuse-de-kailash-au-premier-regard.html. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- "Bio-data of The Speaker, PURRYAG Rajkeswur". Government of Mauritius. http://www.gov.mu/portal/site/AssemblySite/menuitem.3cd5596e88ffa0451251701065c521ca/?content_id=183708bf4b648010VgnVCM100000ca6a12acRCRD. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "National Assembly – Speaker becomes President of the Republic New Speaker takes office". defimedia. http://www.defimedia.info/news-sunday/nos-parliament/item/16284-national-assembly-%E2%80%93-speaker-becomes-president-of-the-republic-new-speaker-takes-office.html. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "Première sortie du Président – Kailash Purryag sur la tombe de SSR". defimedia. http://www.defimedia.info/defi-quotidien/dq-actualites/item/16081-premi%C3%A8re-sortie-du-pr%C3%A9sident-%E2%80%93-kailash-purryag-sur-la-tombe-de-ssr.html. Retrieved 20 July 2012.