The Mauritian Constitution is based on the Westminster model.
The head of state is the President but constitutional power is vested in the Prime Minister who is the head of government.
The British took control of Mauritius in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars.
Mahé de La Bourdonnais established Port Louis as a naval base and a shipbuilding centre.
Under his governorship, numerous buildings were erected, a number of which are still standing today - part of Government House, the Château de Mon Plaisir and the Line Barracks, the headquarters of the police force.
The islands of the Republic of Mauritius form part of the Mascarene Islands, which also include the neighbouring island of Réunion.
The area of the country is 2040 km, its capital is Port Louis.
The island was under the administration of the French East India Company which maintained its presence until 1767.