Mauritius President Anerood Jugnauth, who has been in open conflict with Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam, said Friday he was resigning to join the opposition.
"I'm not in agreement with the philosophy of the government and the way the country is run," he told journalists, adding that his resignation would take effect Saturday.
"When I'm not in agreement, I quit," he said.
Jugnauth will be replaced by Vice President Monique Ohsan Bellepeau.
The resignation will end a row between Ramgoolam and Jugnauth which erupted when the leader of the opposition in parliament, Paul Berenger, announced earlier this month the creation of a new opposition alliance headed by Jugnauth.
Ramgoolam asked the president, who turned 82 this week and whose role is largely honorary, to either confirm or deny the statement by the opposition, and, in the case of confirmation, to resign.
He is the second head of state of the Indian Ocean island to resign since 2002, when then president Cassam Uteem quit. AGENCIES