What Type Of Government Does Saint Lucia Have?

The flag of Saint Lucia.
The flag of Saint Lucia.

Saint Lucia is parliamentary constitutional monarchy where Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state. Her Majesty, The Queen of the Commonwealth, is the head of state of Saint Lucia but since Her Majesty cannot be physically present to serve in that capacity, she appoints a representative from the country known as the Governor General to perform the duties of head of state in her behalf. The Governor General is appointed by the Queen and performs the duties at the pleasure of Her Majesty. The Governor General is informed of government policies regularly by the Prime Minister. The Governor General is responsible for making key appointments including that of the Prime Minister as well as that of the Deputy Prime Minister. If the office of the Governor General is prematurely vacated, the Governor General with advice from the Prime Minister appoints an individual to serve as Deputy Governor General.

The Executive

The Executive branch of government is made up of the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Government, Permanent Secretaries, and the Attorney General. The Prime Minister is the head of government. The Prime Minister is appointed by the Governor-General after the general elections and is usually the leader of the party with the majority in the legislature. The Prime Minister then nominates individuals from the Senate as well as the National Assembly to be appointed as Ministers of Government by the Governor-General. The Ministers can be dismissed from their respective offices if they cease to become members of Parliament for any reason except after the dissolution of Parliament. The Governor General has the authority to confer any government responsibility to any Minister including the Prime Minister at their discretion. Attorney General is the chief legal advisor to the government who also serves as the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Legislature

Santa Lucia has a bicameral legislature made of two chambers: the Senate as well as the House of Assembly. The Senate is the upper house of the parliament and is made up of 11 members all of whom are appointed by the Governor-General. However, the Governor-General makes six appointments after consulting the Prime Minister while three appointments are made after consulting the Leader of the Opposition, and the remaining two appointments are made by the Governor-General at his discretion. Individuals seeking appointment to the Senate need to have attained at least 21 years of age and can communicate well in English. The House of Assembly is the lower chamber of Parliament and is made up of 18 seats where 17 seats are reserved for members who are elected in general elections through universal adult suffrage while one seat is reserved to the Speaker of the House. The 17 elected members of Parliament are representatives of the 17 electoral segments in Saint Lucia.

The Judiciary

The Constitution of Saint Lucia provides for the establishment of an independent judiciary whose primary function is the administration of impartial justice on behalf of Saint Lucia residents. The judicial system practiced in Saint Lucia is made up of several district courts, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal. The Chief Justice is the head of the judiciary.


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