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Government Structure and Political System of Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster model.  Its bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Assembly and the Senate. 


The Head of State and Governor-General

The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, represented by a Governor-General, appointed by the Queen as her representative.  The Governor-General exercises ceremonial functions, but residual powers, under the constitution, can be used at the Governor-General's discretion.  The actual power in Saint Lucia lies with the Prime Minister and the cabinet, usually representing the majority party in parliament.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the nominal head of state represented in the country by the Governor-General.   The position of Governor-General was established when Saint Lucia was granted independence on 22 February 1979, prior to which there had existed the equivalent position of Governor of St. Lucia.

In the table below, we provide a listing of the Governors-General of Saint Lucia.

Governor-General Term of Office Notes
Start of Term End of Term
Sir Allen Montgomery LEWIS 22 February 1979 19 June 1980 First time
Boswell WILLIAMS 19 June 1980 13 December 1982 Resigned
Sir Allen Montgomery LEWIS 13 December 1982 30 April 1987 Second time
Vincent FLOISSAC 30 April 1987 10 October 1988 Acting
Sir Stanislaus A. JAMES 10 October 1988 1 June 1996  
Sir George MALLET 1 June 1996 17 September 1997  
Dame Pearlette LOUISY 17 September 1997 Incumbent  

Learn more about the Governors-General of Saint Lucia »

The Prime Minister and Head of Government

The Governor-General appoints a Representative who appears likely to command the support of the majority of the Representatives as the Head of Government.  With the granting of the new Constitution in 1960, the Head of Government was referred to as the Chief Minister.  After attaining Associated Statehood in 1969, the Head of Government was referred to as the Premier.  Upon attainment of the independence in 1978, the Head of Government was referred to as the Prime Minister.  There have been six Prime Ministers of Saint Lucia since independence.  In the table below, we provide a list of all Head of Government of Saint Lucia.

Head of Government Title Term of Office Political Party
Start of Term End of Term
George CHARLES Chief Minister 1 January 1960 April 1964 Saint Lucia Labour Party
John COMPTON Chief Minister April 1964 1 March 1967 United Workers Party
John COMPTON Premier 1 March 1967 22 February 1979 United Workers Party
(1st  time)
Prime Minister 22 February 1979 2 July 1979 United Workers Party
Allan LOUISY Prime Minister 2 July 1979 4 May 1981 Saint Lucia Labour Party
Winston CENAC Prime Minister 4 May 1981 17 January 1982 Saint Lucia Labour Party
Acting Prime Minister
Prime Minister 17 January 1982 3 May 1982 Progressive Labour Party
(2nd time)
Prime Minister 3 May 1982 2 April 1996 United Workers Party
Vaughan LEWIS Prime Minister 2 April 1996 24 May 1997 United Workers Party
Kenny ANTHONY Prime Minister 24 May 1997 11 December 2006 Saint Lucia Labour Party
(3rd time)
Prime Minister 11 December 2006 7 September 2007 United Workers Party
Stephenson KING Prime Minister 7 September 2007 30 November 2011 United Workers Party
(2nd time)
Prime Minister 30 November 2011 Incumbent Saint Lucia Labour Party

Learn more about the Heads of Government of Saint Lucia »

The Cabinet

The Cabinet is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister from the members of the House of Assembly, with no more than two members being drawn from the appointed senators.  The main function of the Cabinet is to advice the Governor-General and is collectively responsible to the House for any advice given to the Governor-General by or under the general authority of the Cabinet and for all things done by or under the authority of any Minister in the execution of his office.

The functions of the Cabinet are to advice the Governor-General in the government of the country and the Cabinet is collectively responsible to the House for any advice given to the Governor-General or any action in the execution of office.

Learn more about the Cabinet of Saint Lucia »


The bicameral parliament consists of an elected 17-member House of Assembly and appointed 11-member Senate.  The House of Assembly comprises 17 seats, corresponding to Saint Lucia’s 17 constituencies.  Single members are elected by popular vote to terms not to exceed five years in a “first past the post” electoral system.  The Senate consists of 11 members, of which six members are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, three on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and two after consultation with religious, economic, and social groups.

The parliament may be dissolved by the Governor-General at any point during its 5-year term, either at the request of the Prime Minister--in order to take the nation into early elections--or at the Governor-General's own discretion, if the house passes a vote of no-confidence in the government.

Following general elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is normally appointed Prime Minister; a Deputy Prime Minister from the majority party or coalition is also appointed.  The Governor-General, an honorary appointment, represents the UK monarch as Head of State and performs ceremonial functions.

Learn more about the House of Assembly of Saint Lucia »

Learn more about the Senate of Saint Lucia »


Saint Lucia has an independent judiciary composed of district courts and a high court.  Cases may be appealed to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeals and, ultimately, to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London.  The island is divided into 10 administrative divisions, including the capital, Castries.  Popularly elected local governments in most towns and villages perform such tasks as regulation of sanitation and markets and maintenance of cemeteries and secondary roads.  Saint Lucia has no army but maintains a coast guard and a paramilitary Special Services Unit within its police force.


SLP = Saint Lucia Labour Party; UWP = United Workers Party; IND = Independent; *Incumbent; **Political Leader



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 Country Profile
 Government Structure
 Election Basics
 Parliament of Saint Lucia
 Political History and Dynamics
 Electoral Legislation
 Heads of Government
 Women in Politics
 Your Right to Vote
 Deciding Which For Candidate to Vote
 Teacher Resources
 Glossary of Election Terms
SLP Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP)
UWP United Workers Party (UWP)
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Download United Workers Party Manifesto 2016
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