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SAINT LUCIA
House of Assembly

Modules:
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name Houses of Parliament
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Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Assembly
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
Affiliation to the IPU No
Affiliation date(s)
LEADERSHIP
President Peter I. Foster (M) 
Notes Elected on 5 Jan. 2012.
Secretary General Kurt Thomas (M) 
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 18 / 18
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


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Women (current number) 3 (16.67%)
Mode of designation directly elected 17
other 1
Notes Other: the Speaker may be designated from outside parliament and becomes a member of parliament by virtue of holding the office of Speaker.
Term 5 years
Last renewal dates 28 November 2011
(View details)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Address House of Assembly
Parliament Office
Laborie Street
Castries
Saint Lucia, West Indies
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (1 758) 468 3959
468 3917
Fax (1 758) 452 5451
E-mail parliamentslu@yahoo.co.uk
Website
http://www.stluciaparliament.com/

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name Houses of Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Assembly
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 1 January 1900
Mode of designation directly elected 17
other 1
Constituencies 17 single-member constituencies.
Voting system Majority: Simple majority vote (first past the post).
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections held within three months of the occurrence of the vacancy.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- British Commonwealth citizenship
- residence in Saint Lucia
- disqualifications: insanity, imprisonment, death sentence, conviction for electoral offences
CANDIDATES
Eligibility - qualified electors
- age: 21 years
- British Commonwealth citizenship
- birth in Saint Lucia
- domicile and residence in the country on the date of nomination (or birth elsewhere with residency in the country for a period of 12 months immediately before that date)
- ability to speak and - unless incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause - to read the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to take an active part in the proceedings of the House
- ineligibilities: allegiance to a foreign State, undischarged bankruptcy, insanity, death sentence, imprisonment exceeding 12 months
Incompatibilities - ministers of religion
Candidacy requirements - support by at least six registered electors
- deposit of 250 East Caribbean dollars, reimbursed if the candidate obtains at least 1/8 of the votes cast in the constituency

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name Houses of Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Assembly
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 28 November 2011
Timing and scope of renewal Elections were held for all the seats in the House of Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
On 6 November 2011, Prime Minister Stephenson King announced that general elections would be held on 28 November.

In the previous elections held in December 2006, the then opposition United Workers Party (UWP), led by Sir John Compton, won 11 seats compared with six for Prime Minister Kenny Anthony's Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP). Mr. Compton - who had governed the country from 1964 to its independence in 1979, and then from 1982 to 1996 - was subsequently sworn in as Prime Minister.

In April 2007, the country re-established diplomatic ties with Taiwan, 10 years after it had switched recognition to China. In May, China suspended its diplomatic ties with St. Lucia.

In September 2007, the Prime Minister passed away and was succeeded by Mr. King. In November, Ms. Jeannie Compton (UWP) won the seat vacated by her father, the late Sir John Compton, becoming the first woman to be elected to parliament in St. Lucia.

The country's economy was severely affected by the global economic crisis started in 2008. It experienced a number of natural disasters, including Hurricane Thomas in October 2010, with damage totalling EC$ 907 million. Unemployment rose to 24.5 per cent (up from 14% in 2006). Prior to the 2011 elections, two UWP parliamentarians - the Deputy Speaker and Ms. Compton - resigned from parliament due to a row over the government's policies.

In July 2011, media reports from Trinidad suggested that Taiwan was spending US$ 3.8 million to help UWP candidates win election, an allegation denied by Taiwan.

Five parties contested the 2011 elections. In all, 52 candidates, including 10 women (19%) - up from three women out of 38 candidates (8%) in 2006 - were vying for seats in the House of Assembly. Ms. Jeannie Compton ran as an independent.

The 2011 elections once again saw a duel between the UWP and the SLP. Both parties focused on job creation.

Prime Minister King's UWP ran on the government's record, stating that despite the global economic crisis and a series of natural disasters, the public debt in terms of gross domestic product grew more slowly under the UWP administration: a 12.8 percentage-point increase between 2006 and 2010, compared to 20.9 points between 2001 and 2006. It pledged to reduce employment and poverty by creating jobs in tourism, information and communications technology, green energy, construction, manufacturing and the agricultural sectors.

The SLP presented its employment activation programme, promising to inject EC$100 million immediately into the economy for job creation and reconstruction activities. It also promised to grant an employment tax credit for new companies that employ at least six people above an annual salary of EC$ 24,000 (about US$ 9,000).

The UWP criticized the appearance of a Dominican attorney (Mr. Astaphan) in the SLP's election campaign, saying he had been engaged by the SLP "to infect the election campaign with blatant lies calculated to deceive and insult the people of St Lucia".

SLP leader Anthony dismissed the criticism, arguing that Mr. Astaphan's involvement in politics was part of deepening exchanges with people across borders.

56.84 per cent of the 151,000 registered voters turned out at the polls.

Observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) stated that the voting had been conducted in a "fluid and peaceful manner" and praised St. Lucians' "commitment to and respect for democracy". It recommended a public debate on the need for legislation on campaign financing, and specifically, rules to prohibit anonymous and foreign contributions.

The SLP won 11 seats compared with six for the UWP, thereby returning to power after six years in opposition. Five Cabinet ministers lost their seats, and Ms. Jeannie Compton failed to retain the seat her father had held over three decades.

On 6 December, Mr. Anthony was sworn in as Prime Minister for a third term.

On 5 January 2012, the newly elected House of Assembly held its first session and elected Mr. Peter I. Foster as the new Speaker.

The Senate, whose members are appointed by the Governor General, was renewed at the same time as the House. Mr. Claudius J. Francis assumed the post of Senate President on the same day.
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Round no 128 November 2011
Number of registered electors
Voters
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
150'996
85'821 (56.84%)

Notes
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) 17 42'640 49.68
United Workers Party (UWP) 17 39'336 45.83
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats Gain/Loss
Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) 11 5
United Workers Party (UWP) 6 -5
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
15

3

16.67%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
Note:
The "Distribution of seats" above refers to the 17 directly-elected members. The "Distribution of seats according to sex" refers to all 18 members of the House of Assembly (17 directly-elected members and the Speaker). Mr. Peter I. Foster, who was not one of the directly-elected members, became an ex officio member of the House by virtue of his election as Speaker.

Sources:
http://www.stlucia.gov.lc/govfolks/members_of_the_house_of_assembly.htm
http://www.electoral.gov.lc/past-results/2011-election-results
http://www.electoral.gov.lc/electoral/enrollment-statistics
http://www.electoral.gov.lc/candidates-parties/results

PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name Houses of Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Assembly
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE
Title Speaker of the House of Assembly
Term - duration: 5 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution
Appointment - elected by all the Members of the Assembly who are present
- election is held at the first sitting of the newly elected Assembly or when a vacancy occurs
- before Members are sworn in
Eligibility - any Member of the Assembly (except a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary) or any qualified person can be a candidate
- candidatures must be submitted by a third party who is himself a Member of the Assembly
- candidatures must be seconded by another Member of the Assembly
Voting system - if only one candidature is submitted : the candidate is elected without a vote or debate
- if several candidatures are submitted : a secret ballot is taken for each candidates in the order of their registration until one of them is elected.
Procedures / results - the Clerk presides over the Assembly during the voting
- the Clerk announces the results without any delay
STATUS
Status - in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker (or any other Member elected for that sitting) can assume his/her role and functions
Board
Material facilities
FUNCTIONS
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions, in exceptional case only
- organises the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of questions, petitions, bills and amendments
Chairing of public sittings - can open and close sittings, within the framework of the Standing Orders
- can suspend sittings for short periods
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Assembly
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives (the Member who catches the Speaker's eye would have the floor) and withdraws permission to speak
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules of other regulations governing the life of the Assembly
Special powers - is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Assembly
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes part in voting, only if he/she has been elected at the Assembly and only in the case of a tied vote

This page was last updated on 25 February 2013
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