Saint Lucia is an Independent State within the "British" Commonwealth. This status was achieved on February 22,1979, under the provisions of the Saint Lucia Constitution Order 1978. Having adopted a Monarchial System, the Queen is represented by a Governor-General appointed by Her Majesty.
The Constitution provides for the protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, encompassing life, liberty, security of the person, equality before the law, and protection of the law; freedom of conscience, expression, assembly and association; and protection of family life, personal privacy, the privacy of the home and other property, and from deprivation of property without compensation.
Saint Lucia's Parliament consists of Her Majesty, A Senate and a House of Assembly.
The SENATE comprises 11 Senators. Six Senators are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister, three on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, and two by the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment after he has consulted religious, economic or social bodies or associations from which he considers such Senators should be elected.
The HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY at present consists of 17 Elected members representing a similar number of single-member constituencies. The minimum age for electors is 18, but legislators must be 21 years.
Under the Constitution, elections are conducted under the supervision of an Electoral Commission, and are to be held not later than every five years.
The Constitution provides for the Speaker of the House of Assembly to be selected from outside the elected membership if desired.
The executive authority of Saint Lucia is vested in Her Majesty, but, subject to the constitution, it may be exercised by the Governor-General on her behalf.
Article 61 of the Constitution provides for the establishment of a Cabinet with a Prime Minister and such other Ministers as the Prime Minister may consider necessary. It is also provided that whenever the office of Attorney General is a public office the holder of the office will be a member of the Cabinet.
The Prime Minister is appointed by the Governor-General, and is the person who appears to the Governor-General to command the support of the majority of the members of the House of Assembly.
Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. They may be selected from either House of Parliament, but a Minister who is assigned responsibility for Finance must be an elected member.
It is the function of the Cabinet to advise the Governor-General in the government of Saint Lucia, and it is collectively responsible to Parliament for any advice given.
The Constitution provides for the appointment, by the Governor-General, of a Leader of the Opposition, who must be the member of the House of Assembly as appears to him most likely to command the support of those Members who do not support the Government.
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