Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation

Quick Facts - EOM Electoral Observation Mission in Saint Lucia - November 28, 2011

In the forthcoming Election, scheduled for November 28, 2011, five political parties will contest the 17 seats in Saint Lucia’s Parliament, the greatest number of parties in the country’s history.

St. Lucian citizens who have reached the age of eighteen are entitled to vote. Also Commonwealth citizens who have resided in St. Lucia at least seven years immediately preceding the qualifying date can vote. Electors must have resided continuously in the electoral district where they are to vote for at least two months preceding the qualifying date. Members of the police force cast their ballots a few days before the general election, to allow them to work through Election Day to secure polling sites.

St. Lucia is a parliamentary democracy modeled on the Westminster system.  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 St. Lucia lies with the prime minister and the cabinet, usually representing the majority party in parliament.

The bicameral parliament consists of a 17-member House of Assembly whose members are elected by universal adult suffrage for 5-year terms and an 11-member senate appointed by the governor general.  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.

Candidates are chosen by political parties through centralized national organizations, who partially base their decision on the will of local/constituency branches of their respective parties. Candidates are not required to live in the constituencies in which they run; the candidate with the most votes wins the constituency seat.

If you would like to have more information on the candidates please see:

Territorial division
The 17 Constituencies in Saint Lucia are: Gros Islet (A) ; Babonneau (B) ; Castries North (C);  Castries East (D);  Castries Central (E);  Castries South (F) ; Anse-La-Raye/Canaries (G)  Soufriere (H) ; Choiseul (I) ; Laborie (J) ; Vieux-Fort South (K) ; Vieux-Fort North (L) ; Micoud South (M) ;  Micoud North (N);  Dennery South (O);  Dennery North (P);  Castries South East (Q).

Saint Lucia’s total resident population at midnight on the last census day (10 May 2010), stood at 166,526. Saint Lucia’s total population including non-residents was estimated to be 173,720.

According to the 2010 Census, Saint Lucia’s major religions are Roman Catholic (61.1%), Seventh Day Adventism (10.4%) and various other protestant denominations.

The official language is English. Some people also speak French patois .