Saint Lucia is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, represented by a Governor-General. The legislature is bicameral, with the House of Assembly of 17 directly elected members (plus the Speaker) and a Senate of 11 appointed members, six by the Prime Minister (the leader of the largest party in the House of Assembly), three by the Leader of the Opposition and two by the Governor-General. Parliament is elected for five years by universal adult suffrage.
In September 1997 the country’s first woman Governor-General, Dr Pearlette Louisy, was appointed, following the resignation of Sir George Mallet.
Dr Kenny Anthony and the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) were returned to government in the December 2001 general election, when his SLP won 14 Assembly seats and the United Workers Party (UWP) three.
Anthony stood for a third term in the December 2006 general election which was won by the opposition UWP with 11 seats while the SLP took six. UWP leader Sir John Compton, who had since 1964 served as head of government for a total of 29 years, became Prime Minister.
Following the death of Sir John Compton at the age of 82 in September 2007, Stephenson King, who had been acting for Compton during his illness, was sworn in as Prime Minister.
In the November 2011 election Kenny Anthony and the SLP ousted the UWP government, winning 11 seats (49.7 per cent of the vote) to the UWP’s six (45.8 per cent), and Anthony began a third term as Prime Minister.