CONSTITUTION REFORM

There is consensus that the Saint Lucia Constitution should be modernized so that it better reflects the goals and aspirations of our nation. 

 

A timeline should be established to implement the recommendations of the Report of the Constitution Reform Commission that have practical application.

 

In particular, the following measures should be strongly considered:

  •  The removal of the provision in Section 62 that the responsibility for finance must be given to a Minister who is a member of the House of Assembly. This will allow the Prime Minister the freedom to choose from a wider pool of qualified, competent and suitably experienced citizens for appointment to the important position of Minister for Finance.

 

  • Term limits for the Prime Minister.

  • A fixed date for the holding of General Elections every five years.

  • The prohibition of anyone who has held a senior position in a political party (political leader, deputy political leader, chairman, general secretary) or anyone who has represented a political party in Parliament from serving as the Governor General. 

  • The abolition of the Senate as a separate chamber of Parliament and its merger with the Lower House in order to establish a unicameral Parliament comprising elected members and appointed senators. This would allow senators to have a more meaningful input into debates in Parliament, rather than serving, as they often do, as rubber stamps for decisions already effectively finalized in the House of Assembly.

  • A reconfiguration of the composition of the senators to, among other things, increase the number of independent senators, with a mandate that two independent senators must be young persons under the age of 35 years, one male and one female, chosen after consultation with recognized bodies representing youth in Saint Lucia. In this way, there will be a constitutional mandate for the participation of young people in the Parliament.

  • In order to allow for functional separation between the operations of the executive and the legislative arms of government, the eventual removal of the requirement that Cabinet Ministers must be members of Parliament, with the sole exception of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, who should, at all times, be chosen from the elected members of Parliament.