Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor-General of Saint Lucia
Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy was born in the southern village of Laborie and attended the Laborie Girls’ Primary and Mixed Infants School, from which she proceeded on a Javouhey Scholarship to St Joseph’s Convent in January 1960. On completion of her secondary education, she joined the staff of St Joseph’s Convent in September 1965. She began her university education in October 1966, having obtained a scholarship from the Canadian International Development Agency to read for a Bachelors’ Degree in English and French at the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill in Barbados. In 1972 she was awarded another scholarship under the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan to read for a Masters Degree in Linguistics, in the field of Didactics at the University of Laval in Quebec City, Canada. In 1991, she took up studies at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom where she read for a PhD in Education. Her doctoral studies focused on the management and provision of tertiary education in small nation states.
In 1999, she was awarded with the Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws ( LL.D) by the University of Bristol.
Dame Louisy‘s entire professional life has been spent in the field of education. She was first exposed to the classroom when she served as a pupil teacher at the Laborie Mixed Infants School while she waited for an opportunity to begin her secondary school education. She later served on the staff of St Joseph’s Convent during the years 1969 – 1972 and 1975 – 1976. From 1976 – 1986, she served first as a tutor of French, and then as Principal of the St. Lucia “A” Level College. When the “A” Level College was merged with sister institutions to form the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, she served as Dean of the Division of Arts, Science and General Studies, later Vice Principal and then Principal, the position she held until her appointment as Governor General on September 18, 1997.
In 1999, Her Majesty the Queen conferred on her the title of Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.
Dame Louisy complemented her abiding interest in education with a love for culture and the performing arts. She was an active member of the Creative and Performing Arts Society (Drama and Chorale), the New Day Theatre Movement, and more recently the Bel Canto Choral Group. In culture it was the Folk Research Centre and the Mouvman Kweyol Sent Lisi which spearheaded her work in the promotion of and research into creole culture and language, an interest she still actively pursues.
Stephenson King, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia
Stephenson King (born November 13, 1958 in Castries, Saint Lucia) is a Saint Lucian politician who is currently the country’s Prime Minister. He represents the constituency of Castries North for the United Workers Party (UWP) in the House of Assembly of Saint Lucia. He won the elections in 2006 polling 2934 and unseating the incumbent Minister of Agriculture, Ignatius Jean who polled 2047 votes.
King entered active politics in 1987 after leading the youth arm of the United Workers Party and then as President of the Caribbean Federation of Youth, a US funded organisation set up with assistance from Washington as a counterweight to lingering Marxist views even after the fall of the revolutionary government in Grenada. King served in government, under Prime Ministers [[John Compton] and then Vaughan Lewis, between 1987 and 1997 first as Minister of Community Development and Sport and then as Minister of Health and Local Government.
When the UWP was in the throes of its leadership contest between its two former leaders, Vaughan Lewis and Sir John Compton, King, the party’s Chairman, was seen as Lewis’ last big supporter in the party. However he did not follow Lewis into the St Lucia Labour Party on Lewis’ loss of the party leadership and quipped on a political platform that , ” I don’t follow foolishness”.
When the UWP won a majority of seats in this election, and a new government under Compton was sworn in on 19 December 2006, King became Minister for Health and Labour Relations. After Compton fell ill in May 2007, King became Acting Prime Minister. In a cabinet reshuffle in early June 2007, he became Minister of Finance (including International Financial Services), External Affairs, Home Affairs, National Security, Labor, Information and Broadcasting. It was an ironic twist that King would assume the mantle when the Deputy of the party was overlooked as just a few months before King had been seen as a Lewis loyalist in the party’s leadership race.
Compton died on September 7, and King announced his death on September 8.
King was subsequently sworn in as Prime Minister by Governor-General Pearlette Louisy on September 9. All ten of the UWP’s members of the House of Assembly agreed on King’s designation as Prime Minister. King reshuffled the cabinet on September 12; in addition to being Prime Minister, he is Minister of Finance, International Financial Services, External Affairs, Home Affairs and National Security.
John George Melvin Compton, Former Prime Minister of Saint Lucia
Sir John George Melvin Compton, KBE (born 1926) is the current Prime Minister of Saint Lucia. He previously served two periods as Prime Minister, from 1964 to 1979 and from 1982 to 1996. Compton led Saint Lucia to independence from the United Kingdom in February 1979. He led the conservative United Workers Party (UWP) from 1964 until 1996. In 2005, the UWP elected Sir John as its leader again. In spite of being labeled a geriatric by the governing St Lucia Labour Party, Sir John led the United Workers Party to a surprising victory on December 11, 2006. He was sworn in as prime minister on December 15. His cabinet was sworn in on December 19; Compton took the position of finance minister for himself.
As Compton prepared for and campaigned for the 2006 poll, he faced doubts about how capable he was of holding office, considering his advanced age. Compton, however, gave the appearance of being fit and ready for leadership. He was quoted as saying that he was not preparing to run in the Olympics but for leadership of the nation.
In May 2007, Compton was hospitalized in New York City after he suffered a series of strokes which left him physically impaired.
On May 16, 2007, Leonard Montoute, who serves as St. Lucia’s Sports Minister and deputy leader of the United Workers Party, announced that Compton was unable to stand or walk on his own and that the cabinet will select a new Prime Minister to lead the island nation.
The Constitution of Saint Lucia defines the manner in which a Prime Minister may be appointed. Section 60, subsections 1 and 2 state that the Governor General of Saint Lucia shall appoint a Prime Minister who shall be the Member of the House of Assembly who appears to command the support of the majority of the Members of the House.