Composition

(1) The House shall consist of such number of member of members as corresponds with the number of constituencies for the time being established in accordance with the provisions of section 58 of this Constitution, who shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of section 33 of this Constitution.

(2) If a person who is not a member of the House is elected to be Speaker he shall, by virtue of holding or acting in that office, be a member of the House.

(3) At any time when the office of Attorney-General is a public office, the Attorney-General shall by virtue of holding or acting in that office, be a member of the House.

Qualifications for election

Subject to the provisions of section 32 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House if, and shall not be so qualified unless, he-

a) is a citizen of the age of twenty-one years or upwards,

b) was born in Saint Lucia and is domiciled and resident there at the date of his nomination or, having been born elsewhere, has resided there for a period of twelve months immediately before that date; and

c) is able to speak and, unless incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause, to read the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him to take an active part in the proceedings of the House.

Disqualifications from election

(1) A person shall not be qualified to be elected as a member of the House (hereinafter in this section referred to as a member) if he-

a) if by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state;

b) is a minister of religion;

c) is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in any part of the Commonwealth;

d) is a person certified to be insane or otherwise adjudged to be of unsound mind under any such law;

e) is under sentence of death imposed on him by a court of law in any part of the Commonwealth or is serving a sentence of imprisonment (by whatever name called) exceeding twelve months imposed on him by such a court or substituted y competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him by such a court, or is under such a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which has been suspended; or

f) subject to such exceptions and limitations as may be prescribed by Parliament, has an interest in any government contract.

(2) If it is so provided by Parliament, a person shall not be qualified to be elected as a member if he holds or is acting in any office that is specified by Parliament and the functions of which involve responsibility for, or in connection with, the conduct of any election of members or the compilation of any register of voters for the purpose of electing members.

(3) Id it is so provided by Parliament, a person who is convicted by any court of law of any offence that is prescribed by Parliament and that is connected with the election of member or who is reported guilty of such an offence by the court trying an election petition shall not be qualified, for such period (not exceeding seven years) following his conviction or, as the case may be, following the report of the court as may be so prescribed, to be elected as a member.

(4) A person shall not be qualified to be elected as a member if he is a Senator.

(5) If it is so provided by Parliament and subject to such exceptions and limitations (if any) as Parliament may prescribed, a person shall not be qualified to be elected as a member if-

a) he holds or is acting in any office or appointment (whether specified individually or by reference to a class of office or appointment);

b) he belongs to any of the armed forces of Saint Lucia or to any class of person that is comprised in any such force;

c) he belongs to any police-force or to any class of person that is comprised in any such force; or

d) he has, within such period (not exceeding three years) as parliament may prescribe, held or acted in any office or appointment the tenure of which would, by virtue of any provisions made under this subsection, disqualify him for election as a member, being an office or appointment the emoluments of which exceed such amount as Parliament may prescribe.

(6) In subsection (1) of this section-

“government contract” means any contract made with the Government or with a department of the Government or with an office or the Government contracting as such;

“minister of religion” means any person in holy orders an any other person the function of whose principal occupation include teaching or preaching in any congregation for religious worship.

(7) For the purposes of paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of this section-

a) two or more sentences of imprisonment that are required to be served consecutively shall be regarded as separate sentences if none of those sentences exceeds that term they shall be regarded as one sentence; and

b) no account shall be taken of a sentence of imprisonment imposed as an alternative to on in default of the payment of a fine.

Elections

(1) Each of the constituencies established in accordance with the provision of section 58 of this Constitution shall return one member to the House who shall be directly elected in such manner as may, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, be prescribed by or under any law.

(2) a) Every Commonwealth citizen of the prescribed age who possesses such qualifications relating to residence or domicile in Saint Lucia as Parliament may prescribe shall, unless he is disqualified by Parliament from registration as a voter for the purpose of electing members of the House, be entitled to be registered as such a voter in accordance with the provisions of any law in that behalf, and no other person may be so registered,

b) Every person who is registered as aforesaid in any constituency shall, unless he is disqualified by Parliament from voting in that constituency in any election of member so the House, be entitled so to vote, in accordance with the provisions of any law in that behalf, and no other person may so vote.

c) For the purpose of this subsection the prescribed age shall be the age of twenty-one years or such lower age, not being less than eighteen years, as Parliament may prescribe.

(3) In any election of members of the House the votes shall be given be ballot in such manner as not to disclose how any particular person votes.

Tenure of office

(1) A member of the House (hereinafter in this section referred to as a member) shall vacate his seat in the House at the next dissolution of Parliament after his election.

(2) A member shall also vacate his seat in the House-

a) if he is absent from the sitting of the House for such period and in such circumstances as may be prescribed in the rules of procedure of the House;

b) if he ceases to be a citizen; or

c) subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, if any other circumstances arise that, if he were not a member, would cause him to be disqualified to be elected as such by virtue of subsection 81) of section 32 of this Constitution or of any law enacted in pursuance of subsection (2), (3) or (5) of that section.

(3) (a) If any circumstances such as are referred to in paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of this section arise because any member is under sentence of death or imprisonment, adjudged to be of unsound mind, declared bankrupt or convicted or reported guilty of an offence relating to elections and if it is open to the member to appeal against the decision (either with the leave of a court of law or other authority or without such leave), he shall forthwith cease to perform his functions as a member but, subject to the provisions of this section, he shall not vacate his seat until the expiration of a period of thirty days thereafter:

Provided that the Speaker may, at the request of the member, from time to time extent that period for further periods of thirty days to enable the member to pursue an appeal against the decision, so however, that extensions of time exceeding in the aggregate one hundred and fifty days shall not be given without the approval, signified by resolution, of the House.

b) If, on the determination of any appeal, such circumstances continue to exist and no further appeal is open to the member, or if, be reason of the expiration of any period for entering an appeal or notice thereof or the refusal of leave to appeal or for any other reason, it ceases to be open to the member to appeal, he shall forthwith vacate his seat.

c) If at any time before the member vacates his seat such circumstances aforesaid cease to exist, his seat shall not become vacant on the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection and he may resume the performance of his functions as a member.

(4) References i this section to a member do not include references to a Speaker who was elected from among persons who were not members of the House.

Speaker

(1) When the House first meets after any general election of members and before it proceeds to the despatch of any other business, it shall elect a person to be the Speaker; and if the office of Speaker falls vacant at any time before the next dissolution of Parliament, the House shall, as soon as practicable, elect another person to that office.

(2) The Speaker may be elected either form among the members of the House who are not members of the Cabinet or Parliamentary Secretaries of form among persons who are not members of the House:

Provided that a person who is not a member of the House shall not be elected as Speaker if_

a) he is not a Commonwealth citizen; or

b) he is a person disqualified to be elected as a member by virtue of subsection (1) or (4) of section 32 of this Constitution to be virtue or any law enacted in pursuance of subsection (2), (3) or (5) of that section.

(3) No business shall be transacted in the House (other than the election of a Speaker) at any time when the office of Speaker is vacant.

(4) A person shall vacate the office of Speaker –

a) in the case of a Speaker who was elected from among the members of the House –

i) if he ceases to be a member of the House

Provided that the Speaker shall not vacate his office by reason only that he ceased to be a member of the House on a dissolution of Parliament, until the House first meets after the dissolution; or

ii) if he becomes a member of the Cabinet or Parliamentary Secretary;

b) in the case of a Speaker who was elected form among persons who were not members of the House-

i) when the House first meets after any dissolution of Parliament;

ii) of he ceases to be a Commonwealth citizen;

iii) if any circumstances arise that would cause him to be disqualified to be elected as a member by virtue of subsection (1) or (4) of section 32 of this Constitution or by virtue of any law enacted in pursuance of subsection (2), (3) or (5) of that section.

(5) If, by virtue of section 34(3) of this Constitution, the Speaker (being an elected member of the House) is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the House he shall also cease to perform his functions as Speaker; and if the Speaker resumes the performance of his functions as a member of the House, in accordance with the provisions of that section, he shall also resume the performance of his functions as Speaker.

(6) At any time when , by virtue of section 34(3) of this Constitution, the Speaker is unable to perform the functions of his office, those functions shall, until he vacates his seat in the House or resumes the performance of the function of his office, be performed by the Deputy Speaker or, if the office of Deputy Speaker is vacant or the Deputy Speaker is required to cease to perform his function as a member of the House by virtue of that subsection, by such member of the House (not being a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary) as the House may elect for the purpose.

Deputy Speaker

(1) When the House first meets after any general election of members and before it proceeds to the despatch of any other business except the election of the Speaker, the House shall elect a member of the House , who is not a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary, to be Deputy Speaker of the House and if the office of Deputy Speaker falls vacant at any time before the next dissolution of Parliament, the House shall, as soon as convenient, elect another member of the House to that office.

(2) A person shall vacate the office of Deputy Speaker_

a) if he ceases to be a member of the House;

b) if he becomes a member for the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary; or

c) if he is elected to be Speaker.

(3) if by virtue of section 34(3) of this Constitution, the Deputy Speaker is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the House he shall also cease to perform his function as Deputy Speaker and if the Deputy Speaker resumes the performance of his function as a member of the House, in accordance with the provisions of that section, he shall also resume the performance of his function as deputy Speaker.

(4) At nay time when by virtue of section 34(3) of this Constitution, the Deputy Speaker is unable to perform the functions of his office those function shall, until he vacates his seat in the House or resumes the performance of the function of his office, be performed by such member of the House (not being a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary) as the House may elect for the purpose.

Responsibility for elections

(1) The Electoral Commission shall be responsible for the registration of voters for the purpose of electing member of the House and for the conduct of elections of member of the House and shall have such powers and other functions relating to such registration and elections as may be prescribed by law.

(2) In the discharge of its functions the Electoral Commission shall be assisted by a Chief Elections officer, whose office shall be a public office, and the Commission may give such directions as it considers necessary or expedient to the Officer, who shall comply with such directions or cause them to be complied with.

(3) For the purposes of the exercise of his function under subsection (2) of this section , the Chief elections Officer may give such directions as he considers necessary or expedient to any registering officer, presiding officer or returning officer relating to the exercise by tat officer of his functions under any law regulating the registration of voters or the conduct of elections, and any officer to whom directions are given under this subsection shall comply with those directions.

(4) The Electoral Commission may make such reports to the Governor-General concerning the matters for which it is responsible under this section or any draft bill or instrument that is referred to it under section 52 of this Constitution, as it may think fit and if the Commission so requests in any such report other than a report on a draft bill or instrument that report shall be laid before the House.

(5) Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, in the exercise of his functions under this section the Chief Elections Officer shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

(6) The question whether the Chief Election Officer has acted in accordance with the directions of the Electoral Commission shall not be enquired into in any court of law.

 

General provisions

Clerks of Senate and House of Assembly and their staff

(1) There shall be a Clerk of the Senate and a Clerk of the House:

Provided that the offices of Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the House may be held by the same person.

(2) Subject to the provisions of any law enacted by Parliament the offices of Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the House and the members of their staff shall be public offices.

Determination of questions of membership

(1) The High Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question whether-

a) any person has been validly elected as a member of the House;

b) any person shall been validly appointed as a Senator;

c) any person who has been elected as Speaker from among persons who were not members of the House was qualified to be so elected or has vacated the office of Speaker;

d) any Senator or any elected member of the House has vacate his seat or is required, under the provisions of section 27(3) or 34(3) of this Constitution, to cease to perform any of his functions as a member of the Senate or of the House.

(2) An application to the High Court for the determination of any question under subsection (1)(a) of this section may be made by any person entitled to vote in the election to which the application relates or by any person who was a candidate at that election or by the Attorney-General.

(3) An application to the High Court for the determination for any question under subsection (1)(b) or (1)(c) of this section may be made by any registered voter or by the Attorney-General.

(4) An application to the High Court for the determination for any question under subsection (1)(d) of this section may be made-

a) by a registered voter or by the Attorney-General; or

b) in relation to the Senate, by a Senator and in relation to the House by a member of the House

(5) If any application is made by a person other than the Attorney-General to the High Court for the determination of any question under this section, the Attorney-General may intervene and may then appeal of be represented in the proceedings.

(6) the Circumstances and manner in which and the imposition of conditions upon which any application may be made to the High Court for the determination of any question under this section and the powers, practice and procedure of the High Court in relation to any such application shall be regulated by such provision as may be made by Parliament.

(7) An appeal shall lie as of right to the Court of Appeal from any final decision of the High Court determining such a question as is referred to in subsection (1) of this section.

(8) No appeal shall lie from any decision of the Court of Appeal in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred by subsection (7) of this section and no appeal shall lie from any decision of the High Court in proceeding under this section other than a final decision determining such a question as is referred to in subsection 81) of this section.

(9) In the exercise of his functions under this section, the Attorney-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

(10) In this section ” registered voter” means a person registered as a voter in accordance with section 33(2)(a) of this Constitution.