State structure and political system of Saint Lucia
British dominion. According to the Constitution of 1979, the “Westminster model” of the organization of state power operates (see Antigua and Barbuda). Administratively, it is divided into 11 districts. The largest cities are Castries, Vieux Fort, Soufrière, Gros Isle, Miku. The head of state is the Queen of Great Britain (Elizabeth II), represented by the Governor General, since 1997 P. Luisi. The supreme body of legislative power is a bicameral parliament consisting of a chamber of assembly of 17 elected members and 11 senators appointed by the governor general. Of these, 6 are represented by the prime minister, 3 by the leader of the opposition, 2 by non-governmental organizations. The executive power is a government of 12 people, headed by the prime minister, appointed by the governor general based on the results of parliamentary elections, since 1997 C. Anthony. Check diseaseslearning for political system of St. Lucia.
Elections to the House of Assembly are held once every 5 years according to the majoritarian system in single-mandate constituencies. Universal suffrage is granted from the age of 18 to all citizens who have lived in the country for more than 1 year.
Local self-government bodies operate in the form of city and village councils, consisting of elected and appointed members. From the elected members, who must be in the majority, the heads of local administrations are elected. The functions of local authorities are limited: control over trade, sanitary condition, repair of roads. The city council of Castries has its own budget, the needs of the rest are provided by the central government.
In fact, there is a two-party system. The Labor Party of St. Lucia was founded in 1950. Initially, it was on the left, gradually moved to a moderately reformist, advisory member of the Socialist International. She had the majority of seats in the House of Assembly in 1951-64, led the first government of independent Saint Lucia in 1979-82, returned to power in 1997. In the December 2001 elections, she received 54.2% of the vote and 14 seats in the House of Assembly. Leader – K. Anthony. The United Workers’ Party was founded in 1964 and adheres to conservative views. Advisory member of the International Democratic Union. She had a majority in the House of Assembly in 1964–79, was in power in 1982–97, and since 1997 has been in opposition. In the 2001 elections, she received 36.6% of the vote and 3 seats in the House of Assembly. Leader – W. Lewis.
The Labor government in domestic policy took a course towards reducing poverty and reducing social inequality, the most important act in foreign policy was the rupture of diplomatic relations with Taiwan and the establishment of them with the PRC.
The army is absent, as part of a police force of 300 people. – Special Forces and the Coast Guard, which has two patrol ships at its disposal.
Economy of Saint Lucia
GDP in current prices in 2002 is 660 million US dollars, per capita – 4.2 thousand US dollars. Annual GDP growth in the 1990s 3.1%, since 2000 there has been a decline in production. Annual inflation rates in 1990-2000 were 2.9%, in 2001 – 1.9%, in 2002 – 0.2% deflation. Unemployment 18.9% (2001). The share of agriculture and fisheries in GDP is 5.9%, industry and energy – 11.8%, construction – 10.9%, services – 71.4% (2002). The ratio between the named sectors in terms of employment is 19.5, respectively; 11.1; 10 and 69.4% of the economically active population.
Traditional industries include rum, soft drinks and coconut processing. For the development of new industries, 2 free zones and 6 industrial parks have been created, companies operating in them are exempt from paying duties on imports of equipment, raw materials and components and have tax benefits for up to 15 years. On horseback In 2002, 27 companies (14 national) operated in the zones and industrial parks, providing employment for 4.6 thousand people. and producing electronic components, cardboard products, clothing and furniture.
Since the 1930s Saint Lucia specialized in the cultivation of bananas, which provided up to 60% of export earnings. Due to increased competition in the EU markets, the gradual abolition of preferential access to them and adverse natural conditions, annual production decreased from a record level of 135.4 thousand tons in 1990 to 48.2 thousand tons in 2002. Over the same period the harvest of the second most important export crop, cocoa, decreased by 6 times. Breadfruit, peppers, mangoes, fig trees, avocados, coconuts, grapefruits are of export importance. Root crops, vegetables, oranges, pineapples, melons are grown mainly for domestic use. Animal husbandry is poorly developed. The fish catch increased from 0.3 to 1.6 thousand tons in 1987-2002. A fish processing complex was built in Vieux Fort.
The total length of motor roads is 1.2 thousand km, only 65 km are paved. In 2001, a 5-year program for the development of the road network began, during which 166 km of roads are to be reconstructed. The car park has reached 38.5 thousand, of which 21.3 thousand are passenger cars. The largest ports are Castries and Vieux Fort, the annual cargo turnover reaches 750 thousand tons: St. 3/4 falls on Castries. Two international airports. Until 2001, the British Cable & Wireless had a monopoly in the field of telephone communications; in 2003, the first independent operator in the field of cellular communications began to operate. Provision (pieces per 1 thousand inhabitants) with 411 devices, 146 with personal computers.
The number of foreign tourists in 2002 reached 648.4 thousand people, of which 387.2 thousand were cruise tourists. Up to 1/3 of tourists come from the USA, 1/4 from the UK and CARICOM countries. There are 4.5 thousand rooms in hotels and boarding houses.
After the Laborites came to power, structural reforms aimed at strengthening market principles in the economy intensified. The Banana Corporation was privatized, in place of which 4 private companies operate, the National Commercial Bank, merged in 2001 with the previously state-owned development bank. The Water Supply and Sewerage Department has been transformed into a company: 100% of its shares are owned by the state, but in the future they will be transferred to private investors. In 2000, a single external tariff was introduced, developed by CARICOM with a maximum tariff level of 20%. The fall in GDP by 4.6% in 2001 was overcome due to expansionary policies and an increase in the share of public investment in GDP from 7.5 to 8.3%, which made it possible to reach a positive growth rate (0.1%) in 2002.
The Central Bank in relation to Saint Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. Since 1976, the exchange rate of the national currency has been fixed against the US dollar at a rate of 2.7:1. There are 2 national and 5 foreign commercial banks, 13 credit unions and 24 insurance companies. Since 1999, offshore activity began to develop, registered (2002/03) 848 commercial, 13 trust and 9 insurance companies, 1 bank and 1 mutual fund.
The share of taxes in GDP is 21-23% of GDP, of which approx. 1/2 comes from taxes and duties on foreign trade activities. The state budget of Saint Lucia in 1997-99 was reduced to a positive balance, as a result of the expansionist policy in 2002, its deficit amounted to 5.5% of GDP. Public debt increased in 1997-2002 from 37.4% to 58.9% of GDP.
The volume of exports for 1990-2001 decreased from 343.7 million to 133.9 million East Caribbean dollars, imports increased from 732.4 million to 850.4 million dollars. Main export commodities (2002,%): bananas (31.2), drinks (17.7), clothing (6.4), electronic components (4.4) and cardboard products (2.2). Main partners (2002,%): in terms of exports – Great Britain (49.9), CARICOM countries (30.6), USA (11.9); imports – USA (39.7), Trinidad and Tobago (15.1), UK (8.7). External debt reached in 2002 255 million US dollars, or 38.6% of GDP.
GDP per capita at purchasing power parity of currencies is $ 5,200. The wealthiest 10% of citizens have 32.5% of total income, the poorest 10% – 2%, the gap between them is 16.2 times. Below the poverty line lives approx. 1/4 of the population. In 1998, a special fund was created to combat poverty, financed by the World Bank and the EU and implementing programs for rural employment, road and housing construction, rural electrification and tourism. The average monthly salary for men ranges from 2 thousand to 4.7 thousand East Caribbean dollars, for women from 1 thousand to 3.3 thousand. According to the Human Development Index, Saint Lucia ranks 71st in the world.