Government Politics of St Vincent and the Grenadines

Last elections: December 2015

Next elections: 2020

Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by governor-general, Sir Frederick Ballantyne (2002–)

Head of government: Prime Minister Dr Ralph Everard Gonsalves

Ruling party: Unity Labour Party

The March 2001 general election was won by the Unity Labour Party (ULP) with 12 seats, ending almost 17 years of New Democratic Party (NDP) government and ULP leader Dr Ralph Gonsalves became prime minister.

In February 2005 the Constitutional Review Commission proposed far-reaching reforms including replacement of the British monarch as head of state by an indirectly elected president, establishment of a non-partisan ‘council of elders’ to advise on public appointments and issues of the day, and reconstituting the legislature to include representatives of civil society as well as directly elected and appointed members.

In the December 2005 general election the ULP was returned, again winning 12 seats, and Gonsalves continued as prime minister.

The ULP won a third consecutive general election in December 2010, with eight seats; Gonsalves was returned as prime minister. The NDP, led by Arnhim Eustace, secured the remaining seven seats. Turnout was 62 per cent.

Ralph Gonsalves and the ULP were returned in the general election of 9 December 2015, winning eight seats, while the remaining seven were taken by the NDP. Turnout was 73 per cent. Commonwealth observers, led by Commissioner of the Mozambique Electoral Commission Paulo Cuinica, declared the election ‘generally peaceful and relatively well conducted’.