H.E. Sir Emmanuel Neville Cenac, GCMC
Governor-General of St. Lucia
H.E. Sir Emmanuel Neville Cenac is a politician in Saint Lucia, and the designate Governor-General of Saint Lucia. He was previously best known for serving as the country's foreign minister from 1987 to 1992.
Cenac is a former elected MP for the constituency of Laborie. He was the leader of the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) in December 1982, during a constitutional dispute over the status of Governor-General Boswell Williams. John Compton, the serving prime minister and a member of the governing United Workers Party (UWP), had taken steps to have Williams unseated. In response, Cenac wrote a letter to Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, the monarch of Saint Lucia, asking her to disregard Compton's actions. The dispute ended when Williams resigned on 13 December 1982.
Cenac was returned as a Labour Party member of the Saint Lucian parliament during the country's two successive elections in April 1987.
Cenac changed his political affiliation on 2 June 1987, joining the United Workers Party group in parliament and becoming the country's foreign minister. When asked why he changed sides, Cenac simply responded, "broken promises." The change increased the Workers Party's legislative majority from one vote (9-8) to three votes (10-7).
Cenac was intricately involved in the movement for Windward Island unity. He spoke before the United Nations General Assembly in October 1987, saying that Saint Lucia was considering political union with other small Caribbean nations. He argued that quality of life issues could be improved if the region no longer had to support "seven governors-general, seven prime ministers, [and] 60 ministers for a total population for about 500,000." Cenac also accused Guatemala of threatening the sovereignty of Belize.
In August 1989, Cenac and other Caribbean foreign ministers met with Haitian general Prosper Avril on the subject of future elections in the country.
Cenac served as foreign minister until 1992. He was later President of the Senate of Saint Lucia from 1993 to 1997.
He retired from active political service in 2006 and has since written extensively on the constitution of St Lucia.
On 4 January 2018, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet announced that Her Majesty The Queen was pleased to approve the appointment of Emmanuel Neville Cenac as the new Governor General of Saint Lucia, effective 1 January 2018.
Cenac took the Oath of Office at an Installation Ceremony on 12 January 2018.
Cenac is the brother of the late Winston Cenac, who served as Prime Minister of Saint Lucia for eight months from 1981 to 1982.
Honours and awards
With Cenac's appointment as Governor-General, Her Majesty The Queen agreed to confer on him the honour and dignity of Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (GCMG).