Compton, John George Melvin (St Lucia)

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Sir John Compton led St Lucia to independence in 1979. Serving as its first prime minister until electoral defeat later that year, he returned as prime minister from 1982–96. He came out of retirement in 2005 to lead the United Workers’ Party (UWP) back to power, winning 11 of the 17 seats in the House of Assembly and was sworn in for his third term as prime minister on 15 Dec. 2006. He died in office the following Sept.

Early Life

John George Melvin Compton was born on Canouan Island, St Vincent and the Grenadines in 1926. He studied economics and law at the London School of Economics before becoming a barrister in England. He moved back to the West Indies and established his own law practice on St Lucia in 1951. He formed the UWP in 1961 and was elected chief minister in 1964, serving as premier until St Lucia attained independence in 1979. He was then appointed prime minister.

Losing the elections in that same year, he returned as prime minister in 1982, remaining in...

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