St Helena to hold general election

The British territory of Saint Helena will hold general elections to its legislative council today. Twenty-nine individuals are running for

St helena election

Photo: Gillian Moore/Alamy

The British territory of Saint Helena will hold general elections to its legislative council today.

Twenty-nine individuals are running for the twelve seats on the legislative council, which shares power with a British-appointed governor. As Saint Helena has a population of only 4,500, there are no meaningful political parties on the island.

As one of the most remote islands in the world, Saint Helena’s economy is dependent upon British government support and remittances from those working abroad, mostly in the United Kingdom, as native residents of Saint Helena enjoy full British citizenship.

Over the last ten years, the island’s government has undertaken a project to massively boost tourism to reduce its reliance on government support. This project saw substantial success in the years following the construction of an airport on the island in 2016. However, the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of tourists visiting the island precipitously.

Regardless of who is elected, the council will likely continue pushing for an expansion of tourism as soon as it is realistically feasible. As incomes from tourism are not essential to the island’s economy, the health and safety of residents will likely remain prioritized.

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