Ms. Lanein Blanchette has been elected the new Speaker of the House of Assembly.
Ms. Blanchette is officially the third female Speaker of the House. Preceding her was Ms. Ada Mae Edward, who was elected the first female Speaker in St. Kitts and Nevis pre-independence, in 1978. Her Excellency Marcella Liburd was the second female Speaker [first female Speaker post-independence].
During the Opening of the New Session of the National Assembly, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker were elected by the Members of Parliament.
According to Section 32 of The Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis:
“(1) When the National Assembly first meets after any general election and before it proceeds to the despatch of any other business, it shall elect a person to be the Speaker of the Assembly…
(2) The Speaker may be elected from among the members of the National Assembly who are not members of the Cabinet or Parliamentary Secretaries or from among persons who are not members of the Assembly but who are qualified for election as a Representative or appointment as a Senator.”
Hon. Lanein Blanchette is a value-driven Attorney-At-Law who was raised in the community of Saddlers but has resided in her father’s hometown, Green Valley, Cayon, for the past 14 years. In 2008, Lanein earned her bachelor’s degree with Honours in Criminal Justice from Monroe College, New York. Shortly after her return she landed a secretarial position in 2009 with the Government of Saint Christopher and Nevis in the Ministry of National Security. Her introduction to the public service fueled a passion for helping others while her role in the Ministry exposed her to matters that further provoked her curiosity and desire to explore her love for Criminal Law and the Justice System.
Hon. Lanein Blanchette took a leap of faith in 2012 and enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws programme at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus (Barbados). During her tenure, she served as Vice President of the St. Kitts Nevis Student Association and was also elected Law Society Sports Chairperson 2014-2015 where she was able to continue to pursue her passion for sports alongside her studies.
The Hon. Speaker graduated with honours in 2015 and moved on to pursue an intense legal training at the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica where she obtained her Legal Education Certificate in 2017.
After being called to the Bar in November of that same year, she was able to combine her training and experience from her internships at the Attorney General’s Chambers, Intellectual Property Office, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to serve her Country as a Crown Counsel in the Office of The Director of Public Prosecutions where she prosecuted criminal matters federally in the Magistrates and High Courts until June 2022.
Her personal mantra is to “finish the race strong, no matter how long or hard, slow, and steady at all times”
She is now the founder and Lead Counsel at Blanchette Law Chambers.
Hon. Lanein Blachette’s election to the of Speaker of the House is in keeping with the government’s stance in ensuring that gender equality is a priority, and that women and youth are empowered to serve at the decision making level.