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Bahamas Government


The politics of the Bahamas takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, whereby the prime minister is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. The Bahamas is an independent country and Commonwealth Realm. It is a parliamentary democracy whose political and legal traditions closely follow those of the United Kingdom. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament. The party system is dominated by the Progressive Liberal Party and the Free National Movement. Constitutional safeguards include freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association. The Bahamas is a member of the eastern Caribbean court system.

The Bahamas is a constitutional monarchy based on the Westminster system of parliamentary government. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state. She is represented ceremonially by a Bahamian governor-general who acts on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet.

The leader of the majority party in parliament serves as prime minister and head of government. The cabinet consists of at least nine members, including the prime minister and ministers of executive departments. They answer politically to the lower House of Assembly.

The governor-general appoints the chief justice of the Supreme Court on the advice of the prime minister and leader of the opposition. Other justices are appointed on the advice of a judicial commission. The Privy Council in London serves as the highest appellate court for the Bahamas.

The House of Assembly consists of 41 members, elected from individual constituencies for five-year terms. As under the Westminster system, the government may dissolve the parliament and call elections at any time. The House of Assembly performs all major legislative functions.

The Senate consists of 16 members appointed by the governor-general, including nine on the advice of the prime minister, four on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and three on the advice of the prime minister after consultation with the leader of the opposition.

The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Jurisprudence is based on English common law.


Country name :
conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas
conventional short form: The Bahamas

Government type :
constitutional parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Capital :
name: Nassau
geographic coordinates: 25 05 N, 77 21 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November

Administrative divisions :
21 districts; Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Exuma, Freeport, Fresh Creek, Governor's Harbour, Green Turtle Cay, Harbour Island, High Rock, Inagua, Kemps Bay, Long Island, Marsh Harbour, Mayaguana, New Providence, Nichollstown and Berry Islands, Ragged Island, Rock Sound, Sandy Point, San Salvador, and Rum Cay

Independence :
10 July 1973 (from the UK)

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