Bahamas: Government

Commonwealth of The Bahamas Flag
Coat of Arms of Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Key Figures

Chief of State: Queen Elizabeth II represented by Governor General Arthur A. Foulkes

Head of Government: Prime Minister Perry Christie

Overview

Government Name: Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Constitution: Adopted: 1973; Contains articles which overview citizenship, protection of fundamental rights and freedom, structure of government, structure of public service, and finance.

Government Type: Constitutional parliamentary democracy and a commonwealth realm

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

The monarch is mainly a ceremonial and representative role as the queen does not reside in the Bahamas. The governor-general represents the queen ceremonially. The prime minister advises the governor-general, serves as the minister of finance and the member of parliament for Centreville, and presides over the house of assembly.

The queen is hereditary. The governor-general is appointed by the queen. The prime minister is appointed by the governor-general. The senate has 16 members who are appointed by the governor-general.

At Her Majesty's discretion

Judicial

The judicial committee of the privy council a U.K. based council operating upon these functions. All other courts serve the purposes corresponding with their respective titles.

Judicial elections are separate from other government elections and appointments.

Mandatory retirement age of 65

Legislative

The senate is authorized by the constitution to pass bills in the same way as the house, or it can make amendments if necessary. It can out-rightly reject a bill even if it was approved by the house of assembly. The house of assembly must approve amendments to bills as made by the senate and performs all major legislative functions.

38 house of assembly members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies.

5 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: The Bahamas has strong bilateral relationships with the United States and the United Kingdom, represented by an ambassador in Washington and High Commissioner in London. The Bahamas also associates closely with other nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The Bahamas has an ambassador to Haiti and works closely with the United States and CARICOM on political and migration issues related to Haiti. The Bahamas has diplomatic relations with Cuba, including embassies in each other's capitals. A repatriation agreement was signed with Cuba in 1996, and there are commercial and cultural contacts between the two countries. The Bahamas also enjoys a strengthening relationship with China. The Commonwealth of The Bahamas became a member of the United Nations in 1973 and the Organization of American States in 1982.

Regional Trade Blocks: CARICOM

Treaties: No multilateral military treaties


Tax Authority: Information not available

Tax Name: Information not available


Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary