Bahrain: Government

Kingdom of Bahrain Flag
Coat of Arms of Kingdom of Bahrain

Key Figures

Chief of State: King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa

Head of Government: Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa

Overview

Government Name: Kingdom of Bahrain

Constitution: Adopted: 2002; Includes a new set of democratic reforms announced by Shaikh Hamand bin Isa Al Khalifa which include a promise to return to constitutional rule. Gave both legislative houses equal power after an initial promise that the upper house would be strictly advisory.

Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy

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

The prime minister is the executive head of government as well as the leader of the council of ministers.

The king is hereditary. The prime minister is appointed directly by the king. The Shura Council has 40 members who are appointed by the monarch.

Prime Minister: There has only been one since the country declared independence

Judicial

The civil law courts deal with all commercial, civil, and criminal cases in addition to disputes related to the personal status of "non-Muslims." Shari'a law courts have jurisdiction over all issues related to the personal status of Muslims.

Civil and shari'a law court judges are either members of the royal family or non-Bahrainis.

2 years

Legislative

The national assembly passes legislation which must be passed by a majority in both houses of the national assembly, and must be ratified by the king.

The council of representatives has 40 members who are elected by absolute majority vote in single-member constituencies.

No term limit

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: In addition to maintaining strong relations with its largest financial backers, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the U.A.E., Bahrain has worked to improve its relations with Qatar and has proper, but not warm, relations with Iran. Bahrain-Iran relations have been strained since the discovery in 1981 of an Iran-sponsored coup plot in Bahrain. Bahraini suspicions of the Iranian role in local unrest in the mid-1990s remain. On March 16, 2001, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced its judgment on the long-standing maritime delimitation and territorial dispute between Bahrain and Qatar. The binding judgment awarded sovereignty over the Hawar Islands and Qit'at Jaradah to Bahrain and sovereignty over Zubarah (part of the Qatar Peninsula), Janan Island, and Fasht ad Dibal to Qatar. The peaceful settlement of this dispute has allowed for renewed co-operation, including plans to construct a causeway between the two countries.

Regional Trade Blocs: Arab League, GCC

Treaties: No multilateral military treaties


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

ABEDA AFESD AMF CAEU CICA FAO
G-77 GCC IAEA IBRD ICAO ICC
ICRM IDA IDB IFC IFRCS IHO
ILO IMF IMO IMSO Interpol IOC
IOM IPU ISO ITSO ITU ITUC
LAS MIGA NAM OAPEC OIC OPCW
PCA UN UNCTAD UNESCO UNIDO UNWTO
UPU WCO WFTU WHO WIPO WMO
WTO

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Biodiversity Climate Change Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Desertification Hazardous Wastes Law of the Sea
Ozone Layer Protection Wetlands

Note: Click table to see details


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