The Bahamas is a constitutional democracy whose head of state is the Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II. The queen’s representative in the country’s government is the governor-general who is appointed on the cabinet’s advice. The legal and political traditions of the Bahamas follow closely those found in the UK as well as the Westminster system. The country is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations in the Commonwealth realm.

The head of government in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas is the prime minister, who is the leader of the party with a majority of seats in the lower house commonly known as House of Assembly. The current prime minister of the Bahamas is the Right Honorable Hubert Alexander Minnis who gained the position after his party claimed victory during the May 10, 2017 general election. On May 12, 2017, Minnis was sworn in as prime minister and he presented his cabinet three days later. Dame Marguerite Matilda Pindling is the current Bahamian governor-general - she has held the position since July 8, 2014. After Dame Ivy Dumont, Pindling is the second female governor-general to serve in the Bahamian government. The electoral law in the Bahamas was passed on December 31, 1969 but was last amended in 1992.

The parliament currently sits at the national capital which is based in Nassau. The official residency of the Bahamian governor-general is known as Government House and is located in Nassau. The residence was completed in 1806 and is built atop Mount Fitzwilliam. There is no official residence of the prime minister, but the government has plans of building one within the city of Nassau.

The Parliamentary Registration Department is responsible for running the country’s elections which take place in a parliamentary democracy’s framework. A parliamentary commissioner is the head of the Parliamentary Registration Department. In the Bahamian national elections, voter turnout has been generally high since independence. The commissioner who is responsible for voter registration is chosen by the governor-general. The country had a low voter turnout of 87.9% in 1987 but the participation numbers grew, resulting in a 98.5% turnout in 1997. The country also has an Electoral Broadcasting Council whose responsibilities entail making sure that media report is not biased towards any party.

This page was last modified on November 22nd, 2017