The Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain is a Constitutional Monarchy with the King as the head and appoints the entire government and has an executive authority. Elite members of the government including the Prime Minister, part of the national assembly, military leaders, and some Cabinet ministers come from the King’s family. Bahrain’s government has remained this way since the 2002 referendum and declaration of Kingdom. The Commander of Bahrain Defense Forces position is a preserve of the Crown Prince.

The King of Bahrain appoints all leaders in the country apart from the forty members of the Council of Representatives who are elected through universal suffrage. These members represent forty constituencies. Citizens of Bahrain who are at least twenty years with no major criminal records are eligible to vote for their constituency representatives. The King also appoints members of the upper house; his appointments include representatives of different groups including the Jewish and Christian communities in Bahrain. Being a monarchy, rulers of Bahrain have no term limits but are succeeded by the person who is next in the succession line.

The National Assembly of Bahrain, both the Council of Representatives (Madschlis an-Nuwwab or lower house) and the royalty appointed Consultative Council (Madschlis asch-Schura or upper house) sit in the capital Manama along Shaikh Daij avenue. As presently constituted, the two chambers first sat in 2002. Very little information is available about when the house was built but the new Parliament building located along the capital’s coast completed in 2017 awaiting first sitting. Currently, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa lives in Riffa Palace located in Riffa but also has other palaces scattered in the country. Most members of the royal family have palaces.

There are no official political parties in Bahrain, as political parties are not legal. However, there are unofficial parties known as political societies that range from the left to the right.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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