The government of Brunei can be classed as an absolute monarchy in which the Sultan of Brunei is the head of state as well as the head of government. The Sultan is advised by five councils, and they are the Council of Ministers, Council of Succession, Legislative Council, Privy Council, and the Religious Council. The Legislative Council has 36 appointed members who hold advisory or consultative roles without the power to create or enforce legislation. The political philosophy is known by the people of Brunei as the Malay Islamic Monarchy.

The Sultan of Brunei is Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah who assumed his position on 5 October 1967 and recently celebrated his Golden Jubilee of ruling the country. The Office of the Prime Minister was established in 1984 and Waddaulah has also held this position since this time. The Sultan of Brunei is consistently ranked among the wealthiest individuals in the world, and his net worth peaked in 2008 at approximately US$20 billion.

The Legislative Council building is located in Bandar Seri Begawan near Jalan Menteri Besar Recreational Park. Absolute power to enact new legislation is held by the Sultan who will decide whether or not a bill will be passed into law. The official residence of the Sultan of Brunei is known as Istana Nurul Iman, the largest residential palace in the world, and it cost over US$1.5 billion to construct.

Under the Constitution of Brunei of 1959, there was a legislative council that was elected, but only one election after this has ever been held in the country, and that was in 1965. The nation has technically been under martial law since the early 1960s when an uprising occurred that was put down by British troops. The state of martial law in Brunei has allowed the Sultan to appoint legislative councillors directly since 1970 and no elections have taken place in the country since 1965. In 2004, the Sultan announced that 15 seats of the Legislative Council would be elected by the people of the nation but no election date has ever been set.

This page was last modified on November 22nd, 2017