Government of Bahamas
The Bahamas extends 760 miles from the coast of Florida on the north-west almost to Haiti on the south-east. The group consists of 700 islands and 2,400 cays with an area of 5,358 sq. miles (13,878 sq. km.). Thirty of the islands are inhabited.
The principal islands include Abaco, Acklins, Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Harbour Island, Inagua, Long Island, Mayaguana, New Providence (where the capital, Nassau, is located), Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Spanish Wells. The highest point in The Bahamas is 206-ft. Mount Alvernia on Cat Island. Once known as Como Hill, Mount Alvernia overlooks The Bight.
The 2000 census disclosed that the population of The Bahamas totaled 306,611, with 155,896 females and 147,715 males. Ninety percent of the total population lives on New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco. New Providence has 69.9 percent of the population, Grand Bahama and Abaco with 15.5 percent, and 10.3 percent are scattered on the remaining islands and cays.
The Bahamas achieved independence from Britain July 10, 1973, and is now a fully self-governing member of the Commonwealth and a member of the United Nations, the Caribbean Community and the Organisation of American States.
Under Prime Minister Lynden Pindling, who died August 26, 2000, The Bahamas was governed by the Progressive Liberal Party for more than a quarter of a century, having won successive general elections in 1967, 1968, 1972, 1977, 1982 and 1987. The Free National Movement ousted the PLP from office in the general election of 1992 under the leadership of Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham, and won the poll in 1997.
Overview and Structure of the Government
The Constitution of the Bahamas is based on the Westminster Model; Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, The Executive Branch, The Legislative Branch, and Judicial Branch.
As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations The Bahamas recognizes Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. The Governor-General is Her Majesty’s representative in The Bahamas and constitutes a symbol of the nation’s unity.
The Cabinet constitutes the executive branch and has general direction and control of the Government of The Bahamas. It is necessary for the Cabinet to comprise at least nine Ministers inclusive of the Prime Minister and Attorney General.
Parliament constitutes the Legislative branch of The Bahamas, which consist of a Senate and a House of Assembly. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, Parliament may make laws for the peace, order and good government of The Bahamas.
Judicial Authority is vested in the Judicature which comprises the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal with such jurisdiction, powers and authority as may be conferred on these Courts respectively by the Constitution or any other law.See more