State and politics
The Bahamas is an independent member of the Commonwealth.
See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how BS can stand for Bahamas. The British monarch is the head of state and is represented
by a Bahamian general governor, appointed on a proposal by
the country's prime minister. Parliament consists of a
Senate whose 16 members are appointed by the
Governor-General in consultation with the Prime Minister and
the Opposition Leader, and a House of Representatives whose
39 members are elected in general elections. Parliament's
term of office is a maximum of five years.
Bahamas policy is completely dominated by two parties,
the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the
Free National Movement (FNM), both of which can be
placed at the center of the political scale. PLP's Lynden O.
Pindling was Prime Minister 1967–92. The country then
experienced economic growth but was also characterized by
corruption and extensive drug smuggling. In 1992, the FNM
won the election, and party leader Hubert Ingraham formed
the government. After two terms in opposition, PLP, now led
by Perry Christie, resumed government power in 2002. In
2007, FNM and Ingraham resumed government power, in 2012 to
lose it again to PLP and Christie.
After the 2017 elections, a new shift in power took place
and FNM's party leader Hubert Minnis became prime minister.
Five (13 percent) of the members of the House of
Representatives were then women.
The legal order in the Bahamas is based almost entirely
on English law. The judicial organization consists mainly of
magistrates' courts and the Supreme Court.
The death penalty can be punished for some serious crimes.
Human rights are curtailed in many ways in the country.
Violence and sexual abuse against women and children occur.
Legal protection does not include rape in marriage, and
despite promises to change the law to include perpetrators
who are married to the person who is sexually abusive, no
such was approved by the end of 2015.
Harassment of LGBTQ people, as well as threats and
discrimination against HIV-infected individuals. Under
Bahamian law, there is no sanction for a person who
discriminates against a person because of his or her sexual
orientation or gender identity. The Constitution prohibits
racial discrimination and discrimination based on
provenance, but in practice the legal community works poorly
for refugees and asylum seekers. Haitian descent people are
particularly vulnerable and many asylum seekers have been
denied probation, which goes against human rights, and is
The police overwhelm is widespread and has led to the
deaths of citizens being beaten to death. The judiciary is
substandard and lacks resources at the same time as the
country's crime statistics are alarming. In 2014 and 2015,
several demonstrations took place with a view to restoring
the death penalty, which, although there is but has not been
enforced since 2000, which can be seen as the population is
desperate to get the government to deal with the country's
crime and create a society with a functioning justice.