Constitution and political system
Barbados became independent in 1966 and is a
parliamentary-democratic unitary state. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how BB can stand for Barbados. The British monarch
is head of state and is represented in Barbados by a
Governor General. This appoints the Prime Minister and the
Government. The executive lies with the government. The
government is responsible to the legislative assembly, the
parliament, which consists of a Senate and a House of
Assembly. The Senate has 21 members, all appointed. The
Assembly House has 30 members elected in the general
election for five years from individual circles. The voting
age is 18 years.
The country's politics are dominated by two parties - the
Barbados Labor Party, the BLP, and the Democratic Labor
Party, the DLP. In the January 2008 election, DLP received
52.5% of the vote and won 20 of the 30 seats in the Assembly
House. There is some turmoil in political life related to
financial problems, corruption, rising crime and some
conflicts of interest over other Caribbean states (and the
United States). However, the governance set as such must be
said to be relatively stable, and the country has to some
extent developed welfare schemes.
Barbados is divided into 11 local units. They are
administered by the central government.
The judiciary comprises magistrate courts and a supreme
court of justice consisting of a supreme court and a court
of appeal. As of 2005, the Caribbean Court of Justice
(Caribbean Court of Justice), located in Port of
Spain, Trinidad, is the supreme court of appeal.
Barbados has volunteered military service from the age of
18. The defense force is small and easily equipped, and the
Navy acts as a coast guard in practice. The total force
figures for Barbados armed forces are 610 active personnel,
with a common reserve for the Army and Navy of 430 personnel
(2018, IISS). The Army has a staff of 500 active personnel,
and the Navy has a personnel force of 110 active personnel,
and six patrol vessels.