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Bahamas, The Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas
    conventional short form: The Bahamas

    Data code: BF

    Government type: commonwealth

    Capital: Nassau

    Administrative divisions: 21 districts; Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Exuma, Freeport, Fresh Creek, Governor's Harbour, Green Turtle Cay, Harbour Island, High Rock, Inagua, Kemps Bay, Long Island, Marsh Harbour, Mayaguana, New Providence, Nicholls Town and Berry Islands, Ragged Island, Rock Sound, Sandy Point, San Salvador and Rum Cay

    Independence: 10 July 1973 (from UK)

    National holiday: National Day, 10 July (1973)

    Constitution: 10 July 1973

    Legal system: based on English common law

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Orville TURNQUEST (since 2 January 1995)
    head of government: Prime Minister Hubert Alexander INGRAHAM (since 19 August 1992) and Deputy Prime Minister Frank WATSON (since December 1994)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the prime minister's recommendation
    elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general

    Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (16-member body appointed by the governor general upon the advice of the prime minister and the opposition leader for a five-year term) and the House of Assembly (40 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held 14 March 1997 (next to be held by March 2002)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—FNM 35, PLP 5

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court

    Political parties and leaders: Progressive Liberal Party or PLP [Perry CHRISTIE]; Free National Movement or FNM [Hubert Alexander INGRAHAM]

    International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Arlington Griffith BUTLER
    chancery: 2220 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 319-2660
    FAX: [1] (202) 319-2668
    consulate(s) general: Miami and New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Arthur SCHECHTER
    embassy: Queen Street, Nassau
    mailing address: local or express mail address: P.O. Box N-8197, Nassau; stateside address: American Embassy Nassau, P.O. Box 599009, Miami, FL 33159-9009; pouch address: Nassau, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-3370
    telephone: [1] (242) 322-1181
    FAX: [1] (242) 356-0222

    Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of aquamarine (top), gold, and aquamarine, with a black equilateral triangle based on the hoist side

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)