Bahamas: Country and Foreign Investment
The Queen of England remains the head of state, represented by a Governor-General. The political system is on the Westminster model, with an elected House of Assembly. Elections are held every 5 years. There is a Prime Minister and a cabinet of eight ministers. Members of the Senate (upper house) are appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
In May 2012, voters ousted Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham's Free National Movement Party, with 29 of the 38 House of Assembly seats going to the Progressive Liberal Party led by Perry Christie. Mr. Christie was sworn in as Prime Minister on May 8, 2012.
There is an independent judiciary. English common law forms the basis of legislation, but many Bahamian statutes have been added over the years. The highest local court is the Supreme Court, and there is a Court of Appeal; final appeals can be made to the Privy Council in London.