Bahrain Government - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

conventional long form: Kingdom of Bahrain

conventional short form: Bahrain

local long form: Mamlakat al Bahrayn

local short form: Al Bahrayn

former: Dilmun, Tylos, Awal, Mishmahig, Bahrayn, State of Bahrain

etymology: the name means "the two seas" in Arabic and refers to the water bodies surrounding the archipelago

Government type

constitutional monarchy

Capital

name: Manama

geographic coordinates: 26 14 N, 50 34 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: name derives from the Arabic "al-manama" meaning "place of rest" or "place of dreams"

Administrative divisions

4 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Asimah (Capital), Janubiyah (Southern), Muharraq, Shamaliyah (Northern)

note: each governorate administered by an appointed governor

Independence

15 August 1971 (from the UK)

National holiday

National Day, 16 December (1971); note - 15 August 1971 was the date of independence from the UK, 16 December 1971 was the date of independence from British protection

Constitution

history: adopted 14 February 2002

amendments: proposed by the king or by at least 15 members of either chamber of the National Assembly followed by submission to an Assembly committee for review and, if approved, submitted to the government for restatement as drafts; passage requires a two-thirds majority vote by the membership of both chambers and validation by the king; constitutional articles on the state religion (Islam), state language (Arabic), and the monarchy and "inherited rule" cannot be amended; amended 2012, 2017

Legal system

mixed legal system of Islamic (sharia) law, English common law, Egyptian civil, criminal, and commercial codes; customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Bahrain

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 25 years; 15 years for Arab nationals

Suffrage

20 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: King HAMAD bin Isa Al-Khalifa (since 6 March 1999)

head of government: Prime minister SALMAN bin Hamad Al-Khalifa (since 11 November 2020); first deputy prime minister (vacant); Deputy Prime Ministers MUHAMMAD bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa (since September 2005), Jawad bin Salim al-ARAIDH, ALI bin Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa (since 11 December 2006), KHALID bin Abdallah Al-Khalifa (since November 2010); note - KHALIFA ibn Salman Al Khalifa, who served as prime minister since Bahrain's independence in 1971, died on 11 November 2020

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Assembly consists of:
Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura (40 seats; members appointed by the king)
Council of Representatives or Majlis al-Nuwab (40 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 4-year renewable terms)

elections:
Consultative Council - last appointments on 12 December 2018 (next NA)
Council of Representatives - first round for 9 members held on 24 November 2018; second round for remaining 31 members held on 1 December 2018 (next to be held in 2022)

election results:
Consultative Council - composition - men 31, women 9, percent of women 22.5%

Council of Representatives (for 2018 election)  - percent of vote by society - NA; seats by society - Islamic Al-Asalah (Sunni Salafi) 3, Minbar al-Taqadumi (Communist) 2, National Unity Gathering (Sunni progovernment) 1, National Islamic Minbar (Sunni Muslim Brotherhood) 1, independent 33; composition - men 34, women 6, percent of women 15%; note - total National Assembly percent of women 19%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Court of Cassation (consists of the chairman and 3 judges); Supreme Court of Appeal (consists of the chairman and 3 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the president and 6 members); High Sharia Court of Appeal (court sittings include the president and at least one judge)

judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by royal decree and serve for a specified tenure; Constitutional Court president and members appointed by the Higher Judicial Council, a body chaired by the monarch and includes judges from the Court of Cassation, sharia law courts, and Civil High Courts of Appeal; members serve 9-year terms; High Sharia Court of Appeal member appointments by royal decree for a specified tenure

subordinate courts: Civil High Courts of Appeal; middle and lower civil courts; High Sharia Court of Appeal; Senior Sharia Court; Administrative Courts of Appeal; military courts

note: the judiciary of Bahrain is divided into civil law courts and sharia law courts; sharia courts (involving personal status and family law) are further divided into Sunni Muslim and Shia Muslim; the Courts are supervised by the Supreme Judicial Council.

Political parties and leaders

note: political parties are prohibited, but political societies were legalized under a July 2005 law

International organization participation

ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CICA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Abdulla bin Rashid AL KHALIFA (since 21 July 2017)

chancery: 3502 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 342-1111

FAX: [1] (202) 362-2192

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Maggie NARDI (since August 2019)

telephone: [973] 1724-2700

embassy: Building #979, Road 3119 (next to Al-Ahli Sports Club), Block 331, Zinj District, P.O. Box 26431, Manama

mailing address: PSC 451, Box 660, FPO AE 09834-5100
international mail: American Embassy, Box 26431, Manama

FAX: [973] 1727-2594

Flag description

red, the traditional color for flags of Persian Gulf states, with a white serrated band (five white points) on the hoist side; the five points represent the five pillars of Islam

note: until 2002, the flag had eight white points, but this was reduced to five to avoid confusion with the Qatari flag

National symbol(s)

a red field surmounted by a white serrated band with five white points; national colors: red, white

National anthem

name: "Bahrainona" (Our Bahrain)

lyrics/music: unknown

note: adopted 1971; although Mohamed Sudqi AYYASH wrote the original lyrics, they were changed in 2002 following the transformation of Bahrain from an emirate to a kingdom



NOTE: The information regarding Bahrain on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Bahrain 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Bahrain 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.