Government type:
constitutional monarchy
name: Manama

Administrative divisions:
4 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Asimah (Capital), Janubiyah (Southern), Muharraq, Shamaliyah (Northern)
note: each governorate administered by an appointed governor
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
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 (2017)
Legal system:
mixed legal system of Islamic 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 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
20 years of age; universal; note - Bahraini Cabinet in May 2011 endorsed a draft law lowering eligibility to 18 years
Executive branch:
chief of state: King HAMAD bin Isa Al-Khalifa (since 6 March 1999); Crown Prince SALMAN bin Hamad Al-Khalifa (son of the monarch, born 21 October 1969)
head of government: Prime Minister KHALIFA bin Salman Al-Khalifa (since 1971); First Deputy Prime Minister SALMAN bin Hamad Al Khalifa (since 11 March 2013); 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)
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:
elections: 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)
note: Council of Representatives - last held in two rounds on 23 and 29 November 2014 (next to be held in late 2018)
election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by society - NA; seats by society - Islamic Al-Asalah (Sunni Salafi) 2, National Islamic Minbar (Sunni Muslim Brotherhood) 1, independent 37; note - Bahrain has societies rather than parties
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Court of Cassation or 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); appeals beyond the High Sharia Court of Appeal are heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal
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
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 appointment and tenure NA
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
Political parties and leaders:
note: political parties are prohibited, but political societies were legalized under a July 2005 law
Arab Islamic Center Society [Mohd SANAD]
Constitutional Gathering Society [Khalid AL-KALBAN]
Islamic Asalah (al-Asalah) [Abd al-Halim MURAD]
Islamic Saff Society [Abdullah Khalil BU GHAMAR]
Islamic Shura Society
Movement of National Justice Society [Muhi al-Din KHAN]
National Action Charter Society [Muhammad AL-BUAYNAYN]
National Democratic Assembly [Hasan AL-ALI]
National Dialogue Society [Hamad Rashid Al NUAIMI]
National Islamic Minbar [Ali AHMAD]
National Progressive Tribune [Khalil YOUSIF]
National Unity Gathering [Abdullatif AL-MAHMOOD]
Unitary National Democratic Assemblage [Hasan AL-MARZOOQ]