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Bahrain Government
Capital:
Manama
Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Bahrain
conventional short form: Bahrain
local short form: Al Bahrayn
former: Dilmun
local long form: Mamlakat al Bahrayn
Government type:
constitutional hereditary monarchy
Administrative divisions:
12 municipalities (manatiq, singular - mintaqah); Al Hadd, Al Manamah, Al Mintaqah al Gharbiyah, Al Mintaqah al Wusta, Al Mintaqah ash Shamaliyah, Al Muharraq, Ar Rifa' wa al Mintaqah al Janubiyah, Jidd Hafs, Madinat Hamad, Madinat 'Isa, Juzur Hawar, Sitrah
note: all municipalities administered from Manama
Independence:
15 August 1971 (from UK)
National holiday:
National Day, 16 December (1971); note - 15 August 1971 is the date of independence from the UK, 16 December 1971 is the date of independence from British protection
Constitution:
adopted late December 2000; Bahrani voters approved on 13-14 February 2001 a referendum on legislative changes (revised constitution calls for a partially elected legislature, a constitutional monarchy, and an independent judiciary)
Legal system:
based on Islamic law and English common law
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: King HAMAD bin Isa Al Khalifa (since 6 March 1999); Heir Apparent Crown Prince SALMAN bin Hamad (son of the monarch, born 21 October 1969)
head of government: Prime Minister KHALIFA bin Salman Al Khalifa (since NA 1971)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of Shura Council (40 members appointed by the King) and House of Deputies (40 members directly elected to serve four-year terms)
elections: House of Deputies - last held 31 October 2002 (next election to be held NA 2006)
note: first elections since 7 December 1973; unicameral National Assembly dissolved 26 August 1975; National Action Charter created bicameral legislature on 23 December 2000; approved by referendum 14 February 2001; first legislative session of Parliament held on 25 December 2002
election results: House of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 21, Sunni Islamists 9, other 10
Judicial branch:
High Civil Appeals Court
Political parties and leaders:
political parties prohibited but politically oriented societies are allowed
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Shi'a activists fomented unrest sporadically in 1994-97, demanding the return of an elected National Assembly and an end to unemployment; several small, clandestine leftist and Islamic fundamentalist groups are active
International organization participation:
ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAS, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador KHALIFA bin ALI bin Rashid Al Khalifa
chancery: 3502 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
consulate(s) general: New York
FAX: [1] (202) 362-2192
telephone: [1] (202) 342-0741
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ronald E. NEUMANN
embassy: Building #979, Road 3119 (next to Al-Ahli Sports Club), Block 321, Zinj District, Manama
mailing address: American Embassy Manama, PSC 451, FPO AE 09834-5100; international mail: American Embassy, Box 26431, Manama
telephone: [973] 273-300
FAX: [973] 272-594
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
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