National Elections are scheduled to be held in The Bahamas on May 7, 2012. The Bahamas achieved Independence from Britain on July 10, 1973 with a new Constitution representing the supreme law of the land coming into effect at that time. This Constitution proclaims The Bahamas as a sovereign democratic state.
Executive power is vested in Queen Elizabeth II, as chief of state, with a Governor-General appointed to act as her representative in accordance with advice from the Cabinet. The Cabinet constitutes the executive branch of Government, is responsible to the Parliament, and comprises at least nine Ministers inclusive of the Prime Minister and Attorney General. The Governor-General appoints as Prime Minister the leader of the majority party in Parliament.
There is a bicameral legislature in The Bahamas, made up of an appointed Senate and an elected House of Assembly. The Senate's members are selected by the Governor-General: nine on the advice of the Prime Minister, four on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition and three with the advice of the Prime Minister after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. The House of Assembly is elected by district. The normal life of the Parliament is five years, but it may be dissolved at any time by the Governor-General, on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Bahamas House of Assembly dates back to 1729, and represents one of the oldest of the representative legislative bodies in the British Commonwealth.
Elections were held last on May 2, 2007 when the Free National Movement (FNM) became the Government of The Bahamas. Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Hubert Ingraham, returned to head the government after retirement. He had served as Prime Minister from 1992 to 2002.