The Bahamas is a former British Colony, achieving its status as a sovereign nation on July 10, 1973. As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is recognized as the Head of State of the country. The Governor General, appointed by the Queen, serves as her representative in The Bahamas. The responsibility of the Governor General includes the signing of bills once passed by the Legislative branch and appointing individuals to various positions in government.
The Legislative branch of the government is represented by Parliament which consists of approximately 40 elected members in the House of Assembly and 16 appointed members of the Senate. The Executive branch consists of the Cabinet, which is comprised of at least nine members including the Prime Minister and the various government ministers. The Privy Council, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal all comprise the Judiciary branch.
Democratic elections are held at every five years. Overall, the country enjoys a stable political climate.
The Bahamian economy relies predominantly on tourism, which comprises approximately 50% of the total GDP. The banking and finance sector is the second largest industry comprising between 15 and 20 percent of GDP. Other smaller scale industries include agriculture, retail and wholesale trade, fishing and manufacturing.