The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is a constitutional, parliamentary democracy. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis’s Free National Movement won control of the government in May 2017 elections that international observers found free and fair.
Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces.
Human rights issues included violence by guards against prisoners and harsh prison conditions. Libel was criminalized, although it was not enforced during the year.
The government took action in some cases against police officers, prison officials, and other officials accused of abuse of power and corruption.
Section 3. Freedom to Participate in the Political Process
The constitution and laws provide citizens the ability to choose their government in free and fair periodic elections held by secret ballot and based on universal and equal suffrage.
Elections and Political Participation
Recent Elections: Prime Minister Hubert Minnis took office after the Free National Movement (FNM) defeated the incumbent Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) in a general election in May 2017. The FNM won 35 of the 39 parliamentary seats, with 57 percent of the popular vote. The PLP won the remaining four seats. Election observers from the Organization of American States and foreign embassies found the elections to be generally free and fair.
Participation of Women and Minorities: No laws limit the participation of women or minorities in the political process, and they did participate.