Bahrain/Government

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Country name:
conventional long form: State of Bahrain
conventional short form: Bahrain
local long form: Dawlat al Bahrayn
local short form: Al Bahrayn

Data code: BA

Government type: traditional monarchy

Capital: Manama

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)

Constitution: 26 May 1973, effective 6 December 1973

Legal system: based on Islamic law and English common law

Suffrage: none

Executive branch:
chief of state: Amir 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 monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly was dissolved 26 August 1975 and legislative powers were assumed by the Cabinet; appointed Advisory Council established 16 December 1992

Judicial branch: High Civil Appeals Court

Political parties and leaders: political parties prohibited

Political pressure groups and leaders: Shi'a activists have fomented unrest sporadically since late 1994, 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, AL, AMF, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Muhammad ABD AL-GHAFFAR Abdallah
chancery: 3502 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 342-0741
FAX: [1] (202) 362-2192
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Johnny YOUNG
embassy: Building Number 979, Road 3119 (next to Al-Ahli Sports Club), Block 311, 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 with a white serrated band (eight white points) on the hoist side