Official name: 
Kingdom of Bahrain
Name in local language: 
Mamlakat al-Bahrain, transliterated from Arabic مملكة البحرين
Form of government: 
Political system: 
  • Founding date/ Date of independence:  1971, from UK
  • Date of constitution/reform: 1975, later amended by the Constitution of 2002, changing the official name of Bahrain, from the Emirate to Kingdom of Bahrain.
  • Form of state: Centralized or unitary
  • Administrative divisions: It is divided into 4 governorates
  • Official language(s): Arabic
  • Other spoken languages: English
  • Official religion: Islam 
  • Minorities: Most of the population is Shiite (65%), there are small indigenous Christian minorities. The Shia population belong to two ethnic groups (Baharna and Ajam), while the Sunni is from Arab ethnicity or Huwala. About half of the population is foreign, emphasizing the Indian community.
  • Dominant actor(s): Royal family al-Jalifa
  • Elected institutions of government: The Assembly or Council of Representatives, is elected by direct suffrage but has limited powers and shared with unelected chamber, the Senate.
  • Non-elected  institutions of government: The Senate (Majlis al-Shura), the government and local authorities.
  • Party system: Party system are prohibited, but there are political associations. Islamist groups stand out.

Current authorities

  • Head of State: Hamad ben Isa al-Jalifa, since 1999 (emir) and then King (2002).
  • Head of government: Jalifa ben Salman al-Jalifa, since 1971, died on November 11th 2020 as the longest serving PM (almost 50 years). He was succeeded by the Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa.
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs: Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifah
  • Minister of Interior: Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa
  • Head of Legislative Branch: Parliament; Senate/guardian council, etc.
  • Composition legislative branch: Link to PDF
  • Head of Judiciary: Hamad ben Isa al-Jalifa (King)
  • Schematic representation of the political system: Link to PDF