The Parliament of The Bahamas is bicameral (Consisting of two chambers) with an appointed Senate and an elected House of Assembly. Her Majesty the Queen, represented by the Governor General, is also part of The Bahamas Parliament.
The First meeting of Parliament (General Assembly) took place on 29th September 1729, and was made up of twenty-four members representing the Islands of New Providence, Eleuthera and Harbour Island.
Functions of Parliament
The Parliament is mandated by Article 52(l) of the Constitution to make laws for the peace, order and good government of The Bahamas. The Constitution authorizes Parliament to make laws by passing Bills. The Constitution also empowers Parliament to:
- Determine the privileges, immunities and powers of the Senate and House of Assembly.
- Alter or amend any of the provisions of the constitution.
- Regulate its own procedures by making rules of procedure.
- Prescribe the officers who are to constitute the personal staff of the Governor-General.
- Prescribe the number of Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
- Approve the Government’s budget.
In addition to its constitutional functions, Parliament maintains oversight of Government’s financial matters through the Public Accounts Committee.
Parliament is the forum where public policy and matters of national importance are debated.