Barbados Pocket Guide

Government of Barbados

Government Buildings, Bay Street, Barbados Pocket Guide

The Government of Barbados

The government has been chosen by elections since 1961 elections, when Barbados achieved full self-governance. Before then, the government was a Crown colony consisting of either colonial administration solely (such as the Executive Council), or a mixture of colonial rule and a partially-elected assembly, such as the Legislative Council. Both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party have formed the government in the elections since 1961.

 

The island of Barbados is divided into thirty (30) constituencies. Barbados has a representative Democratic Government. On the day of the General Elections, the constituents vote for their representatives from each constituency. The role of the leading party is given to the party winning the most seats in this General Election. In the event, the leader of the winning party also wins his seat, he automatically becomes the Prime Minister, if he loses his seat the party must elect another to take his place as Prime Minister. At this time, the Prime Minister then appoints his Government ministers.

 

As of the last elections, held in January 2008, the Government of Barbados is run by the Democratic Labour Party (winning 20 seats in the election). The Barbados Labour Party won 10 seats.

 

Government of Barbados consists of: The Monarch, HRM Queen Elizabeth II (and her representative the Governor-General, HE Clifford Husbands); The Prime Minister, The Hon. David Thompson, and his Cabinet; (Parliament) as legislature, divided into two chambers (Senate and House of Assembly), and an independent judiciary.

 

In keeping with the evolution of the Westminster system of governance, Barbados has evolved into a Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy, meaning that all real power rests with the Parliament. Executive authority is vested in both the Prime Minister and Cabinet who are collectively responsible to Parliament. Barbadian law is rooted historically on English common law, and the Constitution of Barbados implemented in 1966, is supreme law of the land.