Bahamas

Population Statistics

324,597

Total Population

48,690

Population with a disability

according to World Health Organization’s 15% estimate

Election Dates

28 September 2015

Ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas (1973, last amended 2002)

Updated: June 2015

Section 19, subsection (1) states:

No person shall be deprived of his personal liberty save as may be authorized by law in any of the following cases:…

  • (f)…in the case of a person who is, or is reasonably suspected to be, of unsound mind…for the purpose of his care or treatment or the protection of the community…

 

Section 42, subsection (1) states:

No person shall be qualified to be appointed as a Senator who:…

  • (f) is a person certified to be insane or otherwise adjudged to be of unsound mind under any law in force in the Bahamas.

 

Section 43, subsection (3) states:

If the circumstances such as are referred to in subparagraph (1)(f) of this Article arise because a Senator is…adjudged to be of unsound mind….he shall forthwith cease to perform his functions as a Senator…


Section 48, subsection (1) states:

No person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Assembly who:…

  • (e) is a person certified to be insane or otherwise adjudged to be of unsound mind under any law in force in the Bahamas.

 

Section 49, subsection (2) states:

If circumstances such as are referred to in subparagraph (1)(e) of this Article arise because any member of the House is under sentence of death or imprisonment, declared bankrupt, adjudged to be of unsound mind or convicted of an offence relating to elections and it is open to the member to appeal against the decision (either with the leave of a court or other authority or without such leave), he shall forthwith cease to perform his functions as a member of the House but, subject to paragraph (3) of this Article, he shall not vacate his seat until the expiration of a period of thirty days thereafter…

Section 75 states:

(1) Whenever the Prime Minister is absent from The Bahamas or is unable by reason of illness or of the provisions of paragraph (4) of Article 74 of this Constitution to perform the functions conferred upon him by this Constitution, the Governor-General may authorise some other member of the Cabinet to perform those functions (other than the functions conferred by this Article) and that member may perform those functions until his authority is revoked by the Governor-General.

(2) The powers of the Governor-General under this Article shall be exercised by him in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister: Provided that if the Governor-General considers that it is impracticable to obtain the advice of the Prime Minister owing to his absence or illness, or if the Prime Minister is unable to tender advice by reason of the provisions of paragraph (4) of Article 74 of this Constitution, the Governor-General may exercise those powers without the advice of the Prime Minister.

 

Section 76, subsection (1) states:

Whenever a Minister other than the Prime Minister is unable, by reason of his illness or absence from The Bahamas or absence from his duties on leave, to perform the functions of his office, the Governor-General may, in writing, authorise another Minister to perform those functions or appoint a person to be a temporary Minister: Provided that if occasion arises for the making of an appointment between a dissolution of Parliament and the next following general election, the preceding provisions of this Article shall have effect for the purpose as if Parliament had not been dissolved.

 

Section 116, subsection (5) states:

If the office of Chairman of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission is vacant or the holder thereof is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office, then, until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office or until the person holding that office has resumed those functions, as the case may be, they shall be performed by such one of the other members of the Commission as may be for the time being be designated in that behalf by the Governor-General, acting on the recommendation of the Chief Justice, or, if he is for any reason incapacitated from making a recommendation, of the other Justice of the Supreme Court or Justice of Appeal who is a member of the Commission.

 

Excerpts from the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas (1973, last amended 2002)

Parliamentary Elections Act (2008, last amended 2011)

Updated: June 2015

Section 8 states:

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part, a person shall be entitled to be registered as a voter for a constituency if, and shall not be so entitled unless, on the day on which he applied for registration-

  • (a) he is a citizen of The Bahamas of full age and not subject to any legal incapacity; and
  • (b) he is, and has been during the whole of the period of three months immediately preceding that day, ordinarily resident in premises in that constituency…

(3) For the purposes of this Act, a person who is a patient in any establishment maintained wholly or mainly for the care of persons suffering from mental illness or mental defectiveness, or who is detained in legal custody at any place, shall not by reason thereof be treated as a resident there.

 

Section 9, subsection (2) states:

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), no person shall be entitled to vote at an election in any constituency, unless on the day of election-

  • (a) he is a citizen of The Bahamas of full age and not subject to any legal incapacity…

 

Section 10, subsection (2) states:

A person shall be deemed to be suffering from a legal incapacity and shall not be entitled to apply for registration as a voter in any constituency or to vote at any election (whether registered as a voter or not):…

  • (b) while he is deemed to be a lunatic or of unsound mind by virtue of any finding or declaration under any Act, and if at any time the Parliamentary Commissioner is satisfied that any person who is registered as a voter is subject to any legal incapacity, he shall forthwith make a mark to that effect against that person's name in the register and, if any person remains subject to any such legal incapacity for a period exceeding six months, he shall remove that person's name from the register in accordance with the provisions of subsection (3) of section 22.

 

Section 29, subsection (6) states:

Where any member of the Council is unable, by reason of ill health or for any other reason, to perform the functions of his office the Governor-General may in accordance with the manner provided by subsection (3) appoint a person to act as a temporary member of the Council and authorize him to perform the functions of that office.

 

Excerpts from the Parliamentary Elections Act (2008, last amended 2011)