The Government of Barbados (GoB), is symbolically headed by the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. She is represented in the country by the Governor-General, currently Dame Sandra Mason, G.C.M.G., K.A. The country has a bicameral legislature and a political party system, based on universal adult suffrage and fair elections. The Senate has 21 members, appointed by the Governor-General on behalf of the monarch, 12 on the advice of the Prime Minister, two on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, and seven at the Governor-General’s sole discretion. The House of Assembly has 30 members, all elected. Both houses debate all legislation. However, the House of Assembly may override Senate's rejection of money bills and other bills except bills amending the Constitution. Officers of each house (President and Deputy President of the Senate; Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and Chairman of Committees of the Assembly) are elected from the members of the respective houses. In keeping with the Westminster system of governance, Barbados has evolved into an independent parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy, meaning that all political power rests with the Parliament under a non-political monarch as head of state, which allows stability. Executive authority is vested in the monarch, who normally acts only on the advice of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, who are collectively responsible to Parliament. Barbadian law is rooted in English common law, and the Constitution of Barbados implemented in 1966, is the supreme law of the land. Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual are set out in the Constitution and are protected by a strict legal code. The Cabinet is headed by the Prime Minister, who must be an elected member of Parliament, and other ministers are appointed from either chamber by the Governor-General, as advised by the Prime Minister. The Governor-General appoints as Leader of the Opposition the member of House of Assembly who commands the support of the largest number of members of that House in opposition to the ruling party's government. The maximum duration of a Parliament is five years from the first sitting. There is a simultaneous dissolution of both Houses of Parliament by the Governor-General, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister. There is an established non-political civil service. Also, there are separate constitutional commissions for the Judicial and Legal Service, the Public Service, and the Police Service.
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