Browse the listing below to find government information for Maldives, including flags, leaders,
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Maldives Country Page.
Independence: July 26, 1965 (formerly a British protectorate).
Constitution: November 11, 1968.
Branches: Executive--president, cabinet.
Legislative--unicameral Majlis (parliament). Judicial--High Court, Civil Court, Criminal Court, Family and Juvenile Court, and 204 general courts.
Administrative subdivisions: 19 atolls and capital city.
Political parties: None.
Suffrage: Universal at age 21.
Government of Maldives
A 1968 referendum approved the constitution, making Maldives a republic with executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. The Constitution was amended in 1970, 1972, and 1975 and is again under revision.
Ibrahim Nasir, Prime Minister under the pre-1968 sultanate, became president and held office from 1968 to 1978. He was succeeded by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who was elected president in 1978 and reelected in 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, and again in October 2003. The president heads the executive branch and appoints the cabinet. Nominated to a 5-year term by a secret ballot of the Majlis (Parliament), the president must be confirmed by a national referendum.
The unicameral Majlis is composed of 48 members serving 5-year terms. Two members from each atoll and Male' are elected directly by universal suffrage. Eight are appointed by the president.
The Maldivian legal system--derived mainly from traditional Islamic law--is administered by secular officials, a chief justice, and lesser judges on each of the 19 atolls, who are appointed by the president and function under the Ministry of Justice. There also is an attorney general. Each inhabited island within an atoll has a chief who is responsible for law and order. Every atoll chief, appointed by the president, functions as a district officer in the British South Asian tradition.
Maldives has no organized political parties. Candidates for elective office run as independents on the basis of personal qualifications. On November 8, 1988, Sri Lankan Tamil mercenaries tried to overthrow the Maldivian Government. At President Gayoom's request, the Indian military suppressed the coup attempt within 24 hours. The government also keeps a tight rein on any expression of Islamic extremism. Political stability in the Maldives has brought considerable predictability in the economic policy and institutional environment.