maldives
Maldives Business - Government of Maldives
Sultanate
From the earliest times monarchs, both male and female, ruled the Maldives. There is however, practically no information regarding the rulers or their reigns before the country’s conversion to Islam in 1153 AD. With the Conversion the traditional monarchy that had prevailed was changed to an Islamic Sultanate. Since then, 84 sultans and sultanas, from 6 dynasties have ruled the country.

Republic
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.

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.

Judicial Branch
High Court

Political Parties
Maldives has no organized political parties. Candidates for elective office run as independents on the basis of personal qualifications. Although political parties are not banned, none exist

Independence
26 July 1965 (from UK)

National holiday
Independence Day, 26 July (1965)

Constitution
Adopted January 1998

Suffrage
21 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of State: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM
Head of Government: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM
Cabinet: appointed by the president

Elections
President nominated by the Majlis and then that nomination must be ratified by a national referendum (at least a 51% approval margin is required); president elected for a five-year term.

Legislative Branch
Unicameral People's Council or Majlis (50 seats; 42 elected by popular vote, 8 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms).

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