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Maldives Government Profile 2017

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Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Maldives
conventional short form: Maldives
local long form: Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa
local short form: Dhivehi Raajje
etymology: archipelago apparently named after the main island (and capital) of Male; the word "Maldives" means "the islands (dives) of Male"; alternatively, the name may derive from the Sanskrit word "maladvipa" meaning "garland of islands"; Dhivehi Raajje in Maldivian means "Kingdom of the Dhivehi people"
Government typepresidential republic
Capitalname: Male
geographic coordinates: 4 10 N, 73 30 E
time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions21 administrative atolls (atholhuthah, singular - atholhu); Addu, Ariatholhu Dhekunuburi, Ariatholhu Uthuruburi, Faadhippolhu, Felidhuatholhu, Fuvammulah, Hahdhunmathi, Huvadhuatholhu Dhekunuburi, Huvadhuatholhu Uthuruburi, Kolhumadulu, Maale, Maaleatholhu, Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi, Maalhosmadulu Uthuruburi, Miladhunmadulu Dhekunuburi, Miladhunmadulu Uthuruburi, Mulakatholhu, Nilandheatholhu Dhekunuburi, Nilandheatholhu Uthuruburi, Thiladhunmathee Dhekunuburi, Thiladhunmathee Uthuruburi
Independence26 July 1965 (from the UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 26 July (1965)
Constitutionhistory: many previous; latest ratified 7 August 2008
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote by its membership and the signature of the president of the republic; passage of amendments to constitutional articles on rights and freedoms and the terms of office of Parliament and of the president also requires a majority vote in a referendum; amended 2015 (2017)
Legal systemIslamic religious legal system with English common law influences, primarily in commercial matters
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Maldives
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: unknown
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Abdulla YAMEEN Abdul Gayoom (since 17 November 2013); Vice President Abdulla JIHAD (since 21 June 2016); the president is both chief of state and head of government; note - Vice President Mohamed JAMEEL was removed from office 22 July 2015 and Vice President Ahmed ADHEEB Abdul Ghafoor was removed from office 5 November 2015
head of government: President Abdulla YAMEEN Abdul Gayoom (since 17 November 2013); Vice President Abdulla JIHAD (since 21 June 2016); note - Vice President Mohamed JAMEEL was removed from office 22 July 2015 and Vice President Ahmed ADHEEB Abdul Ghafoor was removed from office 5 November 2015
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president, approved by Parliament
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); the election held on 7 September 2013 was annulled by the Supreme Court; rerun of first round held on 9 November 2013 and a runoff held on 16 November (next election to be held in 2018)
election results: first round - percent of vote - Mohamed NASHEED (MDP) 46.9%, Abdulla YAMEEN Abdul Gayoom (PPM) 29.7%, Qasim IBRAHIM (JP) 23.3%; runoff second round - percent of vote - Abdulla YAMEEN Abdul Gayoom elected president 51.4%, Mohamed NASHEED 48.6%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Parliament or People's Majlis (85 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 22 March 2014 (next to be held in 2019)
election results: percent of vote - MDP 40.8%, MDP 27.7%, JP 13.6%, MDA 4.0%, AP 2.7% other 0.3%, independent 10.9%; seats by party - PPM 33, MDP 26, JP 15, MDA 5, AP 1, independent 5
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 4 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president in consultation with the Judicial Service Commission - a separate 10-member body of selected high government officials and the public - and upon confirmation by voting members of the People's Majlis; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: High Court; Criminal, Civil, Family, Juvenile, and Drug Courts; Magistrate Courts (on each of the inhabited islands)
Political parties and leadersAdhaalath (Justice) Party or AP [Sheikh Imran ABDULLA]
Maldives Development Alliance or MDA [Ahmed Shiyam Mohamed]
Maldivian Democratic Party or MDP [Hassan LATHEEF]
Progressive Party of Maldives or PPM
Republican (Jumhooree) Party or JP [Qasim IBRAHIM]
Political pressure groups and leadersother: various unregistered political parties
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Ahmed SAREER (since 11 January 2013)
chancery: 801 Second Avenue, Suite 400E, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 599-6194 and 599-6195
FAX: [1] (212) 661-6405
Diplomatic representation from the USthe US does not have an embassy in Maldives; the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka is accredited to Maldives and makes periodic visits
Flag descriptionred with a large green rectangle in the center bearing a vertical white crescent moon; the closed side of the crescent is on the hoist side of the flag; red recalls those who have sacrificed their lives in defense of their country, the green rectangle represents peace and prosperity, and the white crescent signifies Islam
National symbol(s)coconut palm, yellowfin tuna; national colors: red, green, white
National anthemname: "Gaumee Salaam" (National Salute)
lyrics/music: Mohamed Jameel DIDI/Wannakuwattawaduge DON AMARADEVA
note: lyrics adopted 1948, music adopted 1972; between 1948 and 1972, the lyrics were sung to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne"

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017