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Maldives Government
Capital:
Male
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Maldives
conventional short form: Maldives
local short form: Dhivehi Raajje
local long form: Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa
Government type:
republic
Administrative divisions:
19 atolls (atholhu, singular and plural) and 1 other first-order administrative division*; Alifu, Baa, Dhaalu, Faafu, Gaafu Alifu, Gaafu Dhaalu, Gnaviyani, Haa Alifu, Haa Dhaalu, Kaafu, Laamu, Lhaviyani, Maale*, Meemu, Noonu, Raa, Seenu, Shaviyani, Thaa, Vaavu
Independence:
26 July 1965 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 26 July (1965)
Constitution:
adopted January 1998
Legal system:
based on Islamic law with admixtures of English common law primarily in commercial matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM (since 11 November 1978); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
elections: president nominated by the Majlis and then the nomination must be ratified by a national referendum (at least a 51% approval margin is required); president elected for a five-year term; election last held 17 October 2003 (next to be held NA 2008)
election results: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM reelected in referendum held 17 October 2003; percent of popular vote - Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM 90.3%
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
head of government: President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM (since 11 November 1978); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
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)
elections: last held 20 November 1999 (next to be held NA November 2004)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 42
Judicial branch:
High Court
Political parties and leaders:
although political parties are not banned, none exist
Political pressure groups and leaders:
none
International organization participation:
AsDB, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Maldives; the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka is accredited to Maldives and makes periodic visits there
Flag description:
red with a large green rectangle in the center bearing a vertical white crescent; the closed side of the crescent is on the hoist side of the flag
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