The Maldives is republic state comprising of the executive, judiciary, and legislature. There is also a local government which consists of 20 administrative Atolls. The Atolls are administered by their own local councils. The executive is headed by the president who is also the chief commander of the Maldives forces and the chief spokesman of Islam. The cabinet is also part of the executive. Members of the cabinet are appointed by the president upon approval by the parliament. The cabinet ministers each head a ministry. The judiciary arm of government consists of judges and a chief justice who is the president of the judiciary. The High Court of the Maldives is the head of the judiciary. The legislature comprises of 50 members who are elected by popular vote.

Elections in the Maldives are held after every five years. Elections are by secret ballot and only registered voters are allowed to vote. Both the president and the members of Majlis are elected in the national elections. The year 2008 was the first time the Maldives conducted a democratic election allowing contestants to vie under parties of their choice. The president can only serve for a 5-year term up to a maximum of two terms. The same term limit applies to the members of the People’s Majlis. For a candidate to be successfully elected as a president, the candidate must bag more than 51% of the total votes. After being elected, the successful candidates assume their respective offices upon taking the oath of office.

The parliament of Maldives is located in the country’s capital of Male. As Male has strict height restrictions that require no buildings to tower over the Friday mosque, the parliament building is not a tall landmark within the city.

Political parties have been legal in the Maldives since 2005, following years of authoritarian ruling. Parties include the Progressive Party of Maldives, the Maldivian Democratic Party, and the Jumhooree Party.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018