Maldives Table of Contents
Government: Highly centralized presidential government, based on 1968 constitution as revised. Islam is official religion; president elected for renewable five-year term by legislature, or Majlis. Unicameral legislature whose members serve five-year terms; combination of elected and appointed members. Muslim sharia law applies to civil and criminal cases; judges appointed by president; courts under minister of justice.
Politics: No organized political parties, but various factions exist. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom reelected president in 1993; also holds posts of minister of defense and minister of finance.
Foreign Relations: Member of Commonwealth of Nations; has particularly close relations with Britain but seeks to maintain cordial relations with all states. Founder of South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (see Glossary) in 1985.
Data as of August 1994