Following the 1968 Constitution, the Maldives is an
independent, unified state and presidential republic. The
head of state, the president, is approved in general
elections after being nominated by the National Assembly,
the Citizens' Council. The election period is five years.
The president has executive power and completely dominates
the country's politics. The other government is formally
responsible to the Citizens' Council, but in practice
primarily to the President. The Citizens' Council (Majlis)
has 50 members, 42 elected in the general election for five
years and 8 appointed by the president. The country's
politics are very personal. The governance is authoritarian,
although in recent years there has been a democratizing
initiative. Parties are not allowed, but after the 2005
elections, 18 of the 42 seats are considered to belong to
The 26 atolls are divided into 19 administrative
districts, led by an atoll chief appointed by the president.
The capital is controlled directly by the government.
The judiciary is based on Islamic law and English
examples. All courts are under the control of the Ministry
of Justice and Islamic Affairs. The Supreme Court is the
The Maldives has a small national security force, the
National Security Service, which is a semi-military
police force that also includes a coastguard force. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of MV and its meanings of Maldives.