Politics of the Maldives

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This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the Maldives

The politics of the Maldives take place in the framework of a presidential republic, whereby the President is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. The President heads the executive branch and appoints the cabinet; Like many presidential democracies, each member of the cabinet need to be approved by the parliament. The President, along with the vice President is directly elected by the people to a five-year term by a secret ballot. He could be re-elected to another 5 year term. The current President of Maldives is former amnesty prisoner of conscious, Mohamed Nasheed who defeated President Maumoon Abdul Gayyomm, who ruled the country for 30 long years in countries first ever multiparty presidential election.

The unicameral Majlis of the Maldives is composed of 77 members serving five-year terms. The total number of the members representing each constituency depends on the total population of that constituency. The last parliamentary election, under the new constitution was held in 9 May 2009. A total of 465 candidates - 211 from 11 political parties and 254 independents - were vying for seats in the People's Majlis. The 2009 elections were the first multi-party elections in the country. During the election, 78.87 per cent of the 209,000 registered voters turned out at the polls. The final results gave the DRP and the PA 28 and seven seats respectively, three short of a parliamentary majority. The MDP became the second largest party, winning 26 seats. The Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) and the Republican Party (RP) took two seats and one seat respectively. The remaining 13 seats went to independent candidates. The Commonwealth Observers said that the elections were "well-conducted". The newly elected People's Majlis held its first session on 28 May and elected Mr. Abdulla Shahid (DRP) as its new Speaker.

The Maldivian legal system, derived mainly from traditional Islamic law. There is a Supreme Court with 5 judges including the Chief Justice.The chief justice is appointed by the president, with the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission and the Parliament need to approve his appointment before he takes office. There is a high court, a criminal court, civil court and many lower court at each Atoll/Island. There also is an attorney general.

Under the new constitution, there should be a Atoll council to administer the atoll and an Island Council to administer the Island. The Island councilors are elected by the people of that Island, and the atoll councilors are elected by the Island councilors. However, local council election is to take place yet. Currently, there is councilor appointed by the president to administer the Island and Atoll.

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