conventional long form: Republic of Maldives

conventional short form: Maldives

local long form: Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa

local short form: Dhivehi Raajje

etymology: archipelago apparently named after the main island (and capital) of Male; the word "Maldives" means "the islands (dives) of Male"; alternatively, the name may derive from the Sanskrit word "maladvipa" meaning "garland of islands"; Dhivehi Raajje in Dhivehi means "Kingdom of the Dhivehi people"

Government type
presidential republic

Capital
name: Male

geographic coordinates: 4 10 N, 73 30 E

time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: derived from the Sanskrit word "mahaalay" meaning "big house"

Administrative divisions
21 administrative atolls (atholhuthah, singular - atholhu); Addu (Addu City), Ariatholhu Dhekunuburi (South Ari Atoll), Ariatholhu Uthuruburi (North Ari Atoll), Faadhippolhu, Felidhuatholhu (Felidhu Atoll), Fuvammulah, Hahdhunmathi, Huvadhuatholhu Dhekunuburi (South Huvadhu Atoll), Huvadhuatholhu Uthuruburi (North Huvadhu Atoll), Kolhumadulu, Maale (Male), Maaleatholhu (Male Atoll), Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi (South Maalhosmadulu), Maalhosmadulu Uthuruburi (North Maalhosmadulu), Miladhunmadulu Dhekunuburi (South Miladhunmadulu), Miladhunmadulu Uthuruburi (North Miladhunmadulu), Mulakatholhu (Mulaku Atoll), Nilandheatholhu Dhekunuburi (South Nilandhe Atoll), Nilandheatholhu Uthuruburi (North Nilandhe Atoll), Thiladhunmathee Dhekunuburi (South Thiladhunmathi), Thiladhunmathee Uthuruburi (North Thiladhunmathi)

Independence
26 July 1965 (from the UK)

National holiday
Independence Day, 26 July (1965)

Constitution
history: many previous; latest ratified 7 August 2008

amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote by its membership and the signature of the president of the republic; passage of amendments to constitutional articles on rights and freedoms and the terms of office of Parliament and of the president also requires a majority vote in a referendum; amended 2015

Legal system
Islamic (sharia) legal system with English common law influences, primarily in commercial matters

International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship
citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Maldives

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: unknown

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
chief of state: President Ibrahim "Ibu" Mohamed SOLIH (since 17 November 2018); Vice President Faisal NASEEM (since 17 November 2018); the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Ibrahim "Ibu" Mohamed SOLIH (since 17 November 2018); Vice President Faisal NASEEM (since 17 November 2018)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president, approved by Parliament

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 September 2018 (next to be held in 2023)

election results: Ibrahim Mohamed SOLIH elected president (in 1 round); Ibrahim Mohamed SOLIH (MDP) 58.3%, Abdulla YAMEEN Abdul Gayoom (PPM) 41.7%

Legislative branch
description: unicameral Parliament or People's Majlis (87 seats - includes 2 seats added by the Elections Commission in late 2018; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 6 April 2019 (next to be held in 2023)

election results: percent of vote - MDP 44.7%, JP 10.8%, PPM 8.7%, PNC 6.4%, MDA 2.8%, other 5.6%, independent 21%; seats by party - MDP 65, JP 5, PPM 5, PNC 3, MDA 2, independent 7; composition - men 83, women 4, percent of women 4.6%

Judicial branch
highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 6 justices

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president in consultation with the Judicial Service Commission - a 10-member body of selected high government officials and the public - and upon confirmation by voting members of the People's Majlis; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: High Court; Criminal, Civil, Family, Juvenile, and Drug Courts; Magistrate Courts (on each of the inhabited islands)

Political parties and leaders
Adhaalath (Justice) Party or AP [Sheikh Imran ABDULLA]
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party or DRP [Abdulla JABIR]
Maldives Development Alliance or MDA [Ahmed Shiyam MOHAMED]
Maldivian Democratic Party or MDP [Mohamed NASHEED]
Maldives Labor and Social Democratic Party or MLSDP [Ahmed SHIHAM]
Maldives Thirdway Democrats or MTD [Ahmed ADEEB]
Maumoon/Maldives Reform Movement or MRM [Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM]
National Democratic Congress [Yousuf Maaniu] (formed in 2020)
People's National Congress or PNC [Abdul Raheem ABDULLA] (formed in early 2019)
Progressive Party of Maldives or PPM
Republican (Jumhooree) Party or JP [Qasim IBRAHIM]

(2020)