Maldives Political System

Political system

Short for MV by Abbreviationfinder, the Maldives Constitution of 2008 is designed according to the US Constitution and states that the country should have a democratic multi-party system where the president and parliament are elected directly by the people. The legislative, executive and judicial powers are separate.

The president is the head of state and government, as well as commander-in-chief and the country’s highest police officer. They appoint the government, whose ministers must be approved by Parliament.

  • Countryaah: Total population and chart of Maldives for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.

The President is elected for a term of five years; a person may hold the office for a maximum of two periods. For victory in the first round of the presidential election, at least half of the votes are required, otherwise there will be a second and decisive round between the two candidates who received the most votes.

The Legislative Parliament, the People’s Majlis, consists of 87 members since the 2019 elections, previously the number was 85. The members are elected by majority in one-man constituencies. The voting age is 18 years.

Administratively, the Maldives is divided into seven provinces, which in turn comprise a total of 21 districts.

Political parties

Political parties were allowed in 2005 and the first multi-party was held in 2008. The Maldivian parties are built around a strong leader, while ideology is less important.

The Maldivian Democratic Party (Maldivian Democratic Party, MDP) has been by far the largest in parliament since the 2019 elections and dominates the government. Until democratization in 2008, the MDP was the leading force for democracy and against Maumun Abdul Gayum’s authoritarian rule (see Modern History). The party is led by Mohamed Nashid who was president between 2008 and 2012. MDP politician Ibrahim Muhamed Solih has been president since the 2018 elections.

The Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) of the Maldives is led by President Abdullah Yamin, half-brother of Gayum. PPM was formed in 2011 by Gayum when he broke away from the Maldivian People’s Party (Maldivian People’s Party, best known for his Maldivian abbreviation DRP), which he himself founded prior to the 2008 election. However, PPM is represented in the MDP-dominated coalition government that took office after the 2019 elections. However, DRP resigned from Parliament already in the 2014 elections.

MDP is strong among urban dwellers, while PPM dominates the outer atolls where the lifestyle is more traditional.

Also represented in Parliament after the 2019 elections are also the Republican Party (Jumhuri Party, JP) and the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA). JP also has ministers in Solih’s coalition government.

Maldives Urban Population



Official Investigation: Nashid resigned voluntarily

Conflicting information about the circumstances of President Nashid’s departure means an official investigation is being set up. It states that Nashid voluntarily left the office and that it was not a matter of a coup, something Nashid said. The investigation is based on 300 witness interviews and is supported by the Commonwealth. The investigation has been conducted by five people, including a representative for Nashid. However, this person chose to skip the investigation on the grounds that it was biased and inadequate. Nashid’s supporters walk out into the streets in protest of the investigation’s conclusions.


Nashid defies court orders

President Nashid fails from the first hearing in a lawsuit that is ongoing against him for having a high-ranking judge arrested (see January 2012). Nashid believes the prosecution is politically motivated to stop his candidacy in an upcoming election. On the same day, Nashid defies an order that he may not leave the capital Male and travel to another island to speak.


President Nashid is prosecuted

Former President Nashid is charged with illegally dismissing a senior judge (see January 2012). Nashid suspected that the judge was trying to prevent a series of corruption investigations involving the dictator Gayum’s political circle.


Nashid’s supporters in violent protests

Supporters of former President Nahid carry out protests outside the parliament building in Male, where President Wahid Hassan is holding his installation speech. The protests are violent and riot police use tear gas to disperse the protesters. Dozens of people are injured.


Nashid refuses to recognize new government

President Wahid Hassan forms a new government that is largely made up of veteran politicians from the dictator Gayum’s time in power. Nashid’s MDP is offered a seat in the government, but the party declines the offer and says it does not recognize the new government.

The president’s resignation is triggering riots

A few days after Nashid left the presidential post, his supporters organize a demonstration that becomes violent and is met by the riot police. Nashid, who participates in the protests, is mildly injured. An arrest warrant is issued against Nashid. It is unclear what he is accused of.

Nashid leaves under unclear circumstances

President Nashid unexpectedly announces his departure. He says he is forced to leave the presidential post following threats from the country’s military and police. Nashid is replaced by Vice President Muhammed Wahid Hassan, who has been critical of Nashid’s decision to have a high-ranking judge arrested (see January 2012).


Protests when Nashid dismisses judge

President Nashid lets arrest the chief judge of the country’s criminal court after being accused of obstructing a series of corruption investigations involving people in opposition leader Gayum’s party top. The decision to dismiss the judge triggers government-critical demonstrations in MalĂ© for several weeks. Policemen are also seen among the protesters. The judge is later released.