The Maldives are governed under the constitution of 2008. The president, who is both head of state and head of government, is popularly elected to a five-year term. The unicameral legislature consists of the People's Council or Majlis. Under the 1998 constitution, 42 members were elected by popular vote and eight appointed by the president, but in the next election (2010) one member will be elected for every 5,000 Maldivians. Legislators serve five-year terms. Administratively, the country is divided into 19 atolls and the capital city.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.