Republic of Maldives

Dhivehi Jumhuriyah

Political Status: Former British protectorate; independent since July 25, 1965; sultanate replaced by republican regime November 11, 1968; present constitution promulgated January 1, 1998; a Special MAJLIS (parliament) on constitutional reform began its work in early 2005.

Area: 115 sq. mi. (298 sq. km.).

Population: 293,000 (2003C); 295,000 (2004E).

Major Urban Center (2000C): MALÉ (74,069).

Official Language: Dhivehi.

Monetary Unit: Maldivian Rufiyaa (market rate July 1, 2005: 12.87 rufiyaa = $1US).

President: Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM; nominated by the Citizens’ Assembly on July 28, 1978, to succeed Ibrahim NASIR, who had declined to seek reelection; assumed office for a five-year term on November 11 after being confirmed by popular referendum; sworn in for a sixth term on November 11, 2003, following confirmation by referendum October 17, 2003.

The Country

The ...

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