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Introduction: Maldives was a sultanate for large period of time, first under Dutch and then under British protection. It became a republic in 1968, three years after independence. President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM dominated the islands' political scene for 30 years, elected to six successive terms by single-party referendums. Following riots in the capital Male in August 2003, the president and his government pledged to embark upon democratic reforms including a more representative political system and expanded political freedoms. Progress was sluggish, however, and many promised reforms were slow to be realized. Nonetheless, political parties were legalized...

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Climate Change Challenges: Maldives is the lowest lying country in the world (with a maximum natural ground height of less than 3 metres). Maldives is very concerned about the threat posed by climate change and has been active internationally to bring attention to the issue. Maldives' officials have been prominent participants in international climate change talks due to the islands' low elevation and the threat from sea-level rise. Maldives wrote to the Australian Government to express its support for Australia's decision to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Maldives belongs to the Cartagena group, which is based on a group of developed and developing ...

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Government: A 1968 referendum approved the constitution, making Maldives a republic with executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. The constitution was amended in 1970, 1972, 1975, and again in 2008.

Ibrahim Nasir, Prime Minister under the pre-1968 sultanate, became President and held office from 1968 to 1978. He was succeeded by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who was elected ...

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History: Maldives was an independent Sultanate from 1153 until the Portuguese invaded in 1558. They ruled for a short span of 15 years until overthrown in 1573. On December 16, 1887 the Sultan of the Maldives signed a contract with the British Governor of Ceylon turning Maldives into a British protectorate. Maldives gained independence on July 26, 1965 and became a republic on 11 November 1968. It joined the Commonwealth in ...

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Maldives is an isolated nation and is among the smallest and poorest countries in the world. In olden times, the islands provided the main source of cowrie shells, then used as currency throughout Asia and parts of the East African coast. Moreover, historically Maldives has had a strategic importance because of its location on the major marine routes of the Indian Ocean. Maldives' nearest ...

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Area Handbook Series
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