Maldives, Economy and Government
Majlis, Executive power, garment manufacturing, corals, national currency
The Maldivian economy is dominated by fishing, and the total catch in 1997 was 107,676 metric tons. The most valuable species is tuna; corals and shells are also taken. Coconuts are the principal agricultural product; most food must be imported. Industrial activity is largely limited to fish processing and garment manufacturing. The tourist industry is growing; in 2000 some 467,000 tourists visited Maldives, adding $344 million to the economy. The national currency is the rufiyaa which is made up of 100 laari (11.77 rufiyaa equal U.S.$1; 2000 average).
Maldives is a republic governed under a constitution. The country’s first constitution, promulgated in 1968, was replaced by a new constitution in 1998. Executive power is vested in a president, who serves a five-year term. Nominations for president are submitted to the Majlis, or Citizens' Council, which elects a single candidate. This candidate is then submitted to the people in a referendum in which all adults may vote. To become president, the candidate must win at least a 51-percent majority. The Majlis, a unicameral legislative body, consists of 40 members directly elected from the 20 administrative atolls, 2 members elected from Male, and 8 representatives appointed by the president. The president appoints a cabinet that is responsible to the Majlis.
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