The Republic of Maldives is a multiparty constitutional democracy. In 2018 voters elected Ibrahim Mohamed Solih president. Observers considered the election mostly free and fair despite a flawed pre-election process, which was overseen by the former administration. Parliamentary elections held in 2019 were well administered and transparent according to local and international observers.
The Maldives Police Service is responsible for internal security and reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Maldives National Defence Force is responsible for external security and disaster relief and reports to the Ministry of Defence. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces. There were credible reports that members of the security forces committed some abuses.
Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; serious restrictions on free expression and media, including intimidation of journalists and online commentators; substantial interference with freedom of peaceful assembly and association; lack of investigation of and accountability for gender-based violence; existence and use of laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults; and significant restrictions on workers’ freedom of association.
The government took steps to investigate officials who committed human rights abuses. The government and judicial system were slow to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption.