Political Status: Independent republic established in 1844; under constitutional regime reestablished July 1, 1966.
Area: 18,816 sq. mi. (48,734 sq. km.).
Population: 8,562,541 (2002C); 9,196,000 (2006E).
Major Urban Centers (2005E): SANTO DOMINGO (1,922,000), Santiago de los Caballeros (526,000).
Official Language: Spanish.
Monetary Unit: Peso (market rate November 2, 2007: 33.70 pesos = $1US).
President: Leonel Antonio FERNÁNDEZ Reyna (Dominican Liberation Party); served as President 1996–2000; reelected on May 16, 2004, and inaugurated on August 16 for a four-year term, succeeding Rafael Hipólito MEJÍA Domingues (Dominican Revolutionary Party).
Vice President: Rafael ALBURQUERQUE (Dominican Liberation Party); elected on May 16, 2004, and inaugurated on August 16, for a term concurrent with that of the President, succeeding Milagros ORTIZ Bosch (Dominican Revolutionary Party).
The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island ...