Note: After his inaugural speech on August 16, 2008, President Leonel Fernández Reyna of the Dominican Liberation Party swore in a reshuffled cabinet that included 11 new members, while three ministers were appointed to different ministries.
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); 9,362,000 (2007E).
Major Urban Centers (2005E): SANTO DOMINGO (1,922,000), Santiago de los Caballeros (526,000).
Official Language: Spanish.
Monetary Unit: Peso (market rate November 1, 2008: 35.13 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); reelected on May 16, 2008, and inaugurated for ...