Republic of the Fiji Islands
Matanitu Tu-Vaka-i-koya ko Viti (Fijian)
Fiji Ripablik (Hindustani)
Political Status: Voluntarily assumed the status of a British dependency in 1874; became independent member of the Commonwealth on October 10, 1970; republic declared on October 15, 1987; current constitution promulgated on July 25, 1997, with effect from July 27, 1998.
Area: 7,055 sq. mi. (18,272 sq. km.).
Population: 775,077 (1996C); 856,000 (2007E).
Major Urban Center (2005E): SUVA (86,000).
Official Languages: English, Fijian (Na Vosa Vakaviti), and Hindustani (Fijian Hindi).
Monetary Unit: Fiji Dollar (official rate November 1, 2008: 1.79 dollars = $1US).
President: Ratu Josefa ILOILO; named vice president by the Great Council of Chiefs on January 12, 1999, and sworn in on January 18, having served in an acting capacity following the death on November 17, 1997, of Ratu ...