Republic of Botswana

Note: In balloting on October 16, 2009, for the 57 elected seats in the National Assembly, the ruling Botswana Democratic Party was credited with winning 45 seats; the Botswana National Front, 6; the Botswana Congress Party, 4; the Botswana Alliance Movement, 1; and independents, 1. President Seretse Ian Khama was sworn in for a five-year term on October 20, and the following day he appointed a new cabinet, which retained incumbents in many key positions.

Political Status: Independent republic within the Commonwealth since September 30, 1966.Area: 231,804 sq. mi. (600,372 sq. km.).

Population: 1,680,863 (2001C); 1,697,000 (2008E).

Major Urban Centers (2005E): GABORONE (213,000), Francistown (91,000), Molepolole (64,000), Selebi-Pikwe (54,000).

Official Language: English (SeTswana is widely spoken).

Monetary Unit: Pula (official rate December 1, 2009: 6.56 pula = ...

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