Republic of Maldives
Political Status: Former British protectorate; independent since July 26, 1965; sultanate replaced by republican regime November 11, 1968; present constitution promulgated August 7, 2008.
Area: 115 sq. mi. (298 sq. km.).
Population: 299,968 (2006C); 311,000 (2008E).
Major Urban Center (2005E): MALÉ (88,000).
Official Language: Dhivehi.
Monetary Unit: Maldivian Rufiyaa (market rate December 1, 2009: 12.80 rufiyaa = $1US).
President: Mohamed NASHEED (Maldivian Democratic Party); elected for a five-year term in a runoff election on October 29, 2008, and inaugurated on November 11, succeeding Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM (Maldive People’s Party).
Vice President: Mohammed Wahid HASSAN Manik (National Unity Party); elected on October 29, 2008, and inaugurated on November 11 for a term concurrent with that of the president.
The Republic of Maldives is a 500-mile-long chain of small, low-lying coral ...