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ISSN: 1075-4644

GLOBAL SURVEY Vol. 48 No. 1Z  2018

 

 

INDEPENDENT STATES, DEPENDENCIES,

AND DISPUTED STATES AND TERRITORIES

Country and Government Profiles

26th Revised Edition

                                               

This annual directory also includes information on dependencies and states and territories that have either declared their independence or established a government but whose status is disputed and unresolved.

 

Information is listed by country, formal name in English and national language, location and bordering bodies of water, area and ranking, population and ranking, population density and ranking, seat of government (capital/native version, former capital), date of formation or independence, constitution, suffrage, system of government, national legislature—upper and lower houses (if applicable), parties, state religion (if any), dependencies, and disputed areas.

 

Area and Population Summary

Area Ten largest and smallest countries in descending order:

Russia, Canada, USA, China, Brazil, Australia, India, Argentina, Kazakhstan, and Algeria.

 

Malta, Maldives, St. Kitts & Nevis, Marshall Islands, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Tuvalu, Nauru, Monaco, and Vatican City State.

 

Population Ten most and least populous countries in descending order:

China, India, USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, and Japan.

 

St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Seychelles, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Palau, Nauru, Tuvalu, and Vatican City State.

 

Population density Ten most and least densely population countries:

Monaco, Singapore, Bahrain, Vatican City State, Malta, Bangladesh, Maldives, Barbados, Mauritius, and Taiwan.

 

Guyana, Libya, Canada, Mauritania, Botswana. Suriname, Iceland, Namibia, Australia and Mongolia.

 

Abkhazia, see Georgia

 

Afghanistan

Islamic State of Afghanistan/Dowlat-e Eslami-ye Afghanestan

Central Asia: Landlocked country.

Area: 652,225 sq km; world ranking 40

Population: 28,100,000 (06-2014e); world ranking 39. Density: 43/sq km, world ranking 123

Capital: Kabul

Founded: 1747

Constitution: 26 January 2004

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms and serves as both chief of state and head of government.

Government: Cabinet appointed by president subject to approval by the legislature.

Bi-cameral legislature—National Assembly/Milli-Majlis:

◄House of Elders/Meshrano Jirgah 102 seats elected and appointed (one member from each of the 34 provinces/valayat for four years; one member from each district/woleswal council for three years; and one-third of members (34) appointed by the president for five years).

◄House of People /Wolesi Jirgah, 249 seats elected, 5-year term.

■The Grand Assembly/Loya Jirgah is convened to decide on issues of national sovereignty and supreme national interests and to prosecute the president. It is composed of all members of the National Assembly and the presiding officers from each provincial and district council.

State religion: Islamic state in which 99 percent of the population practice Islam of which 80 percent belong to the Sunni branch and 19 percent, mainly Hazaras, to Shi’a Islam.

 

Albania

Republic of Albania/Republika e Shqiperia

Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.

Area: 28,750 sq km; world ranking 140

Population: 2,880,000 (01-2017e); world ranking 137. Density:  97/sq km, world ranking 83

Capital: Tirana/Tirane

Independent since 28 November 1912

Constitution: 28 November 1998

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the legislature for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is nominated by the president and confirmed by the legislature.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Albania Parliament/Kuvendi, 140 seats (100 elected directly), 4-year term.

State religion: There is no official religion but 59 percent of the population belongs to Islam. Two-thirds belong to the Sunni branch and one-third follows the Sufi Order of Bektashi of Shi’a Islam which is headquartered in Albania.

 

Algeria

Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria/Al-Jumhuriya al-Jaza’iriya ad-Dimuqratiah ash-Shabiya

North Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Area: 2,381,740 sq km; world ranking 10

Population: 37,400,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 34. Density: 16/sq km, world ranking 167

Capital: Algiers/Alger

Independent since 3 July 1962

Constitution: 7 February 2016.

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state (Term limit was abolished on 12 November 2008).

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president and confirmed by the legislature.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Barlaman:

◄Council of the Nation/Majlis al-Umma, 144 seats (48 appointed), 6-year term.

◄National People’s Assembly/Al-Majlis al-Cha’abi al-Watani, 462 seats, 5-year term.

Parties: Islamic and militant organizations are banned.

State religion: Islam is the state religion of 98 percent of the population who are predominantly followers of the Maliki school of the Sunni branch.

 

Andorra

Principality of Andorra/Principat d’Andorra

Southern Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 468 sq km; world ranking 180

Population: 100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 180. Density: 214/sq km, world ranking 42

Capital: Andorra la Vella

Founded: 8 September 1278; independent since 3 June1993

Constitution: 14 March 1993

Parliamentary democracy

Headed by two Co-Princes (the President of France and the Bishop of Urgel, Spain) who are represented by two permanent delegates.

Government: Headed by the Head of Government who is elected by the legislature.

Unicameral legislature:

◄General Council of the Valleys/Consell General de las Valls, 28 seats, 4-year term.

 

Angola

Republic of Angola/República de Angola

Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 1,246,700 sq km; world ranking 22

Population: 20,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 57. Density: 17/sq km, world ranking 163

Capital: Luanda

Independent since 11 November 1975

Constitution: 5 February 2010

Presidential system

President: The head of the majority party in the National Assembly becomes president for no more than two consecutive 5-year terms to serve as chief of state, commander in chief, and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assembléia Nacional, 220 seats, 4-year term.

 

Antigua and Barbuda

America, between Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean: Twin islands, Redonda, and 34 uninhabited islands.

Area: 442 sq km; world ranking 183

Population: 100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 181. Density: 226/sq km, world ranking 39

Capital: Saint John’s

Independent since 1 November 1981

Constitution: 1 November 1981

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor General.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament:

◄Senate, 17 seats (appointed by the Governor General), 5-year term.

◄House of Representatives, 19 seats (17 elected), 5-year term.

 

Argentina

Argentine Republic/República Argentina

South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 2,766,890 sq km; world ranking 8

Population: 40,800,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 32. Density: 15/sq km, world ranking 172

Capital: Buenos Aires

Independent since 9 July 1816

Constitution: 1 May 1853/24 August 1994 revised

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature—National Congress/Congreso Nacional:

◄Senate/Senado, 72 seats, 6-year term.

◄Chamber of Deputies/Camara de Diputados, 257 seats, 4-year term.

 

Armenia

Republic of Armenia/Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun

Southwestern Asia/Transcaucasia: Landlocked country.

Area: 29,800 sq km; world ranking 139

Population: 3,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 132. Density: 111/sq km, world ranking 74

Capital: Yerevan

Independent since 23 September 1991, 28 May 1918

Constitution: 5 July 1995, 11 December 2005, 6 December 2015 as amended

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the National Assembly for a single 7-year terms to serve as chief of state (since 2018).

Government: Headed by the prime minister elected by the National Assembly.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Azgayin Joghov, 105 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: The Armenian Apostolic Church is the national church.

Disputed area, see Azerbaijan--Nagorno-Karabakh Enclave.

 

Australia

Commonwealth of Australia

Oceania: Country is situated on the smallest of the world’s continents surrounded by Indian and South Pacific Oceans. It includes numerous adjacent islands.

Area: 7,685,850 sq km; world ranking 6

Population: 23,000,000 (04-2013e); world ranking 53. Density: 3/sq km, world ranking 195

Capital: Canberra

Independent since 1 January 1901

Constitution: 9 July 1900

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by a Governor General appointed for a 5-year term.

Government: Headed by the prime minister, nominated by the Governor General with the consent of parliamentary factions.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament of the Commonwealth:

◄Senate, 76 seats, 6-year term.

◄House of Representatives, 150 seats, 3-year term.

 

Dependencies/Territories

Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Southeast Asia: Indian Ocean

Area: 5 sq km

Population: uninhabited

Established: 1933

Territory

Administration: Department of Transport and Regional Services

 

Australian Antarctic Territories

Location: Antarctica

Area: 6,119,818 sq km

Population: No permanent residents.

Capital: None; Administrative Headquarters: Kingston, Tasmania

Established: 1949

Territory, comprising Macquarie Island, Windmill Islands, Vestfold Hills, Framnes, Prince Charles Mountains.

Administration: Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australian Antarctic Division

 

Christmas Island

Territory of Christmas Island

Southeast Asia: Indian Ocean

Area: 135 sq km

Population: 1,402 (07-2010e)

Capital: The Settlement (Flying Fish Cove)

Established: 1 October 1958

Territory

Constitution: 1958

Chief of State: The British monarch is chief of state represented by the appointed Governor General of Australia.

Government: Headed by the Administrator, appointed by the Governor General of Australia.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Christmas Island Shire Council, 9 seats, 4-year term.

Parties: None

 

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Southeast Asia: Indian Ocean

Area: 14 sq km

Population: 607 (10-2013)

Capital: West Island

Established: 1955

Territory

Constitution: 1955

Chief of State: The British monarch is chief of state represented by the appointed Governor General of Australia.

Government: Headed by the Administrator, appointed by the Governor General of Australia, and residing at The Settlement, Christmas Island.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Cocos (Keeling) Islands Shire Council, 7 seats, 4-year term.

Parties: None

 

Coral Sea Islands

Coral Sea Islands Territory

Oceania: Coral Sea

Area: 3 sq km

Population: uninhabited

Established: 1969

Sovereignty: Australia

Territory Administration: Department of Transport and Regional Services.

 

Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI)

Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Southern Africa/Antarctica: Indian Ocean

Area:  412 sq km

Population: uninhabited

Established: 1947

Territory, comprising

            Heard Island: Drury Rock, Sail Rock, Shag Rock

            McDonald Islands: Flat Island, Meyer Rock

Administration: Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australian Antarctic Division

 

Norfolk Island

Territory of Norfolk Island

Oceania: South Pacific Ocean

Area: 34 sq km

Population: 2,302 (08-2011)

Capital: Kingston

Established: 1913

Territory (self-governing from 1979 until 17 June 2015)

Constitution: 1979

Chief of State: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Administrator of Australia and the UK.

Administration: Headed by an Administrator.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Regional Council (On 17 June 2015, the 9-seat Legislative Assembly elected for a 3-year term was abolished under the Norfolk Island Legislative Amendment Bill 2015 and concluded before 1 July 2015.)

Parties: None

 

Austria

Republic of Austria/Republik Österreich

Central Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 83,871 sq km; world ranking 113

Population: 8,500,000; world ranking 93. Density: 101/sq km, world ranking 80

Capital: Vienna/Wien

Founded: 955

Independent since 15 May 1955, 12 November 1918

Constitution: 10 November 1920/1 May 1945

Voting: Universal and compulsory in presidential elections.

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 6-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the Federal Chancellor who is appointed by the Federal President.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Parlament:

◄Federal Council/Bundesrat, 62 seats (appointed by provinces), 5- or 6-year terms.

◄National Council/Nationalrat, 183 seats, 5-year term.

 

Azerbaijan

Republic of Azerbaijan/Azarbaycan Respublikasi

Southwestern Asia/Transcaucasia: Landlocked country, except for bordering the Caspian Sea.

Area: 86,600 sq km; world ranking 112

Population: 9,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 92. Density: 97/sq km, world ranking 84

Capital: Baku/Baki

Independent since 30 August 1991, 28 May 1918

Constitution: 12 November 1995, as amended 24 August 2002, 18 March 2009, and 26 September 2016.

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 7-year term to serve as chief of state. (The constitutional restriction to two terms was abolished by amendments which were approved by popular referendum on 18 March 2009.)

Government: Headed by the prime minister, elected by the National Assembly.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Milli Mejlis, 125 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: There is no official religion but 98 percent are Muslims of which 63 percent belong to Shi’a branch of Islam and 33 percent to the Sunni branch.

 

Disputed Territory

Nagorno-Karabakh Enclave

Republic of Artsakh or Artsakh Republic (formerly Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR))*

Southwestern Asia/Transcaucasia: Landlocked enclave located in southeastern Azerbaijan bordering  the southeastern Caucasus Mountains.

Area: 4,388 sq km

Population: 145,000 (2002e). Density: 33/sq km.

Capital: Stepanakert/Xankädi (Khankendi)

Founded: 10 September 1991

Independence: 6 January 1992, reaffirmed by referendum on 10 December 2006

Constitution: 10 December 2006*

Presidential system*

President serves as head of state and is popularly elected for a term of five years.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly, 33 seats, 5-year term.

*Renamed and changed by referendum of 20 February 2017 approving the new constitution passed by the National Assembly on 17 January 2017.

 

Bahamas

Commonwealth of the Bahamas

America: Situated on a chain of 29 islands in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 13,940 sq km; world ranking 157

Population: 400,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 168. Density: 29/sq km, world ranking 151

Capital: Nassau

Independent since 10 July 1973

Constitution: 10 July 1973

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor General.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament:

◄Senate, 16 seats (appointed by the Governor General), 5-year term.

◄House of Assembly, 39 seats, 5-year term.

 

Bahrain

Kingdom of Bahrain/Dawlat al Bahrayn

Western Asia/Middle East: Situated on an archipelago of 33 islands in the Persian Gulf.

Area: 620 sq km; world ranking 178

Population: 1,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 150. Density: 2,097/sq km, world ranking 3

Capital: Manama/al-Manamah

Independent since 15 August 1971

Constitution: 26 May 1973, as amended

Constitutional monarch (proclaimed on 14 February 2002)

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—National Assembly/Majlis:

◄Consultative Council/Majlis al-Shura, 40 seats, 4-year term.

◄Council of Representatives/Majlis al-Nuwar, 40 seats, 4-year term.

Parties: Political “associations” allowed since 24 July 2005.

State religion: Islam is the official state religion which is practiced by 70 percent of the population. The majority or 70 percent belong to the Shi’a branch and 30 percent to the Sunni branch of Islam.

 

Bangladesh

People’s Republic of Bangladesh/Gana Praja tanhtri Bangladesh

South Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal.

Area: 144,000 sq km; world ranking 92

Population: 152,518,000; world ranking 8. Density: 1,059/sq km, world ranking 6

Capital: Dacca/Dhaka

Independent since 26 March 1971

Constitution: 4 November 1972, as amended

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the National Parliament for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Parliament/Jatiya Sangsad, 300 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Islam is the state religion of 86 percent of the population of which the majority belongs to the Sunni branch.

 

Barbados

America: Single island country in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 431 sq km; world ranking 184

Population: 300,000; world ranking 171. Density: 696/sq km, world ranking 8

Capital: Bridgetown

Independent since 30 November 1966

Constitution: 30 November 1966

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor General.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament:

◄Senate, 21 seats (appointed by the Governor General), 5-year term.

◄House of Assembly, 30 seats, 5-year term.

 

Belarus

Republic of Belarus/Respublika Byelarus’

Eastern Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 207,600 sq km; world ranking 84

Population: 9,500,000; world ranking 88. Density: 46/sq km, world ranking 132

Capital: Minsk

Independent since 25 August 1991, 25 March 1918

Constitution: 27 November 1996

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 7-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—National Assembly/Natsionalnoye Sobranie:

◄Council of the Republic/Soviet Respubliki, 64 seats (56 elected by regional councils, 8 appointed by the president), 4-year term.

◄Chamber of Representatives/Palata Predstaviteley, 110 seats, 4-year term.

 

à Union State of Russia and Belarus, see Russia

 

Belgium

Kingdom of Belgium/Royaume de Belgique/ Koninkkrijk België

Western Europe, bordering the North Sea.

Area: 30,510 sq km; world ranking 137

Population: 11,099,554 (11-2013); world ranking 76. Density: 364/sq km, world ranking 25

Capital: Brussels/Bruxelles

Independent since 4 October 1830

Constitution: 7 February 1831, as amended

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Federal Chambers/Chambres Fédérales/Federale Kamers:

◄Senate/Sénat/Senaat, 71 seats (40 elected directly: 25 Flemish, 15 Walloons; 21 elected by Community Councils: 10 from Flemish community, 10 Walloons, and 1 from German speaking community; 10 “co-opted” senators elected by directly elected senators; and the royal children), 4-year term.

◄Chamber of Representatives/Chambre des Représentants/Kamer van Volksver-tegenwoordigers, 150 seats, 4-year term.

 

Belize

Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea.

Area: 22,960 sq km; world ranking 147

Population: 300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 172. Density: 13/sq km, world ranking 176

Capital: Belmopan

Independent since 21 September 1981

Constitution: 27 September 1981

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor General.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—National Assembly:

◄Senate, 12 seats (appointed by the Governor General), 5-year term.

◄House of Representatives, 31 seats (29 elected directly), 5-year term.

 

Benin

Republic of Benin/Republique de Benin

West Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin.

Area: 112,620 sq km; world ranking 100

Population: 9,400,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 90. Density: 83/sq km, world ranking 91

Capital: Porto-Novo

Independent since 1 August 1960

Constitution: 2 December 1990

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 83 seats, 4-year term.

 

Bhutan

Kingdom of Bhutan/Druk-yul

South Asia: Landlocked country.

Area: 47,600 sq km; world ranking 129

Population: 700,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 161. Density: 15/sq km, world ranking 171

Capital: Thimphu (since 1955; formerly Thimpu in summer, Punakha in winter)

Independent since 8 August 1949

Constitution: 18 July 2008

Constitutional monarchy since 1998.

Government: Headed by a rotating chairman.

Bicameral legislature:

◄National Council/Gyalyong Tshogde, 25 seats (5 nominated by the king), 4-year term.

◄National Assembly/Gyalyong Tshogdu, 47 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: The Drukpa discipline of the Kagyupa school, a branch of Mahayana Buddhism, is the state religion, although many citizens also practice the Ningmapa branch of Buddhism.

 

Bolivia

Plurinational State of Bolivia/Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia

South America: Landlocked country.

Area: 1,098,580 sq km; world ranking 27

Population:9,863,000; world ranking 87. Density: 9/sq km, world ranking 182

Capital: La Paz and Sucre

Independent since 6 August 1925

Constitution: 7 February 2009

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two consecutive 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature—National Congress/Congreso Nacional:

◄Chamber of Senators/ Cámara de Senadores, 36 seats (3 from each Department), 5-year term.

◄Chamber of Deputies/Cámara de Diputados, 130 seats (53 proportional representation, 7 indigenous deputies), 5-year term.

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina/Republika Bosna i Hercegovina

Southeast Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea.

Area: 51,233 sq km; world ranking 125

Population: 3,840,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 128. Density: 75/sq km, world ranking 102

Capital: Sarajevo

Independent since 3 March 1992

Constitution: 14 December 1995 (Dayton Agreement)

Presidential system

Tripartite Presidents: Popularly elected for not more than two consecutive 4-year terms to serve as chief of state. The tripartite presidency alternates every 8 months between Bosnian Muslims, Croats, and Serbs.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by parliament.

Bicameral legislature—Parliamentary Assembly/Skupština:

◄House of Peoples/Dom Naroda, 15 seats (5 Bosniaks, 5 Croats, and 5 Serbs elected by legislatures), 4-year term.

◄House of Representatives/Predstavnički Dom, 42 seats (28 Federation, 14 Serb Republic), 4-year term.

 

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina*

Federacija Bosne Hercegovine

Area: 26,076 sq km

Population: 2,338,270 (2011e). Density: 90/sq km

Capital: Sarajevo

Established on 31 May 1994

Constitution: 30 March 1994

Presidential system

President: Elected by the House of Representatives and confirmed by the House of Peoples for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government is headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature:

◄House of Peoples of the Federation/Dom Naroda Federacije, 58 seats (Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs, 17 each, and 7 others, appointed by 10 cantonal legislatures), 4-year term.

◄House of Representatives of the Federation/Predstavnički Dom Federacije, 98 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: About 50 percent of the population belongs to Islam, most of them to the Sunni branch.

*Also referred to as Bosnian-Croat Federation or Muslim-Croat Federation.

 

Serb Republic

Republika Srpska (RS)

Area: 25,053 sq km

Population: 1,439,673 (2010e). Density: 57/sq km

Provisional capital: Banja Luka (since 31January 1998, formerly Pale)

Republic proclaimed on 7 April 1992

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 4-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government is headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Narodna Skupština, 83 seats, 4-year term. Includes

■ Council of Peoples, 28 seats (elected indirectly by caucus of National Assembly composed of Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs, 8 each, and 4 others from local communities).

 

Botswana

Republic of Botswana

Southern Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 600,370 sq km; world ranking 45

Population: 1,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 145. Density: 3/sq km, world ranking 191

Capital: Gaborone (Gaberones)

Independent since 30 September 1966

Constitution: 30 September 1966

Parliamentary system with reserved roles of traditional chiefs.

President: Selected by the National Assembly for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature:

◄House of Chiefs. 35 seats (22 indirectly elected for a five-year term, 5 appointed by the president, and 8 ex-officio members).

◄National Assembly, 63 seats (57 elected), 5-year term.

 

Brazil

Federative Republic of Brazil/República Federativa do Brasil

South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 8,511,965 sq km; world ranking 5

Population: 201,030,000 (12-2013e); world ranking 5. Density: 24/sq km, world ranking 156

Capital: Brasília (Rio de Janeiro until 21 April 1960)

Independent since 7 September 1822

Constitution: 5 October 1988

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two consecutive 4-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature—National Congress/Congresso Nacional:

◄Federal Senate/Senado Federal, 81 seats, 8-year term.

◄Chamber of Deputies/Cámara dos Deputados, 513 seats, 4-year term.

 

Brunei

State of Brunei Darussalam

Negara Brunei Darussalam

Southeast Asia: Two-part country separated by a state belonging to Malaysia and bordering the South China Sea.

Area: 5,770 sq km; world ranking 165

Population: 393,372 (2011); world ranking 169. Density: 68/sq km, world ranking 110

Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan

Founded: 15th century

Independent since 1 January 1984

Constitution: 29 September 1959, as amended (parts suspended since 1984, 1962 and 1970

Ruling sultanate

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Legislative Council of Brunei/Majlis Mesyuarat Negara Brunei, 36 seats (33 appointed, 3 ex-officio), meeting every March.

Parties: One party registered on 31 August 2005. Former parties are either banned or were deregistered.

State religion: Islamic state in which 67 percent of the population practice the official religion. The majority belongs to the Sunni branch.

 

Bulgaria

Republic of Bulgaria/Republika Bulgaria

Southeast Europe, bordering the Black Sea.

Area: 110,910 sq km; world ranking 103

Population: 7,150,000 (2015); world ranking 99. Density: 65/sq km, world ranking 116

Capital: Sofia/Sofiya

Independent since 5 October 1908

Constitution: 12 July 1991

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by the National Assembly. Cabinet appointments are subject to approval by the legislature.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Narodno Sobranie, 240 seats, 4-year term.

 

Burkina Faso

West Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 274,200 sq km; world ranking 73

Population: 17,500,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 60. Density: 64/sq km, world ranking 119

Capital: Ouagadougou

Independent since 5 August 1960

Constitution: 2 June 1991, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a maximum of two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state (since 2000).

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 127 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Although there is no dominant religion, at least 60 percent of the population practices Islam with the majority belonging to the Sunni branch.

 

Burma/Myanmar*

Union of Myanmar (Union of Burma)/Pyi-Daung-Su Myanma-Nainggan/Pyidaungzu Myanma Naingngandaw

Southeast Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

Area: 678,500 sq km; world ranking 39

Population: 51,419,420 (08-2014); world ranking 24. Density: 76/sq km, world ranking 96

Capital: Rangoon/Yangon* (Amankpura until 1860; Mandalay 1860-1886); Nay Pyi Taw/ Naypyidaw/Naypyitaw “Abode of Kings,” Pyinmana, Mandalay Division (Administrative capital since November 2005.)

Independent since 4 January 1948

Constitution: 15 May 2008 

Presidential system

President: Elected by Assembly of the Union from among three vice presidential candidates to serve as chief of state and head of government for a 5-year term. Vice presidential candidates are nominated by Presidential Electoral College of three committees (Members of Parliament representing proportional number elected from each of the 7 regions and 7 states; Members of Parliament representing proportional number elected from each township; military-appointed Members of Parliament)

Bicameral legislature – Assembly of the Union:

◄House of Nationalities/Amyotha Hluttaw, 224 seats (168 directly elected, 56 appointed by the military), 5-year term.

◄House of Representatives/Pyithu Hluttaw, 440 seats (330 directly elected, 110 appointed by the military), 5-year term.

 

Burundi

Republic of Burundi/Republika y’u Burundi

Central Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 27,830 sq km; world ranking 143

Population: 10,600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 80. Density: 381/sq km, world ranking 20

Capital: Bujumbura (Usumbura)

Independent since 1 July 1962

Constitution: 28 February 2005.

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Parlement: 

◄Senate/Sénat, 54 seats (34 elected indirectly, 20 assigned), current 3-year interim term.

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 100 seats, 5-year term.

 

Cambodia

Kingdom of Cambodia/Reachenachak Kampuchea

Southeast Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand.

Area: 181,040 sq km; world ranking 88

Population: 15,000,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 67. Density: 83/sq km, world ranking 93

Capital: Phnom Penh

Founded: 100

Independent since 9 November 1953, 12 March 1945

Constitution: 21 September 1993, as amended

Constitutional monarchy

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Parlement:

◄Senate/Pritsepia, 62 seats (4 appointed, 2 by the King and 2 by the National Assembly), 6-year term.

◄National Assembly/Raadsphea ney Preah Recheanachakr Kampuchea, 125 seats, 5-year term.

 

Cameroon

Republic of Cameroon/République du Cameroun

Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra.

Area: 475,440 sq km; world ranking 53

Population: 20,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 58. Density: 44/sq km, world ranking 134

Capital: Yaoundé

Independent since 1 January 1960

Constitution: 20 May 1972

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for a 7-year term to serve as chief of state. Two-term limit was removed on 10 April 2008.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature:

◄Senate/ Sénat, 100 seats (70 elected by municipal councils, 30 appointed by the president), 5-year term.

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 180 seats, 5-year term.

 

Canada

North America: Extending to the Arctic and bordering the Arctic, North Atlantic, and North Pacific Oceans.

Area: 9,976,140 sq km; world ranking 2

Population: 35,158,300 (07-2013e); world ranking 36. Density: 4/sq km, world ranking 189

Capital: Ottawa

Independent since 1 July 1867

Constitution: 17 April 1982

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by a Governor General appointed for a normal term of 5 years.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral Parliament of Canada/Parlement du Canada:

◄Senate/Sénat, 105 seats (appointed by the Governor General upon proposal by the government). ◄House of Commons/Chambre des Communes, 338 seats, 5-year term.

Note: House of Commons voted on 27 November 2006 to recognize Québec Province as a “nation within unified Canada.”

 

Cape Verde

Republic of Cape Verde/República de Cabo Verde

West Africa: Situated on archipelago of 10 islands in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 4,030 sq km; world ranking 167

Population: 500,000 (062012e); world ranking 165. Density: 124/sq km, world ranking 68

Capital: Praia

Independent since 5 July 1975

Constitution: 25 September 1992

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assembléia Nacional, 72 seats, 5-year term.

 

Central African Republic (CAR)

Central African Republic (CAR)/République Centrafricaine

Central Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 622,980 sq km; world ranking 43

Population: 4,600,000 (06-12e); world ranking 119. Density: 7/sq km, world ranking 184

Capital: Bangui

Independent since 13 August 1960

Constitution: 5 December 2004, as amended

Presidential system

President: Interim President elected by the National Council of Transition as acting head of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale 131 seats, 5-year term.

 

Chad

Republic of Chad/République du Tchad

Central Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 1,284,000 sq km; world ranking 20

Population: 11,800,000 (06-2012e) world ranking 73. Density: 9/sq km, world ranking 181

Capital: N’Djamena (Fort Lamy)

Independent since 11 August 1960

Constitution: 4 May 2018 (IVth Republic)

Presidential system

President: Serves as chief of state, head of government, and supreme commander/commander in chief. President is popularly elected to not more than two 6-year terms (changed from no term limits). (Former position of prime minister was abolished).

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 155 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: Although there is no dominant religion, 58 percent of the population practice Islam with the majority belonging to the Sufi Tijaniyyah brotherhood of the Sunni branch.

 

Chile

Republic of Chile/República de Chile

South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 756,950 sq km; world ranking 37

Population: 17,400,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 61. Density: 23/sq km, world ranking 155

Capital: Santiago

Independent since 18 September 1810

Constitution: 11 March 1921, as amended

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 4-year term to serve as chief of state and head of government. The constitution bars consecutive terms.

Bicameral legislature—National Congress/Congreso Nacional:

◄Senate/Senado, 43 seats, 8-year term.

◄Chamber of Deputies/Cámara de Diputados, 155 seats, 4-year term.

 

China

People’s Republic of China (PRC)/Zhonghua Renmin Goghe Guo

East Asia, bordering the East China, South China and Yellow Seas and Korea Bay.

Area: 9,596,960 sq km; world ranking 4

Population: 1,373,000,000 (11-2015); world ranking 1. Density: 141/sq km, world ranking 58

Capital: Beijing (Peking/Peiping 1646-1927, since 1949; Chungking 1927-1937, 1937-1945, Nanking 1945-1949)

Founded: 221 BC

People’s Republic established: 1 October 1949

Constitution: 4 December 1982, as amended

Presidential system subject to direction and control by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

President: Elected by the legislature to serve as chief of state (Limit of two 5-year terms was removed on 11 March 2018).

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by the legislature.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National People’s Congress (NPC)/Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui, 2,987 seats (12th NPC), 5-year term.

Parties: In addition to the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), eight minority parties are allowed to function. Opposition parties are proscribed. The CCP uses the so-called Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) for multi-party cooperation and political consultation. The current 12th National Committee is made up of members from the NPC, the eight minority parties, public organizations, minority nationalities, and specially invited people.

 

Regions

Hong Kong Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Capital: Victoria

 

Macau Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Capital: Macau

 

Tibet Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) (since 1965)

            Area: 1,228,600 sq km

            Population: 2,810,000 (2007). Density: 2/sq km

Capital: Lhasa

 

Dependencies/Territories

Paracel Islands/Xisha Qundao/Quan Dao Hoang Sa

Southeast Asia: South China Sea

Area: 1 sq km

Population: No permanent inhabitants.

Established: 19 January 1974

Occupied Territory

 

Spratly Islands/Nansha Islands/Truong Sa

Southeast Asia: South China Sea

Area: 5 sq km

Population: No permanent inhabitants.

Disputed and Occupied Territory (7 reefs)

 

 

Self-Determination Dispute

 

Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)

Tibetan Administration (Tibetan Government-in-Exile until 28 May 2011)

Population-in-exile: 127,935 (2009)

Constitution: The Charter of Tibetans in Exile of 14 June 1991, as amended

Administration in Dharamsala (Gangcheng Kyishong), Himachal Pradesh, India.

Religious leader: The Dalai Lama is selected for life. Since 28 May 2011, he serves as religious leader and retired from politics on 24 September 2011. The Panchen Lama—resident in the People’s Republic—is the highest Lama after the Dalai Lama.

Government—The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA): The Cabinet (Kashag) is headed by the prime minister who is popularly elected.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD), 46 seats, 5-year term.

 

Colombia

Republic of Colombia/República de Colombia

South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean.

Area: 1,138,910 sq km; world ranking 25

Population: 47,400,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 28. Density: 42/sq km, world ranking 139

Capital: Bogotá

Independent since 20 July 1810

Constitution: 5 July 1991

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature—Congress/Congreso:

◄Senate of the Republic/Senado de la República, 102 seats, 4-year term.

◄Chamber of Representatives/Cámara de Representantes, 166 seats, 4-year term.

 

Comoros

Union of the Comoros/Union des Comores

Southern Africa: Situated on four-island archipelago including numerous smaller islands in the Mozambique Channel and bordering the Indian Ocean.

Area: 2,170 sq km; world ranking 170

Population: 800,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 158. Density: 369/sq km, world ranking 24

Capital: Moroni

Independent since 6 July 1975

Constitution: 20 October 1996

Presidential system

President: Presidents of the three main islands are popularly elected for an unlimited number of 5-year terms (since 2009).  Each serves as Union President on a rotating basis, acting as chief of state and head of government. The constitutional referendum of 30 July 2018 removed term limits and rotation.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Assembly of the Union/Assemblée de l’Union, 33 seats (18 elected, 15 selected by legislatures of each island), 5-year term. (Formerly Federal Union/Assemblée Fédérale bicameral legislature, incl. Senate/Sénat, 15 seats, 5-year term.)

State religion: Islam is not the official state religion but the government discourages the practice of other beliefs. The majority of the population—98 percent—practices Islam with 86 percent majority belonging to the Sunni branch.

 

Congo (B)

Republic of the Congo/République du Congo

Central Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 342,000 sq km; world ranking 64

Population: 4,200,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 125. Density: 12/sq km, world ranking 179

Capital: Brazzaville

Independent since 15 August 1960

Constitution: 15 March 1992

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 7-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature:

◄Senate/Sénat, 72 seats (6 elected by each of the Councils and Districts of the 12 Regions), 6-year term (since 10 August 2002).

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 151 seats, 5-year term.

 

Congo (DROC/DR)*

Democratic Republic of the Congo/ République Démocratique du Congo

Central Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 2,345,410 sq km; world ranking 11

Population: 69,100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 20. Density: 29/sq km, world ranking 148

Capital: Kinshasa (Vivi until 1886; Boma 1886-1926; Léopoldville since 1926, renamed on 5 May 1966)

Independent since 30 June 1960

Constitution: 18 February 2006

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected by a simple majority for not more than two  5-year terms to serve as chief of state and commander in chief of the armed forces.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is nominated by the president from the parliamentary majority.

Bicameral legislature-Parliament/Parlement:

◄Senate/Sénat, 108 seats (elected by provincial assemblies), 5-year term.

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 500 seats (61 single-member constituencies), 5-year term.

*After the renaming of the capital in 1966 the country was also referred to as Congo (Kinshasa) or Congo (K).

 

Costa Rica

Republic of Costa Rica/República de Costa Rica

Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 51,100 sq km; world ranking 126

Population: 4.500,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 120. Density: 88/sq km, world ranking 88

Capital: San José

Independent since 15 September 1821

Constitution: 9 November 1949

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 4-year terms with an 8-year lapse between terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Legislative Assembly/Asamblea Legislativa, 57 seats, 4 years.

 

Côte d’Ivoire, see Ivory Coast

 

Croatia

Republic of Croatia/Republika Hrvatska

Southeast Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea.

Area: 56,538 sq km; world ranking 124

Population: 4,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 123. Density: 76/sq km, world ranking 99

Capital: Zagreb

Independent since 25 June 1991 (29 October 1918)

Constitution: 22 December 1990

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister, nominated by the president and subject to endorsement by the legislature.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Croatian Parliament/Hrvatski Sabor, 152 seats, 4-year term.

 

Cuba

Republic of Cuba/República de Cuba

Central America: Situated on the major island and includes a smaller one, and four archipelagos of islands between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Area: 110,860 sq km; world ranking 104

Population: 11,163,934 (04-2012); world ranking 75. Density: 101/sq km, world ranking 81

Capital: Havana

Independent since 20 May 1902

Constitution: 24 February 1976

Presidential system subject to direction and control by the Cuban Communist Party (PCC).

President: Appointed by the legislature to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly of the People’s Power/Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, 614 seats, 5-year term.

Parties: Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) is the only permitted party.

 

Cyprus

Republic of Cyprus/Kypriaki Dimokratia/ Kibris Çumhuriyeti

Western Asia/Middle East: Situated on an island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Area: 5,895 sq km; world ranking 164

Population: 1,200,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 154. Density: 204/sq km, world ranking 46

Capital: Nicosia/Lefkosia

Independent since 16 August 1960

Constitution: 16 August 1960

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Government: Subject to vote of confidence by the legislature.

Unicameral legislature:

◄House of Representatives/Vouli Antiprosopon, 80 seats (56 from the Greek Cypriot community and 24 from the Turkish Cypriot community), 5-year term.

 

Disputed Territory

Cyprus (North)

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)/Kuzey Kibris Türk Cumhuriyeti (KKTC)

(Turkish Federated State of Cyprus (TFSC)/Kıbrıs Türk Federe Devleti (KTFD) 13 February 1975-15 November 1983)

Western Asia/Middle East: The northern part of the island of Cyprus borders the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Area:  3,355 sq km

Population: 265,100 (2006). Density: 79/sq km.

Capital: Nicosia/Lefkosa (Turkish-occupied portion)

Founded: 13 February 1975

Independence: 15 November 1983

Constitution: 5 May 1985

Presidential system: President is chief of state and is popularly elected for a five-year term.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Assembly of the Republic/Cumhuriyet Meclisi), 50 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: None. Secular state in which an estimated 96 percent practice Islam of which an estimated 92 percent belong to the Sunni branch.

 

Czech Republic

Czech Republic/Česká Republika

Central Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 78,703 sq km; world ranking 115

Population: 10,558,000 (03-2016); world ranking 82. Density: 134/sq km, world ranking 64

Capital: Prague/Praha

Independent since 28 October 1918

Constitution: 1 January 1993

Established: 1 January 1993

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and commander in chief.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Parlament:

◄Senate/Senát, 81 seats, 6 year-term.

◄Chamber of Deputies/Poslanecká Snemovna, 200 seats, 4-year term.

 

Denmark

Kingdom of Denmark/Kongeriget Danmark

Northern Europe: Situated on a peninsula, 3 larger and 440 other islands bordering the Baltic and North Seas.

Area: 43,070 sq km; world ranking 131

Population: 5,600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 111. Density: 130/sq km, world ranking 66

Capital: Copenhagen/København

Independent since 5 June 1849

Constitution: 5 June 1849/5 June 1953 revised

Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament/Folketinget, 179 seats (incl. two each for Faroe Islands and Greenland), 4-year term.

State religion: There is no official religion but the Evangelical Lutheran Church is the state church.

 

Dependencies/Territories

Faroe Islands/Færøerne/Føroyar

Northern Europe, located in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 1,400 sq km

Population: 50,000 (06-2013e). Density: 36/sq km

Capital: Tórshavn

Established: 1948

Self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark

Constitution: 5 June 1953

Chief of State: The Danish monarch is chief of state represented by the appointed High Commissioner.

Government: Headed by the Prime Minister/Lømadur who is elected for a 4-year term.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Faroese Parliament/Løgtingið, 31 seats, four-year term.

 

Greenland/Grønland/Kalaallit Nunaat

North America, between Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans.

Area: 2,175,600 sq km; world ranking  2

Population: 57,000. Density: 0/sq km

Capital: Nuuk (Godthåb)

Established: 1380

Self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark

Constitution: 5 June 1953

Chief of State: The Danish monarch is chief of state represented by the appointed High Commissioner.

Government: Headed by the prime minister (also known as First Minister of the Local Government of Greenland) who is elected by legislature for a 4-year term.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament/Landsting/Inatsisartut, 31 seats, 4-year term.

 

Djibouti

Republic of Djibouti/Jumhouriyya Djibouti

East Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea.

Area: 22,000 sq km; world ranking 148

Population: 900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 157. Density: 41/sq km, world ranking 140

Capital: Djibouti

Independent since 17 June 1977

Constitution: 4 September 1992, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state. Two-term limit was abolished in 2010.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president.

Unicameral legislature: 

◄ National Assembly/ Assemblée Nationale (formerly Chamber of Deputies/Chambre de Députés), 65 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: There is no official state religion but Islam is practiced by 97 percent of the population. The majority are adherents of the Shafi’i school of the Sunni branch.

 

Dominica

Commonwealth of Dominica

America: Situated on an island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 754 sq km; world ranking 173

Population: 100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 182. Density: 133/sq km, world ranking 65

Capital: Roseau

Independent since 3 November 1978

Constitution: 3 November 1978

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the legislature for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄House of Assembly, 31 seats (9 appointed), 5-year term.

 

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic/República Dominicana

America: Situated on the eastern part of the island of Hispaniola between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 48,730 sq km; world ranking 128

Population: 10,100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 84. Density: 207/sq km, world ranking 44

Capital: Santo Domingo

Independent since 27 February 1844

Constitution: 28 November 1966

Voting: Universal, except military and police, and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature—Congress of the Republic/Congreso de la República:

◄Senate/Senado, 32 seats, 4-year term.

◄Chamber of Deputies/Cámara de Diputados, 190 seats, 4-year term. (As a cost saving measure, the Congress on 20 May 2009 extended the term of legislators and mayors elected in 2010 by two years until 2016.)

 

Ecuador

Republic of Ecuador/República del Ecuador

South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean.

Area: 283,560 sq km; world ranking 72

Population: 14,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 69. Density: 53/sq km, world ranking 122

Capital: Quito

Independent since 10 August 1809

Constitution: 20 October 2008

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Asamblea Nacional, 137 seats, 4-year term.

 

Egypt

Arab Republic of Egypt/Jumhuriyat Misr al-’Arabiya

North Africa, bordering the Mediterranean and Red Seas.

Area: 1,001,450 sq km; world ranking 29

Population: 92,000,000 (11-2016); world ranking 15. Density: 94/sq km, world ranking 94

Capital: Cairo/el-Qahira

Founded: 3500 BC

Independent since 28 February 1922

Constitution: 19 January 2014

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature (since July 2013):

House of Representatives, 596 seats (28 appointed by the president), 5-year term.

State religion: Islam is the official state religion and is practiced by 94 percent of the population of which 89 percent belong to the Sunni branch. The Grand Mufti is responsible to the Ministry of Justice for religious fatwas and must confirm sentences of death.

 

El Salvador

Republic of El Salvador/República de El Salvador

Central America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 21,040 sq km; world ranking 149

Population: 6,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 105. Density: 299/sq km, world ranking 30

Capital: San Salvador

Independent since 15 September 1821

Constitution: 20 December 1983

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a single 5-year term to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Legislative Assembly/Asamblea Legislativa, 84 seats, 3-year term.

 

Equatorial Guinea

Republic of Equatorial Guinea/República de Guinea Ecuatorial

Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra.

Area: 28,050 sq km; world ranking 142

Population: 700,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 162. Density: 25/sq km, world ranking 153

Capital: Malabo (Santa Isabel)

Independent since 12 October 1968

Constitution: 17 November 1991, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 7-year term to serve as chief of state and chief magistrate, i.e. highest judge.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature:

◄Senate/Senado 70 seats (15 appointed, 5 ex officio), 5-year term.

◄Chamber of Deputies/Cámara de Representantes del Pueblo, 100 seats, 5-year term.

 

Eritrea

State of Eritrea

Eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea.

Area: 121,320 sq km; world ranking 97

Population: 5,600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 112. Density: 46/sq km, world ranking 129

Capital: Asmar (Asmara)

Constitution: 23 May 1997

Independent since 24 May 1993

Presidential system

President: Elected by the National Assembly and serving not more than two 5-year terms as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Hagerawi Baito, 150 seats, 4-year term. (75 members of the central committee of the ruling party, 60 members of the former Constituent Assembly, and 15 members representing nationals living abroad.)

Parties: The People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) is the only party recognized by the government.

State religion: Islam is practiced by 48 percent of the population of which the majority belongs to the Sunni branch.

 

Estonia

Republic of Estonia/Eesti Vabariik

Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland.

Area: 45,226 sq km; world ranking 130

Population: 1,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 151. Density: 29/sq km, world ranking 149

Capital: Tallinn

Independent since 30 March 1990, 20 August 1991, 24 February 1918

Constitution: 28 June 1992

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by Parliament (or if a two-thirds vote is not obtained, by a 395-seat electoral assembly, composed of members of Parliament and of local governments) for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister, nominated by the president and subject to parliamentary confirmation.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament/Riigikogu, 101 seats, 4-year term.

 

Eswatini*

Kingdom of eSwatini/Umbuso weSwatini

Southern Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 17,360 sq km; world ranking 154

Population: 1,200,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 155. Density: 69/sq km, world ranking 111

Capital: Mbabane

Independent since 6 September 1968

Constitution: 8 February 2006

Ruling monarchy

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Libandla (advisory):

◄Senate, 30 seats (20 appointed by the king, 10 elected by lower house).

◄House of Assembly, 69 seats (10 appointed by the king), 5-year term.

Parties: The 2006 Constitution allows registration of political parties but their formal status remains vague. Since 1973, all elections were held on a non-party basis.

*Name changed from Swaziland and new name proclaimed by the king on 19 April 2018.

 

Ethiopia

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia/ Ityop’iya Federalawi Ripeblik

East Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 1,127,127 sq km; world ranking 26

Population: 87,000,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 14. Density: 77/sq km, world ranking 97

Capital: Addis Ababa

Founded: 715 (1270)

Republic established on 22 August 1995

Constitution: 8 December 1994

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the legislature for not more than two 6-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by the legislature.

Bicameral legislature:

◄House of the Federation/Yefedershein Mekir Bete, 135 seats (selected by regional councils 16representing nations and nationalities), 5-year term.

◄House of People’s Representatives/Yehizb Tewekayoch Mekir Bete, 550 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: About 34 percent of the population practice Islam of which the majority follows the Shafi’i school of the Sunni branch.

 

Fiji

Republic of the Fiji Islands

Oceania: Situated on an archipelago of 332 islands and some 500 islets in the South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 18,270 sq km; world ranking 152

Population: 800,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 159. Density: 44/sq km, world ranking 135

Capital: Suva

Independent since 10 October 1970

Constitution: 19 September 2013

Voting: Universal and compulsory (On 8 September 2010, the military government announced that it would not enforce compulsory voting in the planned elections in 2014.)

President: Elected by Parliament to serve as head of state for up to two 3-year terms.

Government: Headed by the prime minister appointed by the president.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament:

◄Senate, 32 seats (appointed), 4-year term.

◄House of Representatives, 51 seats, 5-year term.

 

Finland

Republic of Finland/Suomen Tasavalta/Republiken Finland

Northern Europe: Traverses the Arctic Circle and borders on the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia and Gulf of Finland.

Area: 390,903 sq km; world ranking 60

Population: 5,218,134 (2011); world ranking 115. Density: 13/sq km, world ranking 168

Capital: Helsinki

Independent since 6 December 1917

Constitution: 17 July 1991

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 6-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by Parliament.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament/Eduskunta/Riksdagen, 200 seats, 4-year term.

 

France

The French Republic/République Française (RF)

Western Europe, bordering the English Channel, Gulf of Biscay, and the Mediterranean Sea.

Area: 547,030 sq km; world ranking 48

Population: 63,600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 21. Density: 116/sq km, world ranking 72

Capital: Paris

Founded 486

First Republic established on 22 September 1792

Constitution: 28 September 1958, as amended

Presidential-parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and commander in chief of the armed forces.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Parlement:

◄Senate/Sénat, 348 seats, 6-year term.

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 577 seats, 5-year term.

 

Overseas Departments/Départements d’Outre-Mer

Overseas Regions/Régions d'Outre-Mer

French Guiana/Guyane Française

Guadeloupe

Martinique

Mayotte State religion: No official religion but 99 percent of the population practice Islam.

Réunion

 

Overseas Collectivities

Clipperton/Atoll de Clipperton/Île de la Passion

Central America: Located in the Northern Pacific Ocean.

Area: 6 sq km

Population: uninhabited

Established 1935

Administration: Ministry of Overseas France, Paris.

 

French Polynesia

Overseas Collectivity of French Polynesia/Collectivité d'Outre-Mer (COM) de Polynésie Française

Oceania: Located in the South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 4,167 sq km

Population: 268,000 (06-2013e). Density: 64/sq km

Capital: Papeete

Established: 2 June 1946

Overseas Collectivity, comprising:

            Society Islands/Archipel de la Société: Windward Islands/Îles du Vent—Tahiti,

            Moorea/Eiméo

            Leeward Islands/Îles Sous-le-Vent

            Tuamotu Archipelago/Archipel Tuamotu/Touamotou: Gambier Islands/Archipel des

            Gambier

            Austral Islands-Tubuai Islands Archipelago des Îles Australes/Tubuaï

            Marquesas Islands/Archipel des Marquises

Constitution: 28 September 1958

Chief of State: The French president is chief of state represented by the appointed High Commissioner of the Republic.

Government: Headed by the President of the Territorial Government who is elected by the Assembly of French Polynesia for a 5-year term.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Assembly of French Polynesia/Assemblée de Polynésie Française, 57 seats, 5-year year term.

 

French Southern and Antarctic Lands

Overseas Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands

Territoire d’Outre-Mer (TOM) des Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises (TAAF)

Southern Africa/Antarctica: Located in the Southern (Antarctic) and Southern Indian Oceans.

Area: 7,892 sq km

Population: 150 (2013). Mainly uninhabited, except for temporary residents. Density:  0/sq km

Established: 1938, 1946, 6 August 1955

Overseas Territory comprising 5 districts:

            Îles Crozet

            Îles Kerguelen/Desolation Islands

            Île Saint-Paul

            Îles Éparses: Bassas da India, Europa, Juan de Nova, Les Glorieuses, Tromelin

            Terre Adélie

Administration: High Administrator (Réunion), appointed.

 

New Caledonia, Collectivity sui generis of New Caledonia and Dependencies/Collectivité sui generis de Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dependances

Oceania: Located in the South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 18,576 sq km

Population: 291,782 (2012). Density: 16/sq km

Capital: Nouméa

Established: 1946

Overseas Collectivity, comprising the following dependencies (island groups and islands):

            Beautemps-Beaupré Islands             

            Bélep Islands             

            Chesterfield Islands (uninhabited)                 

            Hunter Island (uninhabited)                

            Huon Islands (uninhabited)                

            Lifou/Lifu                    

            Loyalty Islands/Îsle de Loyauté                      

            Maré               

            Mathews Island (uninhabited)            

            Ouvéa/Uvéa/Uea                   

            Isle of Pines/Île de Pins/Kounié/Kunie                      

            Surprise Island/Île Surprise (uninhabited)                  

            Walpole Island.

Constitution: 28 September 1958

Chief of State: The French president is chief of state represented by the appointed High Commissioner of the Republic and President of the Council of Government.

Government: Headed by the President of the Council of Ministers who is elected by the Territorial Congress for a 6-year term.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Congress of New Caledonia/Congrès de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, 54 seats (of three Provincial Assemblies/Assemblées Provinciales), 5-year year term.

           

Saint-Barthélemy

Overseas Collectivity/Collectivité d’Outre-Mer (COM)

America: Located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 21 sq km

Population: 8,902 (2009). Density: 424/sq km

Capital: Gustavia

Established: 9 February 2007

Overseas Collectivity, comprising:

            Îe Chevreau (Ile Bonhomme)

            Île Frégate

            Île Toc Vers

            Île Tortue

            Gros Îlets (Îlots Syndare)

Constitution: 28 September 1958

Chief of State: The French president is chief of state represented by the appointed Prefect.

Government: Headed by the President of the Territorial Council who is elected by it.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Territorial Council/Conseil Territorial, 19 seats, 6-year term.

 

Saint-Martin

Overseas Collectivity/Collectivité d’Outre-Mer (COM)

America: Located in the Caribbean Sea.

Area: 53 sq km

Population: 37,461 (2009). Density: 704/sq km

Capital: Marigot

Established: 9 February 2007

Overseas Collectivity, comprising:

            Tintamarre (uninhabited).       

Constitution: 28 September 1958

Chief of State: The French president is chief of state represented by the appointed Prefect.

Government: Headed by the President of the Territorial Council who is elected by it.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Territorial Council/Conseil Territorial, 23 seats, 6-year term.

           

Saint Pierre et Miquelon

Overseas Collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon/Collectivité d'Outre-Mer (COM)  de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon

North America: Located in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 242 sq km

Population: 6,000 (06-2013e). Density: 25/sq km

Capital: Saint-Pierre

Established: 11 June 1985

Self-Governing Overseas Collectivity

Constitution: 28 September 1958

Chief of State: The French president is chief of state represented by the appointed Prefect.

Government: Headed by the President of General Council who is elected by it for a  6-year term.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Territorial Council/Conseil Territorial, 19 seats, 6-year term.

 

Wallis and Futuna

Overseas Collectivity of the Wallis and Futuna Islands/Collectivité d'Outre-Mer (COM) des Îles de Wallis-et-Futuna

Oceania: Located in the South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 274 sq km

Population: 14,000 (06-2013e). Density: 51/sq km

Capital: Matâ’utu

Established: 29 July 1961

Overseas Collectivity

Constitution: 28 September 1958

Chief of State: The French president is chief of state represented by the appointed High Administrator and President of the Territorial Council.

Government: Headed by the President of the Territorial Assembly who is elected for a 5-year term.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Territorial Assembly/Assemblée Territorial, 20 seats, 5-year term.

 

Gabon

Gabonese Republic/République Gabonaise

Central Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 267,670 sq km; world ranking 75

Population: 1,600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 148. Density: 6/sq km, world ranking 186

Capital: Libreville

Independent since 17 August 1960

Constitution: 14 March 1991

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for unlimited number of 7-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature:

◄Senate/Sénat, 102 seats (elected indirectly), 6-year term.

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 120 seats, 5-year term.

 

Gambia, The

Republic of The Gambia*

West Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 11,300 sq km; world ranking 160

Population: 1,800,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 147. Density: 159/sq km, world ranking 54

Capital: Banjul (Bathurst)

Independent since 18 February 1965

Constitution: 8 August 1986 revised

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly, 58 seats (5 appointed by the President), 5-year term.

State religion: Although not formally an Islamic country, 95 percent of the population practices Islam with most following the Maliki school of the Sunni branch and the following Sufi brotherhoods: Ahmadiyyah movement, Muridiyyah, Quadiriyah, and Tijaniyyah.

*On 11 December 2015, the president had declared the country an Islamic Republic.

 

Georgia

Republic of Georgia/Sakartvelos Respublika

Southwestern Asia/Transcaucasia, bordering the Black Sea.

Area: 69,700 sq km; world ranking 119

Population: 4,500,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 121. Density: 65/sq km, world ranking 117

Capital: Tbilisi

Independent since 9 April 1991, 26 May 1918

Constitution: 17 October 1995, as amended

Parliamentary-presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who names members of the Cabinet. The prime minister is appointed by the president subject to approval by Parliament.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Georgian Parliament/Sakartvelos Parlamenti, 150 seats, 4-year term.

 

Disputed Territories

Abkhazia

Abkhazia Democratic Republic/Aphsny Axwynthkharra/Apkhazeti

Southwestern Asia/Transcaucasia: Located on the northeastern coast of the Black Sea at the western end of the Caucasus Mountains and Georgia.

Area: 8,599 sq km

Population: 190,000 (2008e). Density: 22 /sq km.

Capital: Sukhumi

Independence: 23 July 1992

Constitution: 26 November 1994

Presidential system: President elected popularly, 5-year term, limited to two consecutive terms.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president.

Unicameral legislature:

◄People’s Assembly, 35 seats, 5-year term.

 

South Ossetia                                                            

State of Alania* (Republic of South Ossetia) /Respublikae Xussar Iryston/Samkhreti Osetia

Southwestern Asia/Transcaucasia: Landlocked, located in eastern Georgia, on the southern side of the Caucasus Mountains.

Area: 3,900 sq km

Population: 70,000 (2004e). Density: 18/sq km.

Capital: Tskhinvali

Independence: 28 November 1991

Constitution: 8 April 2001

Presidential system: President is popularly elected for a term of five years.

Government is headed by the appointed prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament, 34 seats, 5 years.

*Popular referendum on 9 April 2017 approved the change from Republic of South Ossetia to Republic of South Ossetia-State of Alania (or Republic of South Ossetia-Alania).

 

Germany

Federal Republic of Germany (FRG)/Bundesrepublik Deutschland (BRD)

Central Europe, bordering the Baltic and North Seas.

Area: 356,910 sq km; world ranking 63

Population: 81,200,000 (05-2011); world ranking 16. Density: 228/sq km, world ranking 38

Capital: Berlin

Republic established on 23 May 1949, 9 November 1919

Constitution: 23 May 1949, as amended (Basic Law/Grundgesetz)

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the Federal Assembly for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the Federal Chancellor who is appointed by the president.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Parlament:

◄Federal Council/ Bundesrat, 69 seats (appointed by state governments).

◄Federal Assembly/Bundestag, 709 seats (299 from single-seat districts, 410 proportionally from party lists), 4-year term.

 

Ghana

Republic of Ghana

West Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea.

Area: 238,540 sq km; world ranking 78

Population: 25,500,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 48. Density: 107/sq km, world ranking 76

Capital: Accra

Independent since 6 March 1957

Constitution: 28 April 1992, effective 28 January 1993

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament, 275 seats, 4-year term.

 

Greece

The Hellenic Republic/Elliniki Dimokratia

Southeast Europe, bordering the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas.

Area: 131,940 sq km; world ranking 95

Population: 10,800,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 77. Density: 82/sq km, world ranking 95

Capital: Athens/Athina

Independent since 25 March 1821

Constitution: 11 June 1975

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the legislature for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Hellenic Parliament/Vouli ton Ellinon, 300 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: The constitution established the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ (Greek Orthodox) as the prevailing religion.

 

Grenada

State of Grenada

America: Situated on an island and six smaller islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 344 sq km; world ranking 185

Population: 100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 183. Density: 291/sq km, world ranking 32

Capital: Saint George’s

Independent since 7 February 1974

Constitution: 19 December 1973

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor General.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament:

◄Senate, 13 seats (appointed), 5-year term.

◄House of Representatives, 15 seats, 5-year term.

 

Guatemala

Republic of Guatemala/República de Guatemala

Central America, bordering the Gulf of Honduras and the North Pacific Ocean.

Area: 108,890 sq km; world ranking 105

Population: 15,000,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 68. Density: 138/sq km, world ranking 60

Capital: Guatemala

Independent since 15 September 1821

Constitution: 14 January 1986

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a single 4-year term to serve as chief of state and head of government. The vice president is free to serve unlimited number of non-consecutive terms.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Congress of the Republic/Congreso de la República, 158 seats, 4-year term.

 

Guinea

Republic of Guinea/République de Guinée

West Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 245,860 sq km; world ranking 76

Population: 11,500,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 74. Density: 47/sq km, world ranking 127

Capital: Conakry

Independent since 2 October 1958

Constitution: 23 December 1990

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 114 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Although not formally an Islamic country, 84 percent of the population practice Islam and belong to the Sunni branch.

 

Guinea-Bissau

Republic of Guinea-Bissau/República da Guinée-Bissau

West Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 36,120 sq km; world ranking 134

Population: 1,600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 149. Density: 44/sq km, world ranking 133

Capital: Bissau

Independent since 10 September 1974

Constitution: 16 May 1984, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected to serve as chief of state for an unlimited number of 5-year terms.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National People’s Assembly/Assembléia Nacional Popular, 102 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Not formally an Islamic country but 50 percent of the population practice Islam and belong to the Sunni branch.

 

Guyana

Co-operative Republic of Guyana

South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 214,970 sq km; world ranking 82

Population: 800,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 160. Density: 4/sq km, world ranking 187

Capital: Georgetown

Independent since 26 May 1966

Constitution: 6 October 1980

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected in general election as leader of the majority party for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly of the Parliament, 65 seats, 5-year term.

 

Haiti

Republic of Haiti/République d’Haïti

America: Situated on the western part of the island of Hispaniola between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 27,750 sq km; world ranking 144

Population: 10,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 83. Density: 371/sq km, world ranking 23

Capital: Port-au-Prince

Independent since 1 January 1804

Constitution: 29 March 1987

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for no more than two non-consecutive 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister subject to a vote of confidence by the Senate.

Bicameral legislature—National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale:

◄Senate/Sénat, 30 seats, 6-year term.

◄Chamber of Deputies/Chambre de Députés, 112 seats, 4-year term.

 

Honduras

Republic of Honduras/República de Honduras

Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Fonseca.

Area: 112,090 sq km; world ranking 101

Population: 8,400,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 94. Density: 75/sq km, world ranking 101

Capital: Tegucigalpa

Independent since 15 September 1821

Constitution: 11 January 1982

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a single 4-year term to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Asamblea Nacional, 128 seats, 4-year term.

 

Hungary

Magyarország

(Republic of Hungary/Magyar Köztásaság until 1 January 2012)

Central Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 93,030 sq km; world ranking 109

Population: 9,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 86. Density: 106/sq km, world ranking 77

Capital: Budapest

Founded: 1001

Independent since 16 November 1918

Constitution: 18 April 2011

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the National Assembly for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by the legislature. Cabinet is subject to approval by the legislature.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Országgyülés, 199 seats, 4-year term.

 

Iceland

Republic of Iceland/Lyoveldio Island

Northern Europe: Situated on an island and including two archipelagos with some 30 islands, in close proximity to the Arctic Circle between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 103,000 sq km; world ranking 106

Population: 300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 173. Density: 3/sq km, world ranking 193

Capital: Reykjavík

Independent since 17 June 1944 (1 December 1918)

Constitution: 17 June 1944

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for a 4-year term to serve as chief of state. The term is automatically extended if there is no other candidate.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament/Althingi, 63 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: The Lutheran Church is the state church and is financially supported and promoted by the government.

 

India

Republic of India/Bharat

South Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

Area: 3,287,590 sq km; world ranking  7

Population: 1,274,239,769 (07-2015); world ranking  2. Density: 383/sq km, world ranking 19

Capital: New Delhi (Calcutta/Simla until December 1911)

Independent since 15 August 1947

Constitution: 26 January 1950, as amended

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by an electoral college composed of members of both houses of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies of States for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state. The vice president who chairs the Council of States, is elected by an electoral college of members of both houses of Parliament for a 5-year term.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Sansad:

◄Council of States/Rajya Sabha, 245 seats (majority of members elected by state and territorial

    legislatures, 12 appointed), 6-year term.

◄House of the People/Lok Sabha, 545 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: There is no official religion but 80 percent of the population are Hindus and 14 percent practice Islam.

 

Disputed Territory

Kashmir                                                         

South Asia

Location: Landlocked in the northwestern corner of South Asia.

Area: 313,209 sq km

Population: 16,211,582 (2008). Density: 52/sq km.

The former Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu of British India is divided into the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) of Pakistan, and Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan.

 

State of Jammu and Kashmir (J+K) of India

Area: 222,236 sq km

Population: 10,143,700 (2008). Density: 46/sq km.

Kashmir: Anantnag, Badgam, Baramula, Kupwara, Pulwama, Punch, Rajauri, and Srinagar Districts.

Jammu: Doda, Jammu, Kathua, and Udhampur Districts.

Ladakh: Kargil and Leh Districts

Capital: Srinagar, Kashmir (summer)            

             Jammu, Jammu (winter)

Constitution: Constitution Order 1954

Parliamentary system

The Indian president is represented by the appointed Governor.

Government: Headed by the elected Chief Minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Legislative Assembly, 87 seats, 6-year term.

The state is represented in the upper house of the Union parliament by four elected members and in the lower house by six elected members of parliament.

Religion: Islam is the predominant religion which is practiced by more than 90 percent of the population followed by Hinduism although the majority of Kashmiri Pandits has left because of continuing threat of violence. Buddhism predominates in the districts of Ladakh.

 

Indonesia

Republic of Indonesia/Republik Indonesia

Southeast Asia: Situated on five major islands and archipelagos of some 17,500 islands between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Area: 1,919,440 sq km; world ranking 14

Population: 241,000,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 4. Density: 126/sq km, world ranking 67

Capital: Jakarta (Batavia)

Independent since 17 August 1945

Constitution: 18 August 1945, as amended

Presidential-parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature―People's Consultative Assembly/Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat

(MPR):

◄ Regional Representative Council/Dewan Perwakilan Daerah (DPD), 132 seats; non-partisan members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote, 5-year terms.

◄House of Representatives/Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR), 560 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Constitutionally, “the nation is based upon belief in one Supreme God” which is no further defined by a specific religion. The majority of the population—87 percent—mainly on Java and Sumatra, practices Islam. The majority adhere to the Shafi’i school of the Sunni branch, others are followers of the Sufi Naqshbandiyyah and Tijaniyyah brotherhoods. About 10 percent belong to the Shi’a branch of Islam, mainly in Aceh Province.

 

Iran*

Islamic Republic of Iran/Jomhoori-e-Islami-e-Iran

Western Asia/Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea.

Area: 1,648,000 sq km; world ranking 17

Population: 78,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 17. Density: 48/sq km, world ranking 126

Capital: Tehran

Founded: 550 BC

Republic established on 1 April 1979

Constitution: 3 December 1979, revised

Theocratic system: The Highest Spiritual Leader/wali faqih serves as chief of state.

The president is popularly elected for not more than two consecutive 4-year terms and one additional non-consecutive 4-year term and serves as head of government. The government is under the supervision and control of the following:

■ Assembly of Experts/Majles-e Khobregan, 86 elected religious scholars, to determine the succession of the Supreme Leader.

■ State Expediency Council/Majma-e Tashkhis-e Nezam (Council for the Discernment of Expediency), 44 permanent members appointed by the Supreme Leader (heads of executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, members of the Council of Guardians), and temporary members, 5-year term, to advise and implement policy and supervise the government.

■ Guardians Council/Shora-ye Negahban-e Qanun-e Assassi (Council of Guardians of the Constitution), 12 members (6 clerics appointed by the Supreme Leader and 6 jurists selected by the Consultative Assembly, 6-year term, to examine proposed legislation for its constitutionality, accordance with Islamic law, and to screen candidates and supervise elections.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Islamic Consultative Assembly/Majles Shoraye Eslami, 290 seats, 4-year term.

Parties: Those committed to the Islamic system are functioning unhindered, however, critics of theocracy are usually forced to seek shelter in “reform-minded” groups or identify themselves as “independents.”

State religion: Islamic theocratic state in which 99 percent of the population practice the official state religion and of which 90 percent belong to the Shi’a branch of Islam, mainly following the Ja’fari school. Ten percent belong to the Sunni branch.

*Known as Persia before 22 March 1935.

 

Iraq

Republic of Iraq/Jumhuriya al-’Iraqia

Western Asia/Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf.

Area: 437,072 sq km; world ranking 58

Population: 33,700,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 37. Density: 77/sq km, world ranking 98

Capital: Baghdad

Independent since 13 October 1932

Constitution: 15 October 2005

Presidential system

Presidency Council is composed of the president and two vice presidents. He is elected by the National Assembly for up to two four-year terms and serves as head of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister, nominated by the Presidency Council and requiring confirmation by the legislature. He is limited to two terms of office. The prime minister serves as commander in chief, except for ceremonial functions.

Bicameral legislature:

Federation Council (composed of appointed representatives of regions and governates) (not yet formed).

◄Council of Representatives of Iraq/Majlis an-Nuwwāb al-‘Irāqiyy, 328 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: Islam is the official religion of the state and is practiced by 99 percent of the population. Sixty-five percent belong to the Shi’a branch of Islam which was repressed under the previous government. Thirty percent of Iraqis belong to the Sunni-branch, following the Hanafi school. Kurds follow the Shafi’i school.

 

Autonomous Area

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)/Hikûmetî Herêmî Kurdistan (HHK)

Location: Landlocked in north eastern Iraq comprising the provinces of Arbil (Erbil), As-Sulaymaniyah, and Dahuk (Dohuk).

Area: 40,643 sq km

Population: 3,757,058 (12-2002)

Formation: October 1991 (11 March 1970)

Recognition: 30 January 2005

Capital: Arbil, Iraq

Autonomous Region of Iraq

President is elected by the Kurdistan National Assembly (KNA).

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by the Kurdistan National Assembly (KNA)

Unicameral regional legislature:

◄Kurdistan National Assembly (KNA), 111 seats, 4-year term

Religion: The majority of the population practice Islam with most of them belonging to the Sunni branch following the Shafi’i school. Several ten thousand people practice Yazidism.

 

Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Poblacht na hÉireann

Western Europe: Situated on an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, except for the north-eastern portion, and hundreds of islets surrounding it.

Area: 70,280 sq km; world ranking 118

Population: 4,700,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 118. Density: 67/sq km, world ranking 112

Capital: Dublin

Independent since 6 December 1921

Constitution: 1 July 1937

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 7-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by Parliament.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Oireachtas:

◄Senate/Seanad Eireann, 60 seats (43 elected indirectly, 11 appointed), 5-year term.

◄House of Representatives/Dáil Eireann, 158 seats, 5-year term.

 

Israel

State of Israel/Medinat Israel

Western Asia/Middle East, bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Area: 20,770 sq km; world ranking 150

Population: 7,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 96. Density: 380/sq km, world ranking 21

Capital: Jerusalem (Tel Aviv) (Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital on 23 January 1950, an action not recognized by the United Nations nor by any of its member states.)

Established on 14 May 1948

Constitution: None (Declaration of Establishment of 14 May 1948)

Clerical state with parliamentary system

President: Elected by Parliament for one 7-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister and subject to approval by Parliament.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament/Knesset, 120 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: Israel is described as a Jewish state in its Declaration of Independence and the government implements certain policies based on Orthodox Jewish interpretations of religious law. Non-Jewish Israeli citizens are either barred or are having difficulty entering certain government positions.

 

Italy

The Italian Republic/Repubblica Italiana

Southern Europe, bordering the Adriatic, Ionian, Ligurian, Mediterranean, and Tyrrhenian Seas.

Area: 301,320 sq km; world ranking 70

Population: 60,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 23. Density: 202/sq km, world ranking 47

Capital: Rome/Roma

Independent since 17 March 1861

Constitution: 1 January 1948, as amended

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by an electoral college for a 7-year term to serve as chief of state to represent the unity of the nation and exercises powers of control, counter-signature, inspection, and nomination. The Electoral College is composed of the members of Parliament and of three members of each of the 19 Regions and one member from Val  d’Aoste elected by the Regional Councils.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Parlamento: 

◄Senate/Senato della Repubblica, 321 seats (incl. 6 lifetime appointments), 5-year-term (Changes pending).

◄Chamber of Deputies/Camera dei Deputati, 630 seats, 5-year term.

 

Ivory Coast/Côte d’Ivoire

Republic of Côte d’Ivoire/République de la Côte d’Ivoire

West Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 322,460 sq km; world ranking 68

Population: 20,600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 59. Density: 64/sq km, world ranking 118

Capitals: Yamoussoukro and Abidjan

Independent since 7 August 1960

Constitution: 4 August 2000, as amended in 2016.

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature:

◄ Senate/Sénat, 99 seats (66 indirectly elected, 33 appointed by president) since 24 March 2018,

5–year term.  

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 255 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Not an Islamic country but 40 percent of the population practice Islam with most following the Maliki school of the Sunni branch and the following Sufi brotherhoods: Ahmadiyyah movement, Muridiyyah, Quadiriyah, and Tijaniyyah.

 

Jamaica

America: Island situated in the Caribbean Sea.

Area: 10,990 sq km; world ranking 161

Population: 2,700,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 138. Density: 246/sq km, world ranking 37

Capital: Kingston

Independent since 6 August 1962

Constitution: 6 August 1962

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor General.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament:

◄Senate, 21 seats (appointed), 5-year term.

◄House of Representatives, 63 seats, 5-year term.

 

Japan

Nihon Koku

East Asia: Situated on four major islands and including 6,852 others in the North Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan.

Area: 377,835 sq km; world ranking 62

Population: 125,583,658 (01-2017); world ranking 10. Density: 335/sq km, world ranking 26

Capital: Tokyo (Kyoto until 1869; Edo/Yedo-renamed Tokyo since 1869)

Founded: 660 BC

Constitution: 3 May 1947

Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—National Diet/Kokkai:

◄House of Councilors/Sangiin, 242 seats (146 from single-member districts, 96 by national proportional representation), 6-year term.

◄House of Representatives/Shugiin, 465 seats (289 from single-member districts, 176 by  proportional representation), 4-year term.

 

Jordan

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Mamlaka al-Urduniya al-Hashemiyah

Western Asia/Middle East: Landlocked country.

Area: 89,213 sq km; world ranking 111

Population: 6,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 106. Density: 71/sq km, world ranking 107

Capital: Amman

Independent since 25 May 1946

Constitution: 8 January 1952

Constitutional monarchy

The king is chief of state and commander in chief.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the king.

Bicameral legislature—National Assembly/Majlis al-Umma:

◄Senate (House of Notables)/Majlis al-A’yaan, 75 seats (appointed by the king), 4-year term.

◄House of Representatives/Majlis al-Nuwwab, 150 seats (incl. 12 reserved for women), 4-year term.

State religion: Islam is the official state religion which is practiced by 94 percent of the population of which 95 percent adhere to the Hanafi school of the Sunni-branch.

 

Kazakhstan

Republic of Kazakhstan/Kazak Respublikasy

Central Asia: Landlocked country, except for bordering the Aral and Caspian Seas.

Area: 2,717,300 sq km; world ranking 9

Population: 18,000,000 (2017e); world ranking 62. Density: 6/sq km, world ranking 185

Capital: Astana (since 10 December 1997, known as Akmola until 6 May 1998) (Almaty/ Alma-Ata before 12 December 1997)

Independent since 16 December 1991

Constitution: 30 August 1995, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 7-year term to serve as chief of state.  (Under the 2007 amendment the incumbent is allowed to stay in office for an unlimited number of terms. On 15 June 2010, Parliament declared the incumbent president “Leader of the Nation,” entitling him to controlling policy after leaving office, immunity from criminal prosecution for acts while in office, and protection of his and the family’s assets). The next president will be popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Parlament:

◄Senate/Senat, 47 seats (32 elected by regional legislatures—maslikhats, 15 appointed by the president) 6-year term.

◄Assembly/Mazhilis, 107 seats (9 members elected by the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan), 5-year term.

■ Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan/Kazakhstan Khalykhtarynyn Assambleyasy, 364 members representing 100 ethnic groups, appointed by the president.

State religion: About 70 percent of the population are Muslims of which 75 percent are adherents of the Hanafi school of the Sunni branch, some following the Shafi’i school, and some belonging to the Sufi Ahmaddiyyah order.

 

Kenya

Republic of Kenya/Jamhuri ya Kenya

East Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean.

Area: 582,650 sq km; world ranking 47

Population: 43,000,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 31. Density: 74/sq km, world ranking 104

Capital: Nairobi

Independent since 10 September 2012 (full independence), 12 December 1963

Constitution: 27 August 2010

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament:

◄Senate, 67 seats (16 women, 2 each representing disabled and youth, and the Speaker), 5-year term.

◄National Assembly/Bunge, 349 seats (47 women, 12 nominated by parliamentary parties and the Speaker, 5-year term.

 

Kiribati

Republic of Kiribati/Ribaberikin Kiribati

Oceania: Situated on an island and including 32 atolls in the Pacific Ocean.

Area: 717 sq km; world ranking 175

Population: 100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 184. Density: 139/sq km, world ranking 59

Capital: Tarawa

Independent since 12 July 1979

Constitution: 12 July 1979

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than three 4-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄House of Assembly/Maneaba Ni Maungatabu, 46 seats (1 appointed, 1 ex officio), 4-year term.

 

Korean Peninsula

Armistice-Unresolved Conflict

East Asia

Location: Bordering China, Korea Bay, the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan.

The former Kingdom of Korea is divided into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea and the Republic of Korea (ROK) or South Korea.

Area: 219,020 sq km

Population: 73,500,000 (06-2012e)

 

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)/Chosun Minchu-chui Inmin Kongwha-guk

North Korea

Area: 120,540 sq km; world ranking 98

Population: 24,600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 49. Density: 204/sq km, world ranking 45

Capital: P’yongyang

Independent since 9 September 1948

Constitution: 7 September 1948, as amended

Presidential system subject to direction and control by the Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) and its Secretary General. The Chairman of the National Defense Commission (i.e., the President), elected by the Assembly, serves as formal head of state and Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army (KPA).

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Supreme People’s Assembly/Ch’oe Go In Min Hoe Ui, 687 seats, 5-year term.

Parties: The ruling Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) dominates although there are two minority parties. Others are banned and any criticism or opposition is not only prohibited but is prosecuted and severely punished.

 

Republic of Korea (ROK)/Daehan Min-kuk

South Korea

Area: 98,480 sq km; world ranking 108

Population: 48,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 26. Density: 497/sq km, world ranking 13

Capital: Seoul/Soul

Independent since 15 August 1948

Constitution: 17 July 1948/25 February 1988

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for one 5-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister, nominated by the president and confirmed by the legislature.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Kuk hoe, 300 seats, 4-year term.

 

Kosovo

Republic of Kosovo/Republika e Kosovës

Southeast Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 10,887 sq km; world ranking 162

Population: 2,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 140. Density: 211/sq km, world ranking 43

Capital: Pristina

Independent since 17 February 2008, obtained full independence on 10 September 2012.

Constitution: 15 June 2008

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the legislature for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by prime minister who is elected by the legislature.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Kosovo Assembly/Kuvendi i Kosovës/Skupština Kosova, 120 seats (10 reserved for ethnic Serbs, 10 reserved for ethnic minorities), limited to three 3-year terms.

State religion: No official religion. About 96 percent of the population follow Islam and some practice Sufism or belong to the Order of Bektashi.

 

KURDISTAN

Western Asia/Middle East

Iran, Iraq, Syria Turkey

Disputed Territory

Area    360,489 sq km Kurdish Population      30,000,000 (2008e)                 Density 83/sq km

Iran        91, 548                                                            6,000,000 (2007)                         66

Iraq        36,347                                                             3,757,058 (2007)                       103

Syria      14,154                                                             1,900,000 (2008e)                     134

Turkey 218,440                                                           14,200,000 (2008e)                       65

 

Kuwait

State of Kuwait/Dawlat al Kuwait

Western Asia/Middle East: Situated on the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the Persian Gulf and including 9 islands.

Area: 17.820 sq km; world ranking 153

Population: 2,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 135. Density: 146/sq km, world ranking 56

Capital: Kuwait/al-Kuwayt

Independent since 19 June 1961

Constitution: 11 November 1962

Voting: Adult males only who have resided in Kuwait before 1920, their male descendants, and naturalized males who have resided in Kuwait for the past 30 years.

Ruling amirate

The amir is chief of state and commander in chief.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Majles al-Ummah, 65 seats (50 elected and 15 official non-elected Cabinet ministers), 4-year term.

Parties: Although the constitution does not prohibit political parties they are banned but not political parliamentary blocs.

State religion: Islam is the official state religion which is practiced by 86 percent of the population. Some 60 percent, including the ruling family, belong to the Sunni branch, 30 percent to Shi’a Islam, and 10 percent to other Islamic sects.

 

Kyrgyzstan

The Kyrgyz* Republic/Kyrgyz Respublikasy

Central Asia: Landlocked country.

Area: 198,500 sq km; world ranking 85

Population: 6.02 million (01-2016); world ranking 110. Density: 29/sq km, world ranking 150

Capital: Bishkek (Frunze), Osh (2nd capital since 5 October 2000)

Independent since 31 August 1991

Constitution: 2 July 2010, referendum 11 Dec 2016

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for one 6-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister, nominated by the president and elected by the legislature.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Supreme Council/Jogorku Kenesh, 120 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: About 89 percent of the population belong to Islam of which 75 percent are adherents of the Sunni branch and some are Ismailis.

*Formerly written Kirghiz.

 

Laos

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic/Saathiaranarath Prachhathipatay Prachhachon Lao

Southeast Asia: Landlocked country.

Area: 236,800 sq km; world ranking 80

Population: 6,500,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 103. Density: 27/sq km, world ranking 152

Capital: Vientiane

Independent since 23 October 1953

Constitution: 14 August 1991

Presidential system subject to direction and control by the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP).

President: Elected by the legislature for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Sapha Heng Xat, 132 seats, 5-year term.

Parties: The Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP/PPPL) is the sole ruling party.

 

Latvia

Republic of Latvia/Latvijas Republika

Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea.

Area: 64,589 sq km; world ranking 122

Population: 2,000,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 144. Density: 31/sq km, world ranking 145

Capital: Riga

Independent since 21 August 1991, 18 November 1918

Constitution: 15 February 1922/6 July 1993, revised

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by Parliament for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is subject to approval by Parliament.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament/Saeima, 100 seats, 4-year term.

 

Lebanon

The Lebanese Republic/Jumhuriya al-Lubnaniya

Western Asia/Middle East, bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Area: 10,400 sq km; world ranking 163

Population: 4,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 124. Density: 413/sq km, world ranking 15

Capital: Beirut/Beyrouth

Independent since 26 November 1941

Constitution: 23 May 1926, as amended

Voting: Universal; compulsory for males only.

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the legislature for a 6-year term to serve as chief of state. The constitution bans consecutive terms.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Majlis al-Nuwwab, 128 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: None. Government and politics are based on the principle of religious representation. Islam is practiced by 60 percent of the population of which 29 percent belong to Shi’a Islam, 11 percent who adhere to the Nusariyyah sect are Alawites, 50 percent belong to the Sunni branch and 7 percent are Druze.

 

Lesotho

Kingdom of Lesotho

Southern Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 30,350 sq km; world ranking 138

Population: 2,200,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 141. Density: 72/sq km, world ranking 106

Capital: Maseru

Independent since 4 October 1966

Constitution: 2 April 1993

Constitutional monarchy

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament:

◄Senate, 33 seats (22 Principal Chiefs, 11 appointed by the king), 5-year term.

◄National Assembly, 120 seats, 5-year term.

 

Liberia

Republic of Liberia

West Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 111,370 sq km; world ranking 102

Population: 4,200,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 126. Density: 38/sq km, world ranking 141

Capital: Monrovia

Established on 26 July 1847

Constitution: 6 January 1986

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 6-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature--National Assembly:

◄The Liberian Senate, 30 seats, 9-year term.

◄House of Representatives, 73 seats, 6-year term.

 

Libya

North Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Area: 1,759,540 sq km; world ranking 16

Population: 6,500,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 104. Density: 4/sq km, world ranking 188

Capital: Tripoli/Tarabulus

Independent since 24 December 1951

Constitution: Interim Constitutional Declaration, 3 August 2011. A constitution is currently being drafted by a Constitutional Assembly.

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Interim de facto head of state is the President of the legislature who serves as head of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister

Unicameral legislature:

◄General National Congress/al-Mu’tamar al-Waṭanī al-‘Aam, 200 seats, transitional term.

State religion: Islam is the state religion and is practiced by 97 percent of the population of which 97 percent are predominantly followers of the Maliki school of the Sunni branch.

 

Liechtenstein

Principality of Liechtenstein/Fürstentum Liechtenstein

Central Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 160 sq km; world ranking 191

Population: 40,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 190. Density: 250/sq km, world ranking 36

Capital: Vaduz

Established on 23 January 1719

Independent since 12 July   1806

Constitution: 5 October 1921

Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system

Government: Headed by the Chief of Government (prime minister).

Unicameral legislature:

◄Diet/Landtag, 25 seats, 4-year term.

 

Lithuania

Republic of Lithuania/Lietuvos Respublika

Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea.

Area: 65,200 sq km; world ranking 121

Population: 2,921,000 (01-2015e); world ranking 134. Density: 46/sq km, world ranking 131

Capital: Vilnius

Founded: 1293

Independent since 11 March 1990, 16 February 1918

Constitution: 25 October 1992

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament/Seimas, 141 seats (70 single-seat districts and 71 national proportional distribution), 4-year term.

 

Luxembourg

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg/Grand-Duché de Luxembourg

Western Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 2,586 sq km; world ranking 169

Population: 500,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 166. Density: 193/sq km, world ranking 49

Capital: Luxembourg

Independent since 19 April 1839

Constitution: 17 October 1968, revised

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Chamber of Deputies/Chambre des Députés/D’Chamber/Abgeordnetenkammer, 60 seats, 5-year term. 

■ Council of State/Conseil d’Etat/Staatsrat, 21 seats (appointed) has some minor legislative functions.

 

Macedonia*

Republic of Macedonia*/Republika Makedonija

Southeast Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 25,333 sq km; world ranking 146

Population: 2,100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 142. Density: 83/sq km, world ranking 92

Capital: Skopje

Independent since 17 September 1991

Constitution: 17 November 1991

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Assembly of the Republic/Sobranie, 123 seats, 4-year term.

*Currently referred to by the United Nations (UN) as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) but in the process of adopting the name of Republic of North Macedonia.

 

Madagascar

Republic of Madagascar/Repoblik’i Madagasikara

Southern Africa: Situated on an island and includes five small islands and numerous reefs in the Indian Ocean.

Area: 587,040 sq km; world ranking 46

Population: 21,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 54. Density: 37/sq km, world ranking 142

Capital: Antananarivo (Tananarive)

Independent since 26 June 1960

Constitution: 11 December 2010

Presidential system

President: The president is popularly elected to serve as chief of state for a 5-year term..

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Antenimierampirenena/Assemblée Nationale, 151 seats, 5-year term,

 

Malawi

Republic of Malawi/Dziko la Malawi

Southern Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 118,480 sq km; world ranking 99

Population: 15,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 66. Density: 134/sq km, world ranking 63

Capital: Lilongwe and Blantyre (Zomba)

Independent since 6 July 1964

Constitution: 18 May 1995

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state, commander in chief, and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly, 193 seats, 5-year term.

 

Malaysia

Persekutuan Tanah Malaysia

Southeast Asia: The peninsular part of the country is separated from its eastern part situated on the island of Borneo which it shares with Indonesia and borders the South China Sea.

Area: 329,750 sq km; world ranking 65

Population: 29,000,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 43. Density: 88/sq km, world ranking 89

Capital: Putrajaya (administrative capital since 15 May 1999)/Kuala Lumpur (since 1895)

Independent since 31 August 1957

Constitution: 27 August 1957, as amended

Constitutional monarchy: Paramount Ruler/Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected from among Rulers of the  Malay States, 5-year term. As head of state he also serves as Commander in Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces.

Government: Headed by prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Parlimen:

◄Senate/Dewan Negara, 70 seats (26 indirectly elected by State Legislative Assemblies, 44 appointed by the Paramount Ruler), limited to two 3-year terms.

◄House of Representatives/Dewan Rakyat, 222 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Islam is the official religion which is practiced by 61 percent of the population who belong to the Sunni branch and less than one percent to Shi’a Islam.

 

Maldives

Republic of Maldives/Divehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa

South Asia: Situated on an island and 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean.

Area: 300 sq km; world ranking 188

Population: 300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 174. Density: 1,000/sq km, world ranking 7

Capital: Male

Independent since 25 July 1965

Constitution: 7 August 2008

Presidential system

President: Elected by the legislature for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄People’s Council/Majlis, 85 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Islamic state in which 98 percent of the population practice the state religion. The majority belongs to the Sunni branch.

 

Mali

Republic of Mali/République du Mali

West Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 1,240,000 sq km; world ranking 23

Population: 16,000,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 65. Density: 13/sq km, world ranking 177

Capital: Bamako

Independent since 22 September 1960

Constitution: 12 January 1992

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 147 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Although not formally an Islamic country, 95 percent of the population practice Islam of which the majority belongs to the Sunni branch.

 

Malta

Republic of Malta/Repubblika ta’Malta

Southern Europe: Situated on an island and on an archipelago of three larger islands and 18 islets and rocks in the Mediterranean Sea.

Area: 320 sq km; world ranking 187

Population: 400,000; world ranking  170. Density: 1,250/sq km, world ranking 5

Capital: Valletta

Independent since 21 September 1964

Constitution: 5 May 1964, revised

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the legislature for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄House of Representatives/Il-Kamra Tad-Deputati, 67 seats, 5-year term.

 

Marshall Islands

Republic of the Marshall Islands

Oceania: Situated on 5 single islands and 29 atolls in the North Pacific Ocean.

Area: 181 sq km; world ranking 190

Population: 100,000; world ranking 185. Density: 552/sq km, world ranking 11

Capital: Majuro

Independent since 21 October 1986

Constitution: 1 May 1979

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by Parliament for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament/Nitijela, 33 seats, 4-year term.

 

Mauritania

Islamic Republic of Mauritania/République Islamique Arabe et Africaine de Mauritanie

Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 1,030,700 sq km; world ranking 28

Population: 3,600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 129. Density: 3/sq km, world ranking 190

Capital: Nouakchott

Independent since 28 November 1960

Constitution: 12 July 1991, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Barlamane:

◄Senate/Majlis al-Chouyoukh, 56 seats (53 elected indirectly by municipal councilors, 3 voters abroad, selected by elected members) 6-year term.

◄National Assembly/al-Jamiya al-Wataniya, 147 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Islamic state in which 100 percent of the population practice the official state religion and of whom 99 percent follow the Maliki school of the Sunni branch.

 

àDisputed area, see Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)/Western Sahara.

 

Mauritius

Republic of Mauritius

Southern Africa: Situated on an island (part of Mascarene Islands) and includes two other islands and an archipelago of shoals in the Indian Ocean.

Area: 1,860 sq km; world ranking 171

Population: 1,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 152. Density: 648/sq km, world ranking 9

Capital: Port Louis

Independent since 12 March 1968

Constitution: 12 March 1968, as amended

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the legislature for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 70 seats, 5-year term.

 

Dependencies

Agaléga Islands/îles Agaléga                         

Southern Africa/Indian Ocean

Principal location: Vingt Cinq

Administration/Management: Resident Manager of the state-owned Outer Island Development Company (OIDC).

 

Caradagos Carajos Shoals/St. Brandon Islands

Southern Africa/Indian Ocean

Principal location: Raphael, Île Raphael

Administration: State-owned Outer Island Development Company (OIDC).

 

Rodrigues Island

Mascarene islands

Southern Africa/Indian Ocean

-Principal location: Port Mathurin

Unicameral legislature:

◄Regional Assembly/Assemblée Régional, 18 seats

 

Mexico

United Mexican States/Estados Unidos Mexicanos

North America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and North Pacific Ocean.

Area: 1,972,550 sq km; world ranking 12

Population: 116,100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 11. Density: 59/sq km, world ranking 120

Capital: Mexico City

Independent since 16 September 1810

Constitution: 5 February 1917

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a single 6-year term to serve as chief of state, head of government, and commander in chief of the armed forces.

Bicameral legislature—Congress of the Union/Congreso de la Unión:

◄Senate/Camara de Senadores, 128 seats, 6-year term.

◄Chamber of Deputies/Camara de Diputados, 500 seats, 3-year term.

 

Micronesia

Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

Oceania: Situated on four high islands and 607 small islands in the North Pacific Ocean.

Area: 702 sq km; world ranking 176

Population: 100,000; world ranking 186. Density: 142/sq km, world ranking 57

Capital: Kolonia                      

Independent since 21 October 1986, freely associated with the United States of America

Constitution: 10 May 1979

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by the legislature for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Congress, 14 seats, 2-year and 4-year (for four at-large Senators) terms.

Parties: None.

 

Moldova

Republic of Moldova/Republica Moldoveneasca

Eastern Europe: Landlocked country.

Area:  33,843 sq km; world ranking 136

Population: 4,100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 127. Density: 121/sq km, world ranking 71

Capital: Chisinau (Kishinev)

Independent since 27 August 1991

Constitution: 28 July 1994

Presidential system

President: Elected by Parliament for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister, nominated by president and subject to parliamentary confirmation.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament/Parlamentul, 101 seats, 4-year term.

 

Disputed Territory

Transdniestria

Transdniestrian Moldovan Republic (TMR)/Pridnevstrovskaya Moldavskaya Republika (PMR)/ Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic

Eastern Europe: Landlocked, located in Moldova on a narrow strip between the eastern shore of the Dniester (Nistru) River and the western Ukrainian border, including the municipality of Tiraspol and the raions of Dubasari, Grigoriopol, Ribitna, and Slobozia.

Area: 5,000 sq km

Population: 555,500 (2004). Density: 111/sq km

Capital: Tiraspol

Founded: 2 September 1990

Independence: 27 August 1991

Constitution: 24 December 1995

Presidential system

President and Vice President: Popularly elected to serve as chief of state for a 5-year term.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Supreme Soviet, 43 seats, 5-year term.

 

Monaco

Principality of Monaco/Principauté de Monaco

Western Europe, bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Area: 1.95 sq km; world ranking 195

Population: 40,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 191. Density: 20,513/sq km, world ranking 1

Capital: Monaco

Founded: 1297

Independent since 25 February 1489 (Under the protection of France since 1641)

Constitution: 17 December 1962; 1918 Franco-Monegasque Treaty of Friendship replaced by treaty of 24 October 2002.

Constitutional monarchy

Government: Headed by the Secretary of State, nominated by the French Government under the 1930 convention and approved by the Prince.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Council/Conseil National, 24 seats, 5-year term.

 

Mongolia

Monggol Ulus

Central Asia: Landlocked country.

Area: 1,565,000 sq km; world ranking 18

Population: 2,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 136. Density: 2/sq km, world ranking 196

Capital: Ulan Bator/Ulaanbaatar

Independent since 13 March 1921

Constitution: 12 February 1992, as amended

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by the legislature.

Unicameral legislature:

◄State Great Hural/Ulsyn Ikh Khural, 76 seats (28 elected proportionally), 4-year term.

 

Montenegro

Crna Gora

Southeast Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea.

Area: 13,812 sq km; world ranking 158

Population: 600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 163. Density: 43/sq km, world ranking 137

Capital: Podgorica (Titograd 1944-1991) (Cetinje 1912-1944)

Republic established on 31 January 1946

Independence 3 June 2006

Constitution: 19 October 2007

Presidential system

President: Elected by the legislature for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Montenegrin Assembly/Skupstina Crne Gora, 81 seats (set aside for 5 Albanian members), 4-year term.

 

Morocco

Kingdom of Morocco/Mamlaka al-Maghrebia

North Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea

Area: 446,550 sq km; world ranking 57

Population: 32,600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 40. Density: 73/sq km, world ranking 105

Capital: Rabat

Independent since 2 March 1956

Constitution: 1 July 2011

Constitutional monarchy

The king appoints and dismisses members of the Cabinet and governors of provinces, presides over ministerial council sessions, serves as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and is the country’s religious head as Commander of the Faithful.

Government: Headed by the President of the Government, i.e., prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament-Barlaman:

◄House of Councillors/Majlis al-Mustacharin , 270 seats (one-third elected indirectly every three years), 9-year term.

◄House of Representatives/Majlis Annouwab, 395 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Islam is the official state religion which is practiced by 99 percent of the population of whom 99 percent follow the Maliki school of the Sunni branch. The king is head of state and as a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed is “Commander of the Faithful” charged with ensuring “respect for Islam.”

 

à Disputed area, see Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)/Western Sahara.

 

Mozambique

Republic of Mozambique/República de Moçambique

Southeastern Africa, bordering the Mozambique Channel.

Area: 801,590 sq km; world ranking 35

Population: 23,700,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 50. Density: 30/sq km, world ranking 147

Capital: Maputo (Lourenço Marques)

Independent since 25 June 1975

Constitution: 30 November 1990

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Assembly of the Republic/Assembléia da República, 250 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: 18 percent of the population practice Islam.

 

Myanmar, see Burma;

 

Nagorno-Karabakh Enclave, see Azerbaijan

 

Namibia

Republic of Namibia

Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 825,418 sq km; world ranking 33

Population: 2,400,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 139. Density: 3/sq km, world ranking 194

Capital: Windhoek

Independent since 21 March 1990

Constitution: 12 March 1990

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament:

◄National Council, 26 seats (2 each elected by Regional Councils), 5-year term.

◄National Assembly, 78 seats (6 appointed by the president, non-voting), 5-year term.

 

Nauru

Republic of Nauru

Oceania: Situated on a single inhabited atoll in the South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 21 sq km; world ranking 194

Population: 10,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 194. Density: 476/sq km, world ranking 14

Capital: (None) Yaren (government offices)

Independent since 31 January 1968

Constitution: 29 January 1968

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by Parliament for not more than two 3-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament, 19 seats, 3-year term.

 

Nepal

Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal

South Asia: Landlocked country.

Area: 140,800 sq km; world ranking 94

Population: 26,400,000 (11-2012); world ranking 46. Density: 188/sq km, world ranking 51

Capital: Kathmandu

Founded: 21 December 1768

Republic declared on 28 May 2008

Constitution:  20 September 2015, as amended

Federal and parliamentary system.

President: Elected by the Constituent Assembly for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: The Council of Ministers is headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature: Federal Parliament of Nepal

◄ House of Representatives, 275 seats (165 elected directly, 110 elected proportionally), 5-year term.

◄ National Assembly, 59 seats (elected by Electoral College chosen by State Assemblies, village councils, municipalities), 6-year term, one third of members elected every two years.

State religion: The interim constitution declares the state secular. There is no official religion although the country was formerly described as a Hindu kingdom.

 

Netherlands

Kingdom of the Netherlands/Koninkrijk der Nederlanden

Western Europe, bordering the North Sea.

Area: 41,526 sq km; world ranking 132

Population: 16,800,000 (04-2014e); world ranking 63. Density: 405/sq km, world ranking 17

Capital: Amsterdam/The Hague

Founded: 1579

Independent since 2 July 1581

Constitution: 24 August 1815

Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system. The kingdom is constituted by four Constituent Countries: Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and the Netherlands.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—States-General/Staaten-Generaal:

◄First Chamber (Senate)/Eerste Kamer, 75 seats (elected by 12 Provincial Councils), 4-year term. ◄Second Chamber (House of Representatives)/Tweede Kamer, 150 seats, 4-year term.

 

Autonomous Countries and Special Municipalities

Aruba

America: Island in the Caribbean Sea

Area: 180 sq km

Population: 110,663 (07-2014e).

Capital: Oranjestad

Established: 1 January 1986

Self-governing constituent state of the Kingdom

Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system.

Chief of State: The Dutch monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Estates of Aruba/Staten van Aruba, 21 seats, 4-year term.

 

Bonaire/Bonaire/Boneiru

America: Island in the Caribbean Sea

Area: 288 sq km

Population: 18,413 (2014e)

Capital: Kralendijk

Established: 10 October 2010

Autonomous Special Municipality

Chief of State: The Dutch monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Lieutenant Governor.

Government: Headed by the Lieutenant Governor.

 

Curaçao/Land Curaçao/Pais Kòrsou

America: Island in the Caribbean Sea

Area: 444 sq km

Population: 146,836 (07-2013e).

Capital: Willemstad

Established: 10 October 2010

Self-governing constituent state of the Kingdom

Chief of State: The Dutch monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Estates of Curaçao/Staten van Curaçao, 21 seats, 4-year term.

 

Saba

America: Island in the Caribbean Sea

Area: 13 sq km

Population: 1,846 (2014e)

Capital: The Bottom

Established: 10 October 2010

Autonomous Special Municipality

Chief of State: The Dutch monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Lieutenant Governor.

Government: Headed by the Lieutenant Governor.

 

Sint Eustasius

America: Island in the Caribbean Sea

Area: 21 sq km

Population: 4,020 (2014e)

Capital: Oranjestad

Established: 10 October 2010

Autonomous Special Municipality

Chief of State: The Dutch monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Lieutenant Governor.

Government: Headed by the Lieutenant Governor.

 

Sint Maarten

America: Island in the Caribbean Sea

Located on the southern part of the island while Saint-Martin (France) occupies the northern part.

Area: 34 sq km

Population: 39,689 (07-2013e)

Capital: Philipsburg

Established: 10 October 2010

Self-governing constituent state of the Kingdom

Chief of State: The Dutch monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Estates of Sint Maarten/Staten van Sint Maarten, 15 seats, 4-year term.

 

New Zealand (NZ)

Oceania: Situated on two main islands, 9 others, and some 100-plus islets and rocks in the South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 268,680 sq km; world ranking 74

Population: 4,400,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 122. Density: 16/sq km, world ranking 165

Capital: Wellington

Independent since 26 September 1907

Constitution: None (Constitution Act 1986 of 1 January 1987)

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor General.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄House of Representatives, 120 seats, 3-year term.

 

Dependencies/Territories

Cook Islands

Oceania: South Pacific Ocean

Area: 240 sq km

Population: 17,791 (12-2011). Density: 74/sq km

Republic

Capital: Avarua

Constitution: 4 August 1965

Self-governing parliamentary government in free association with New Zealand.

Chief of state: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed New Zealand High Commissioner.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by Parliament for a 4-year term.

Bicameral legislature:

◄Upper house or House of Arikis/House of Chiefs, 15 seats (no legislative powers);

◄Parliament, 24 seats, 5-year term.

Status: Freely associated with New Zealand which is responsible for foreign relations.

                                               

Niue

Oceania: South Pacific Ocean

Area: 258 sq km

Population: 1,000 (05-2013e). Density: 4/sq km

Capital: Alofi

Established: 19 October 1974

Self-governing parliamentary government in free association with New Zealand.

Chief of State: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed New Zealand High Commissioner.

Government: Headed by the Premier who is elected for a 3-year term.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Legislative Assembly, 20 seats, 3-year term.

 

Ross Dependency

Antarctic Continent

Area:  sq km; world ranking

            Population: uninhabited

Established: 1923

Administration: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

 

Tokelau (Union Islands)

Oceania: South Pacific Ocean

Area: 10 sq km

Population: 1,411 (12-2012). Density: 141/sq km

Capital: None

Established: 1925

Territory, comprising: Atafu, Fakaofu, Nukunonu

Constitution: 1 January 1948

Chief of State: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed New Zealand High Commissioner and a UK Administrator.

Government: The Head of Government is elected by the Council of Faipule (cabinet) for a 1-year term.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Legislative Assembly/General Fono, 21 seats, 3-year term.

Parties: None

 

Nicaragua

Republic of Nicaragua/República de Nicaragua

Central America, bordering Caribbean Sea and North Pacific Ocean.

Area: 129,494 sq km; world ranking 96

Population: 6,000,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 108. Density: 46/sq km, world ranking 128

Capital: Managua

Independent since 15 September 1821

Constitution: 9 January 1987, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for 5-year term to serve as chief of state and head of government (Two-term presidential limit was abolished by the National Assembly in January 2014).

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Asamblea Nacional, 92 seats (2 seats reserved for unsuccessful presidential candidate and past vice president), 5-year term.

 

Niger

Republic of Niger/République du Niger

West Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 1,267,000 sq km; world ranking 21

Population: 16,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 64. Density: 13/sq km, world ranking 178

Capital: Niamey

Independent since 3 August 1960

Constitution: 31 October 2010

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 171 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Although not formally an Islamic country, 98 percent of the population practice Islam belonging to the Sunni branch and following the Sufi Tijaniyyah brotherhood.

 

Nigeria

Federal Republic of Nigeria

West Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea.

Area: 923,770 sq km; world ranking 31

Population: 182 million (11-2016); world ranking 7. Density: 182/sq km, world ranking  52

Capital: Abuja (Lagos until December 1991)

Independent since 1 October 1960

Constitution: 10 January 2011

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature—National Assembly:

◄Senate, 109 seats, 4-year term.

◄House of Representatives, 360 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: Although not formally an Islamic country, 48 percent of the population practice Islam of which the majority belongs to the Sunni Branch.

 

Norway

Kingdom of Norway/Kongeriket Norge

Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and North Atlantic Ocean and traverses the Arctic Circle.

Area: 324,220 sq km; world ranking 67

Population: 5,000,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 117. Density: 15/sq km, world ranking 169

Capital: Oslo

Independent since 26 October 1905

Constitution: 17 May 1814 revised

Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament/Stortinget, 169 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: Under a constitutional change approved on 21 May 2012, church and state are separate und the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway is no longer the state church. On 1 January 2017, the Norwegian State Church was formally and completely legally separated from the state when a 2016 amendment to the Church Act took effect.

 

Territories

Bouvet Island

Southern Africa: South Atlantic Ocean

Area: 58 sq km

Population: Uninhabited nature preserve.

Established: 1927

Territory

Administration: Polar Affairs Department, Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Oslo

 

Jan Mayen Island

Northern Europe, between Greenland and Norwegian Seas

Area: 373 sq km

Population: Uninhabited, except for temporary on-duty personnel.

Established: 1930

Territory

Capital: Olonkinbiyen

Administration: Headed by the appointed Governor/Sysselmann of Nordland (resident on Svalbard) and the local military commander.

 

Peter I Island/Peter I Øy

Antarctica: Bellingshausen Sea

Area: 154 sq km

Population: uninhabited

Established: 24 March 1933

Territory

Administration: Polar Affairs Department, Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Oslo

 

Queen Maud Land/Dronning Maud Land)

Antarctica

Area: 2,700,000 sq km

Population: uninhabited

Established: 21 June 1957

Territory

Administration: Polar Affairs Department, Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Oslo

 

Svalbard

(formerly known as Spitsbergen)

Northern Europe, between Arctic Ocean, Barents, Greenland, and Norwegian Seas.

Area: 62,049 sq km

Population: 1,970 (07-2011e). Density:  0/sq km

Capital: Longyearbyen

Established: 1925

Territory, comprising: Bear Island/Bjørnøya, Spitsbergen Archipelago

Constitution: None

Chief of State: The Norwegian monarch is chief of state represented by the appointed Governor (Sysselmann).

Government: Headed by the appointed Governor.

Administration: Polar Affairs Department, Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Oslo

Legislature: None

Elections: None

Parties: None

 

Oman

Sultanate of Oman/Saltanat ‘Uman

Western Asia/Middle East: Situated on the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf.

Area: 212,460 sq km; world ranking 83

Population: 3,100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 133. Density: 15/sq km, world ranking 174

Capital: Muscat

Founded: 1650

Independent since 1744

Constitution: None

Voting: Since February 2005, all citizens may vote but only men can be candidates.

Sultanate headed by absolute ruler. Successor chosen by family council within three days of sultan’s death and be selected from the royal family. There is also a sealed letter from the deceased which must be opened if the family is unable to agree.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Council of Oman/ Majlis Oman:

◄Council of State/Majlis ad-Dawla, 83 seats (appointed), 4-year term.

◄Consultative Council/Majlis ash-Shura, 84 seats, 4-year term.

Parties: None.

State religion: Islamic state in which 87 percent of the population practice the official state religion of which 75 percent are Ibadi Muslims (distinct from Sunni and Shi’a) and 25 percent belong to the Sunni branch.

 

Pakistan

Islamic Republic of Pakistan/Islami Jamhuriya e Pakistan

South Asia, bordering Arabian Sea.

Area: 803,940 sq km; world ranking 34

Population: 207,770,000 (2017); world ranking 6. Density: 224/sq km, world ranking 40

Capital: Islamabad

Independent since 15 August 1947

Constitution: 14 August 1973, as amended

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by an Electoral College, composed of the bicameral federal legislature and the provincial assemblies, for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by the legislature to serve an unlimited number of terms.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Majlis-e-Shoora:

◄Senate/Senat, 104 seats, 6-year term, elected triannually.

◄National Assembly/Qumi Assembli, 342 seats (60 seats reserved for women, 10 seats reserved for non-Muslims), 5-year term.

State religion: Islamic state in which 96 percent of the population practice Islam of which 89 percent belong to the Sunni branch (which is theologically severely divided by diversity in clans and kinship), 15 percent to Shi’a Islam, and 1.2 percent are Ismailis.

 

Disputed Territories

Kashmir, see India, Disputed Territory

                                                           

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) of Pakistan*

Former districts of  Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, and Poonch.

Area: 13,297 sq km

Population: 4,567,982 (2008). Density:  344/sq km.

Capital: Muzzafarabad

Constitution: 1974 Azad Jammu and Kashmir Interim Constitution Act, 1974

Parliamentary system

Government: The President is elected by joint session of Legislative Assembly and Council.

Government headed by a prime minister.

Bicameral legislature:

◄ Council, 15 seats (appointed).

◄ Legislative Assembly, 49 seats

Religion: Islam is the predominant religion which is practiced by the majority of the population.

* Referred to as Pakistan Occupied Area (POK) by the Government of India.

 

Gilgit-Baltistan*

Districts―Baltisan Division: Ghanche, Kharmang, Shigar, Skardu.

                 Gilgit Division: Astore, Diamir, Diamer, Ghizer, Gilgit, Hunza, Nagar.

Area: 72,496 sq km

Population: 1,500,000 (2008). Density:  21/sq km.

Capitals: Gilgit; Gilgit (Gilgit Division) and Skardu (Baltisan Division)

Statute: Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order, 7 September 2009  

Government: The Governor appointed by the President of Pakistan is the constitutional head. The Chief Minister, elected by the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, heads the government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, 33 seats (24 elected, 6 reserved for women, and 3 reserved for technocrats).

Religion: Islam is the predominant religion which is practiced by the majority of the population.

*Known as Baltistan and Gilgit Agency from October 1947 until 1970 and as Northern Areas of Pakistan from 1970 until September 2009.

 

Palau

Republic of Palau

Oceania: Situated on 7 islands and an atoll in the North Pacific Ocean.

Area: 458 sq km; world ranking 181

Population: 20,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 193. Density: 44/sq km, world ranking 136

Capital: Koror

Independent since 1 October 1994, freely associated with the United States of America

Constitution: 1 January 1981

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature—National Congress/Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK):

◄Senate, 11 seats, 4-year term.

◄House of Delegates, 16 seats, 4-year term.

Parties: None.

 

Palestine

Palestinian National Authority/As-Sulṭah Al-Waṭaniyyah Al-Filasṭīniyyah

Western Asia/Middle East: Consisting of East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, and West Bank of Jordan River. Bordering eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Area:                           6,220 sq km    Population:      4,620,000 (12-2014). Density:   743/sq km

Gaza                              378                                       1,962,739 (2012e)           5,192  

East Jerusalem               70                                                  261 (05-2012e)              4

West Bank                  5,879                                       2,657,000 (05-2012e)          452     

Capital: Gaza/East Jerusalem

Autonomous entity since 4 May 1994

National charter of the Palestinian National Council: 1-17 July 1968

Administration: The 24-member Palestinian Authority exercises limited executive and legislative functions. It is headed by the Ra’is who is also referred to as chairman or president. President is popularly elected for a 5-year term.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the President.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Palestinian Legislative Council, 132 seats.

State religion: The majority of the population practice Islam with most of them belonging to the Sunni branch, however there is a significant minority of Palestinian Christians.

 

Panama

Republic of Panama/República de Panamá

Central America, bordering Caribbean Sea and North Pacific Ocean.

Area: 78,200 sq km; world ranking 116

Population: 3,600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 130. Density: 46/sq km, world ranking 130

Capital: Panama

Independent since 3 November 1903, 28 November 1821

Constitution: 11 October 1972, as amended

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for up to two consecutive 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Asamblea Nacional, 71 seats, 5-year term.

 

Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Independent State of Papua New Guinea

Oceania: Situated on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, four major islands, and three archipelagos in the Coral Sea and South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 462,840 sq km; world ranking 54

Population: 7,000,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 101. Density: 15/sq km, world ranking 170

Capital: Port Moresby

Independent since 16 September 1975

Constitution: 16 September 1975

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by the Governor General, elected by parliament.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by Parliament.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Parliament, 111 seats, 5-year term.

 

Paraguay

Republic of Paraguay/República del Paraguay

South America: Landlocked country.

Area: 406.750 sq km; world ranking 59

Population:6,700,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 102. Density: 16/sq km, world ranking 164

Capital: Ascuncíon

Independent since 14 May 1811

Constitution: 20 June 1992

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a single 5-year term to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature—Congress/Congreso:

◄Senate/Cámara de Senadores, 45 seats, 5-year term.

◄Chamber of Deputies/Camara de Diputados, 80 seats, 5-year term.

 

Peru

Republic of Peru/República del Perú

South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 1,285,220 sq km; world ranking 19

Population: 30,100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 41. Density: 23/sq km, world ranking 154

Capital: Lima

Independent since 28 July 1821

Constitution: 31 December 1993

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for unlimited number of a non-consecutive 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the President of the Council of Ministers (i.e., prime minister).

Unicameral legislature:

◄Congress of the Republic/Congreso de la República, 130 seats, 5-year term.

 

Philippines

Republic of the Philippines/Republika ng Pilipinas

Southeast Asia: Situated on three major island groups containing an archipelago of 7,107 islands in the Philippine and South China Seas.

Area: 300,000 sq km; world ranking 71

Population: 96,200,000; world ranking 12. Density: 321/sq km, world ranking 29

Capital: Manila

Independent since 12 June 1898

Constitution: 11 February 1987

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for one 6-year term to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature—Congress/Kongreso:

◄Senate/Senado, 24 seats, 6-year term.

◄House of Representatives/Kapulungan Mga Kinatawan, 297 seats, 3-year term.

 

Poland

Republic of Poland/Rzecczpospolita Polska

Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea.

Area: 312,680 sq km; world ranking 69

Population: 38,200,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 33. Density: 122/sq km, world ranking 69

Capital: Warsaw/Warzawa

Founded: 966

Independent since 7 October 1918

Constitution: 16 October 1997

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—National Assembly/Zgromadzenie Narodowe:

◄Senate/Senat, 100 seats, 4-year term.

◄Diet/Sejm, 460 seats, 4-year term.

 

Portugal

The Portuguese Republic/República Portuguêsa

Southern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 92,391 sq km; world ranking 110

Population: 10,600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 81. Density: 115/sq km, world ranking 73

Capital: Lisbon/Lisboa

Founded: 1143

Republic established on 5 October 1910

Constitution: 25 April 1976, revised

Republic established: 20 April 1911

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Assembly of the Republic/Assembléia da República, 230 seats, 4-year term.

 

Qatar

State of Qatar/Dawlat Qatar

Western Asia/Middle East: Situated on the Arabian Peninsula and bordering the Persian Gulf.

Area: 11,437 sq km; world ranking 159

Population: 2,670,000 (03-2017); world ranking 146. Density: 166/sq km, world ranking 53

Capital: Doha/ad-Dawdah

Independent since 1 September 1971

Constitution: 8 June 2005

Voting: None

Ruling amirate

Government: Headed by the prime minister, appointed by the Amir who is commander in chief.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Consultative Council/Majlis ash-Shura, 35 seats (appointed)

Parties: None.

State religion: Islam is the official religion and is practiced by 77 percent of the population of which 74 percent follow the Wahhabi tradition of the Sunni branch, 16 percent Shi’a Islam and 10 percent are Ismailis.

 

Romania

România

Southeast Europe, bordering the Black Sea.

Area: 237,500 sq km; world ranking 79

Population: 21,400,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 55. Density: 90/sq km, world ranking 87

Capital: Bucarest/Bucuresti

Independent since 13 July 1878

Constitution: 21 November 1991

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister subject to a vote of confidence by Parliament.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament of Romania/Parlamentul României:

◄Senate/Senatul, 136 seats, 4-year term.

◄Chamber of Deputies/Camera Deputatilor, 329 seats, 4-year term.

 

Russia

Russian Federation/Rossiiskaya Federatsiya (RF)

East Europe: Situated across the Eurasian landmass and extending to the Arctic. Bordering the Arctic and North Pacific Oceans, Baltic, Barents, Bering, Black and Caspian Seas, Sea of Okhotsk, and Gulf of Finland.

Area: 17,075,200 sq km; world ranking 1

Population: 142,850,000 (2010); world ranking 9. Density: 8/sq km, world ranking 183

Capital: Moscow/Moskva (St. Petersburg from 1712 to 9 March 1918)

Founded: 862

Sovereignty declared on 12 June 1990

Federation established on 24 August 1991, republic established on 10 July 1918

Constitution: 12 December 1993, as amended

Presidential-parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 6-year terms (5 years before 30 December 2008) to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister, except for the so-called “power ministries” (silovye struktury/silovye minerstva) which are responsible to the president (Civil Defense, Emergencies and Natural Disasters; Defense; Internal Affairs, Federal Customs Service, Federal Guard Service, Federal Security Service, Federal Service for Control of the Narcotics Trade, Procurator General and Procuracy).

Bicameral legislature—Federal Assembly/Federalnoye Sobraniye:

◄Council of the Federation/Soviet Federatsii, 166 seats, varying length of terms (composed of deputies of regional and municipal legislative assemblies), 5-year term.

◄State Duma/Gosudarstvennaya Duma, 450 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: None. The influence of the Russian Orthodox Church is growing, followed by the second largest religion of Islam which accounts for about 20 million or 15 percent of the population. While the number of practicing Muslims is closer to 5 million, the total number may be near 20-25 percent because of the great number of North Caucasian and Turkic ethnic groups where cultural links to Islam remain or have reappeared.

 

Union State of Russia and Belarus (Soyuznoe Gosudarstvo Rossii I Belarusi)*

East Europe

Confederation of Belarus and Russia

Headquarters: Minsk, Belarus

Established on 2 April 1996.

Treaty Basis: Treaty on the Union of Belarus and Russia of 2 April 1997; further expanded by

agreements of 25 December 1998.

Organs--Supreme State Council: 8 members (President, Prime Minister, and presiding officers of

chambers of legislatures from each country). The Council Chairman is elected from among the

presidents on a rotational basis for a term of 2 years.

Executive Committee: The permanent executive organ of the Union composed of an equal number

of members from member states. It is formed by the Higher Council which appoints Chairman and

Deputy Chairman

Union State Council of Ministers: Prime Ministers, Ministers of Economy and Finance, and Foreign

Affairs, and the Union State Secretary. Its Chairman is appointed by the President of the Supreme

State Council.

State Secretary of the Union: The highest executive, appointed by the Higher Council for a term of

four years.

Bicameral legislature:

Union Parliament, 41House of the Union, 72 seats (36 each selected by the upper legislative houses of the two member states).

House of Representatives, 103 seats (75 elected in Russia and 28 in Belarus).

*Commonly referred to as Union of Belarus and Russia.

 

Rwanda

Republic of Rwanda/Republika y’u Rwanda

Central Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 26,340 sq km; world ranking 145

Population: 10,800,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 78. Density: 410/sq km, world ranking 16

Capital: Kigali

Independent since 28 January 1961

Constitution: 4 June 2003

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 7-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Parlamenti:

◄Senate/Umutwe wa Sena/Sénat, 26 seats (14 elected by electoral college, 12 appointed—8 by the president), 8-year term.

◄Chamber of Deputies/Umutwe w’Abadepite/Chambre des Députés, 80 seats (24 women), 5-year term.

 

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)/Al-Jumhūrīyyah Al-`Arabīyyah Aṣ-Ṣaḥrāwīyyah Ad-Dīmuqrāṭīyyah/República Árabe Saharaui Democrática

Western Sahara*

Northern Africa: Located in an area bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and stretching from the southern border of Morocco to the northern and eastern borders of Mauritania.

Area: 252,120 sq km

Population: 252,000 (2000e). Density: 1/sq km

Capital: Tifariti, Algeria (El-Aaiún)

Established: 27 February 1976

Independence: 5 March 1976

Constitution: 26 August-4 September 1999

Presidency: The president serves as head of state and is also the Secretary General of the ruling Popular Front for the Liberation of Sagia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO).

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Sahrawi National Council, 53 seats (elected by General Popular Congresses of the single political organization, Popular Front for the Liberation of Sagia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO) (Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el-Hamre y Rio de Oro) which was formed on 10 May 1973.

Religion: Islam is the religion of the population practiced by 96 percent.

*Referred to as Western Sahara by the United Nations (UN).

 

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis

America: Situated on two islands in the Caribbean Sea.

Area: 269 sq km; world ranking 189

Population: 100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 187. Density: 372/sq km, world ranking 22

Capital: Basseterre

Independent since 19 September 1983

Constitution: 19 September 1983

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor General.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly, 14 seats (3 appointed), 5-year term.

 

Nevis

Area: 93 sq km

Population: 12,106 (2006)

Government: Headed by premier

Unicameral legislature:

◄Nevis island Assembly, 8 seats (3 appointed), 5-year term.

Government: Headed by the elected Premier.

Note: The Island can secede, provided six months of notice are given after approval by a two-thirds majority in the Nevis Island Assembly and approval by referendum adopted by at least two-thirds of voters.

 

Saint Lucia

America: Situated on a single island between Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 620 sq km; world ranking 179

Population: 200,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 176. Density: 323/sq km, world ranking 28

Capital: Castries

Independent since 22 February 1979

Constitution: 22 February 1979

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor General.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Houses of Parliament:

◄Senate, 11 seats (appointed by the Governor General), 5-year term.

◄House of Assembly, 17 seats, 5-year term.

 

Saint Vincent and The Grenadines

America Caribbean: Situated on the main island and the northern two-thirds of the island chain of the Grenadines between Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 340 sq km; world ranking 186

Population: 100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 188. Density: 294/sq km, world ranking 31

Capital: Kingstown

Independent since 27 October 1979

Constitution: 27 October 1979

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by an appointed Governor General.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄House of Assembly, 21 seats (6 appointed by the Governor General), 5-year term.

 

Samoa

Independent State of Samoa/Sa‘oloto Tuto ‘atasi o Samoa

Oceania: Situated on three islands and eight islets in the South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 2,860 sq km; world ranking 168

Population: 196,000 (11-2017); world ranking 177. Density: 70/sq km, world ranking 108

Capital: Apia

Independent since 1 January 1962

Constitution: 1 January 1962

Parliamentary system

Chief of state is elected by the Samoa Parliament for unlimited number of 5-year terms.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Samoa Parliament (Legislative Assembly)/Fono, 50 seats, 5-year term.

 

San Marino

Republic of San Marino/Repubblica di San Marino

Southern Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 60 sq km; world ranking 192

Population: 30,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 192. Density: 500/sq km, world ranking 12

Capital: San Marino

Founded: 3 September 301 AD

Independent since 20 February 885

Constitution: 8 October 1600

Parliamentary-collegial executive system headed by two co-chiefs of state—Captains General—elected by the Grand and General Council for unlimited number of non-consecutive 6-month terms.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Grand and General Council/Consiglio Grande e Generale, 60 seats, 5-year term.

 

São Tomé and Príncipe

Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe/República Democrática de São Tomé e Príncipe

Central Africa: Situated on two islands in the Gulf of Guinea.

Area: 1,001 sq km; world ranking 172

Population: 200,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 178. Density: 200/sq km, world ranking 48

Capital: São Tomé

Independent since 12 July 1975

Constitution: 10 September 1990

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assembléia Nacional, 55 seats, 4-year term.

 

Saudi Arabia

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia/Mamlaka al-’Arabiya as-Sa’udiya

Western Asia/Middle East: Situated on the Arabian Peninsula and bordering the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.

Area: 1,960,582 sq km; world ranking 13

Population: 28,700,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 44. Density: 15/sq km, world ranking 173

Capital: Riyadh/al-Riyadh

Founded on 23 September 1932

Constitution: 1 March 1963 (Basic Law)

Voting: None

Absolute monarchy

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Consultative Council/Majlis ash-Shura, 150 seats (appointed), 4-year term.

Parties:  Prohibited.

State religion: Islamic state in which 97 percent of the population practice the official state religion and follow the Wahhabi (Hanbali) tradition. About 10 percent belong to the Shi’a branch of Islam.

 

Senegal

Republic of Senegal/République du Sénégal

West Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 196,190 sq km; world ranking 86

Population: 13,100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 71. Density: 67/sq km, world ranking 113

Capital: Dakar

Independent since 20 August 1960

Constitution: 3 March 1963, revised

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 7-year terms (5-year term before 29 July 2008) to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 165 seats (105 elected by direct vote, 60 elected proportionally from party lists), 5-year term.

State religion: Not formally an Islamic country although 96 percent of the population practice Islam of which the majority belongs to the Sunni branch and following  the following Sufi brotherhoods: Layennes, Muridiyyah/Murid, Quadiriyah, Tijaniyyah, and Tijaniyyah/Niassenes.

 

Serbia

Republic of Serbia

Republika Srbija

Southeast Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 102,173 sq km; world ranking 107

Population: 7,120,666 (11-2011); world ranking 100. Density: 70/sq km, world ranking 109

Capital: Belgrade/Beograd

Independent since 1 December 1918

Republic proclaimed on 5 June 2006

Constitution: 10 November 2006

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by the legislature.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Serbian Assembly/Skupstina Srbije, 250 seats, 5-year term.

 

Seychelles

Republic of Seychelles

Eastern Africa: Situated on an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean.

Area: 455 sq km; world ranking 182

Population: 100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 189. Density: 220/sq km, world ranking 41

Capital: Victoria

Independent since 29 June 1976

Constitution: 18 June 1993

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than three 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly, 33 seats, 5-year term.

Parties: Multi-party system since 1993.

 

Sierra Leone

Republic of Sierra Leone

Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 71,740 sq km; world ranking 117

Population: 6,100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 107. Density: 85/sq km, world ranking 90

Capital: Freetown

Independent since 27 April 1961

Constitution: 1 October 1991, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament, 146 seats (12 reserved for traditional Paramount Chiefs), 5-year term.

State religion: Not formally an Islamic country although 72 percent of the population practice Islam of which the majority belong to the Sunni branch.

 

Singapore

Republic of Singapore

Southeast Asia: Island city state of 63 islands bordering the South China Sea.

Area: 648 sq km; world ranking 177

Population: 5,310,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 114. Density: 8.201/sq km, world ranking 2

Capital: Singapore

Independent since 9 August 1965

Constitution: 22 December 1965, as amended

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 6-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament, 99 seats (87 elected, up to 9 appointed, and up to 3 non-constituency members appointed), 5-year term.

 

Slovakia

The Slovak Republic/Slovenská Republika

Central Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 48,845 sq km; world ranking 127

Population: 5,400,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 113. Density: 111/sq km, world ranking 75

Capital: Bratislava

Established on 1 January 1993 (14 March 1939)

Constitution: 1 January 1993

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Council/Narodna Rada, 150 seats, 4-year term.

 

Slovenia

Republic of Slovenia/Republika Slovenija

Southeast Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 20,296 sq km; world ranking 151

Population: 2,100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 143. Density: 103/sq km, world ranking 79

Capital: Ljubljana

Independent since 25 June 1991

Constitution: 23 December 1991

Presidential-parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by the National Assembly.

Bicameral legislature:

◄National Council/Drzavni Svet, 40 seats (indirectly elected), 5-year term.

◄National Assembly/Drzavni Zbor, 90 seats, 4-year term.

 

Solomon Islands

Oceania: Situated on an archipelago of some 1,000 islands and islets in the South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 28.450 sq km; world ranking 141

Population: 600,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 164. Density: 21/sq km, world ranking 158

Capital: Honiara

Independent since 7 July 1978

Constitution: 7 July 1978

Parliamentary system: The British monarch is chief of state represented by a Governor General elected by Parliament for not more than two 5-year terms.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is elected by the National Parliament.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Legislative Assembly (Fale Alea), 50 seats, 4-year term.

 

Somalia

Federal Republic of Somalia/Jamhuriyadda Federaalkaa Soomaaliya

Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

Area: 637,660 sq km; world ranking 42

Population: 10,100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 85. Density: 16/sq km, world ranking 166

Capital: Mogadishu

Independent since 1 July 1960

Provisional constitution: 1 August 2012

Parliamentary federal system

President: Elected by the Federal Parliament to serve as chief of state for a 5-year term.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president and approved by the Federal Parliament.

Bicameral legislature—National Parliament:

◄ Senate, 54 seats (popularly elected in the federal member states), 4-year term.

◄House of the People, 275 seats (appointed by traditional leaders), 4-year term.

State religion: Islam is the religion of the land and 99 percent of the population practice Islam with a majority belonging to the Sunni branch.

 

Disputed Territories

Somalia—Puntland

Puntland State of Somalia/Maamul Goboleedka Buntlaand ee Soomaaliya

Eastern Africa: Landlocked. It occupies the northeastern regions of Ayn (Cayn), Bari, Karkaar, Mudug, and Nugaal of the Horn of Africa. (It claims to comprise Sool  and Sanaag regions which are also claimed by Somaliland.)

Area: 180,000 sq km

Population:  2,400,000 (2009e). Density: 13/sq km

Capital: Garowe, Nugaal Region.

Formation: Autonomous region since 30 June 1998.

Constitution: 28 June 2009

Presidential system

Presidency: President serves as chief of state and head of government. He and the vice president are elected by the legislature for a term of four years.

Government: The Council of Ministers is headed by the President.

Unicameral legislature: 

◄House of Representatives, 66 seats (candidates are selected by traditional elders or “issims”).

Parties: Prohibited

State religion: Islam is the religion of the land and nearly 100 percent of the population practice Islam with a majority belonging to the Sunni branch. Jurisprudence and laws are based on Islamic shari’a after president agreed on replacement of Western-based system of civil laws on 20 November 2006.

 

Somaliland/Ṣūmālīlānd

Republic of Somaliland (Jumhūrīyat Arḍ aṣ-Ṣūmāl)

Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and located in northwestern Africa in the Horn of Africa, composed of the regions of Awdal, Cayn, Gabiley, Hawd (since May 2008), Maroodi Jeex, Odweyne, Maakhir, Sahil, Salal, Sarar, and Togdheer.  (Somaliland claims to comprise Sool  and Sanaag regions which are also claimed by Puntland.)

Area: 137,600 sq km

Population: 5,250,000 (2008e). Density: 38/sq km

Capital: Hargeisa

Independence: 18 May 1991

Constitution: 31 May 2001

Presidency: Elected president and vice president for a term of 5 years. (On 28 March 2009, the Chamber of Elders extended the president’s term by six months.)

Government: Cabinet is nominated by the president and confirmed by the House of Representatives.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Baarlamaanka):

◄Chamber of Elders/Golaha Guurtida, 28 seats, 5-year term.

◄House of Representatives/Golaha Wakiilada, 82 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Islam is the religion of the land and nearly 100 percent of the population practice Islam with a majority belonging to the Sunni branch. Jurisprudence and laws are based on Islamic shari’a.

 

South Africa

Republic of South Africa (RSA)

Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Area: 1.219,912 sq km; world ranking 24

Population: 55,700,000 (06-2016e); world ranking 25. Density: 42/sq km, world ranking 138

Capital: Tshawane (Pretoria) and Cape Town (Legislature)

Independent since 31 May 1910, fully independent within the Commonwealth since 11 December 1931

Republic established on 31 May 1961

Constitution: 10 December 1996

Presidential system

President: Elected by the National Assembly for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Parlement:

◄National Council of Provinces/Nationale Raad van Provinces (established in February 1997, replacing the Senate), 90 seats (54 permanent, 36 special mandate), 5-year term.

◄National Assembly/Volksraad, 400 seats, 5-year term.

 

South Ossetia, see Georgia

 

South Sudan

Republic of South Sudan

East-Central Africa: Landlocked country.

Area: 644,329 sq km; world ranking  41

Population: 13,026,129 (07-2017e); world ranking 91. Density: 15/sq km, world ranking 175

Capital: Juba (The government is planning to move the capital to Ramciel, Lakes State.)

Independent since 9 July 2011

Interim constitution: 9 July 2011

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 4-year term to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature:

◄Council of States/Al-Watani, 50 seats (30 appointed, 20 former member of Council of States of Sudan), 4-year term.

◄National Legislative Assembly/Al-Majlis al-Tachirii, 332 seats, 4-year term.

Note: Rankings of population and density have not been revised and are based on 2012 data.

 

Spain

Kingdom of Spain/Reino de España

Southern Europe, bordering Bay of Biscay, Atlantic Ocean, and western Mediterranean Sea.

Area: 504,750 sq km; world ranking 51

Population: 46,439,864 (01-2015); world ranking 29. Density: 93/sq km, world ranking 86

Capital: Madrid

Founded: 1479, 1492

Constitution: 6 December 1978

Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament/Cortes Generales:

◄Senate/Senado, 266 seats (208 directly elected, 58 indirectly elected by Autonomous Communities legislatures), 4-year term.

◄Congress of Deputies/Congreso de los Diputados, 350 seats; 4-year term.

 

North African Enclaves

(Considered part of metropolitan Spain and administered centrally)

Ceuta/Sebta/Septa

Autonomous City of Ceuta/Ciudad Autónoma de Ceuta

Northern Africa, enclave adjoining Morocco at the Strait of Gibraltar, bordering western Mediterranean Sea.

Capital: Ceuta

Founded: 5th century AD, 42 AD

Autonomous city, integral part of the Kingdom of Spain

Statute of Autonomy: 14 March 1995

Administration: Headed by an elected Mayor-President/Alcalde-Presidente.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Assembly, 25 seats, 4-year term. The city is represented in Parliament by one elected deputy and two senators.

 

Melilla

Autonomous City of Melilla/Ciudad Autónoma de Melilla

Northern Africa, enclave adjoining Morocco, bordering western Mediterranean Sea.

Capital: Melilla

Founded between 1550 BC to 300 BC

Autonomous city, integral part of the Kingdom of Spain

Statute of Autonomy: 14 March 1995

Administration: Headed by an elected Mayor-President/Alcalde-Presidente.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Assembly, 25 seats, 4-year term. The city is represented in Parliament by one elected deputy and two senators.

 

Places of Sovereignty in North Africa/Plazas de Soberanía

            Islas Chafarinas, Isla del Congreso, Isla Isabel II, Isla del Rey (All uninhabited)

            Peñón de Alhucemas (Lavender Rock) (Uninhabited)

            Piñón de Vélez de la Gomera (Formerly an island, a peninsula since 1934;

            uninhabited)

            Perejil Island (Parsley Island) (Uninhabited rocky islet offshore from Ceuta and

            Morocco)

 

Sri Lanka

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka/Sri Lanka Prajathanthrika Samajavadi Janarajaya

South Asia: Situated on an island in the Indian Ocean.

Area: 65,610 sq km; world ranking 120

Population: 21,200,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 56. Density: 323/sq km, world ranking 27

Capital: Colombo

Independent since 4 February 1948

Constitution: 16 August 1978, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for up to two consecutive 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and commander in chief.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament, 225 seats, 6-year term.

 

Sudan

Republic of the Sudan/Jamhuryat es-Sudan

Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea.

Area: 1,861,484 sq km; world ranking 15

Population: 33,500,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 38. Density: 18/sq km, world ranking 162

Capital: Khartoum

Independent since 1 January 1956

Interim constitution: 5 July 2005

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Bicameral legislature:

◄Council of States/Majlis Welayat, 32 seats (30 elected by state legislatures, 2 observers elected by legislature of disputed Abyei), 5-year term.

◄National Assembly/Majlis Watani, 4 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: The government treats the country as an Islamic state in which 97 percent of the population practice Islam--62.8 percent adhere to Sufi brotherhoods of the Sunni branch, and 37 percent follow the Ansari Khatim sect of the Shi’a branch of Islam.

 

Suriname

Republic of Suriname/Republiek Suriname

South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 163,270 sq km; world ranking 91

Population: 500,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 167. Density: 3/sq km, world ranking 192

Capital: Paramaribo

Independent since 25 November 1975

Constitution: 30 September 1987

Presidential-parliamentary system

President: Elected by the legislature for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Nationale Assemblee, 51 seats, 5-year term.

 

Swaziland, see Eswatini                               

 

Sweden

Kingdom of Sweden/Konungariket Sverige

Northern Europe: Bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak and traverses the Arctic Circle.

Area: 449,964 sq km; world ranking 55

Population: 9,500,000 (05-2012); world ranking 89. Density: 21/sq km, world ranking 157

Capital: Stockholm

Founded: 993

Independent since 1523

Constitution: 1 January 1975, as amended

Constitutional monarchy established: 6 June 1809

Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Parliament/Riksdagen, 349 seats, 4-year term.

 

Switzerland

The Swiss Confederation/Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft/Confédération Suisse/Confederazione Svizzera

Central Europe: Landlocked country.

Area: 41,285 sq km; world ranking 133

Population: 7,870,100 (2010); world ranking 97. Density: 191/sq km, world ranking 50

Capital: Bern

Founded on 1 August 1291

Independence recognized on 24 October 1648

Constitution: 29 May 1874

Parliamentary system

Federal President: Elected by the Federal Assembly for an unlimited number of non-consecutive 1-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government.

Government: Members of the Federal Council (i.e., the government) are elected by the legislature.

Bicameral legislature—Federal Assembly/Bundesversammlung/Assemblée/Fédérale/Assemblea Federale:

◄Council of States/Ständerat/Conseil des Etats/Consiglio degli Stati, 46 seats, 4-year term.

◄National Council/Nationalrat/Conseil National/Consiglio Nazionale (also referred to as Great Chamber), 200 seats, 4-year term.

 

Syria

Syrian Arab Republic/Jumhuriya al-Arabya as-Suriya

Western Asia/Middle East, bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Area: 185,180 sq km; world ranking 87

Population: 22,500,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 52. Density: 122/sq km, world ranking 70

Capital: Damascus/Dimashq

Independent since 17 April 1946, 16 September 1941

Constitution: 13 May 1973, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 7-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄People’s Assembly/Majlis al-Cha’ab, 250 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: None; however, the Constitution requires that the President be a Muslim. Islam is practiced by 90 percent of the population of which 74 percent belong to the Sunni branch, 13 percent are Druze, Ismailis or Yazidis, 10 percent  Alawites, and one percent Shi’a Islam.

 

Taiwan

Republic of China (ROC)

East Asia: Situated on the island of Formosa and on several off-shore islands and bordering East China, Philippine, and South China Seas and Taiwan Strait.

Area: 35,980 sq km; world ranking 135

Population: 23,351,000 (06-2016e); world ranking 51. Density: 648/sq km, world ranking 10

Capital: Taipei

Founded: 221 BC

Republic established on 1 January 1912 (10 October 1911)

Constitution: 1 January 1947, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 4-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the President of the Executive Yűan (Cabinet).

Unicameral legislature:

◄Legislative Yuan, 113 seats, 4-year term.

 

Tajikistan

Republic of Tajikistan/Jumkhuri Tojikiston

Central Asia: Landlocked country.

Area: 143,100 sq km; world ranking 93

Population: 8,250,000 (07-2014e); world ranking 98. Density: 58/sq km, world ranking 121

Capital: Dushanbe

Independent since 9 September 1991

Constitution: 6 November 1994, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 7-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Supreme Council/Majlisi Oli:

◄National Assembly/Majlisi Milli, 34 seats (25 indirectly elected, 8 appointed, 1 past president), 5-year term.

◄House of Representatives/Majlisi Namayandogon, 63 seats (41 single-seat districts), 5-year term.

State religion: Although 99 percent of the population belong to Islam only about 10 percent are believed to be practicing. Eighty-five percent belong to the Sunni branch with the majority adhering to practices of the Hanafi school, 5 percent to Shi’a Islam, and 3 percent are Ismailis. (The Supreme Court outlawed the Salafi school of Islam in January 2009.)

 

Tanzania

United Republic of Tanzania/Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tazania

Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean.

Area: 945,090 sq km; world ranking 30

Population: 47,700,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 27. Density: 50/sq km, world ranking 124

Capital: Dodoma*/Dar es Salaam

Independent since 26 April 1964

Constitution: 25 April 1977, revised

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and commander in chief.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Bunge, 357 seats (107 indirectly elected, 10 appointed by the president, 1 ex officio) 5-year term.

State religion:  Not an Islamic country in which 35 percent of the population practice Islam and of which between 80-90 percent belong to the Sunni branch and 10 percent to Shi’a Islam.

*On 25 July 2016, the president had ordered all government ministries to move to Dodoma by 28 February 2017.

 

Zanzibar Islands

Jamhuri ya Watu wa Zanzibar

Eastern Africa: Situated on an archipelago including Pemba and Unguja islands in the Indian Ocean.

Area: 2,650 sq km

Population:1,300,000 (2012)

Independent since 9 December 1963

Constitution: 13 October 1979

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Zanzibar House of Representatives, 85 seats (1 ex-officio), 5-year term.

Zanzibar Revolutionary Government: Autonomous Revolutionary Council, headed by the Chief Minister.

State religion: Islam is the dominant religion and is practiced by 99 percent of the population. The majority follows the Shafi’i school of the Sunni branch.

 

Thailand

Kingdom of Thailand/Prathet Thai

Southeast Asia, bordering Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand.

Area: 514,000 sq km; world ranking 50

Population: 69,900,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 19. Density: 136/sq km, world ranking 62

Capital: Bangkok/Krung Thep

Founded: 1238

Independent since 1782

Constitution proposed by the military was approved by popular referendum on 7 August 2016. It provides for a bicameral legislature composed of an elected 500-seat House of Representatives and an appointed 250-seat Senate.

The current Interim Constitution was imposed by the military junta with royal endorsement on 22 July 2014. The Constitution of 24 August 2007, as amended, was abolished by the military junta on 22 May 2014.

The Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army together with the commanders of the other branches and police acting as National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) seized the established government in a coup d’état on 22 May 2014. He proclaimed the establishment of the National Peace and Order Maintenance Council (NPOMC) to govern the country in the interim.

Voting: Universal and compulsory

Constitutional hereditary monarchy and parliamentary system

Interim government: Headed by the prime minister, nominated by the interim National Assembly and appointed by the king. The 32-member cabinet is selected by the prime minister and includes 12 military commanders.

Interim National Legislative Assembly (NLA), 250 seats (appointed by the military NPOMC). Established on 30 July 2015 by royal decree and expanded in September 2016.

 

Timor Leste/East Timor

Democratic Republic of Timor-Este/Republicu Democraticu de Timor Leste/Timor Lorosae

Southeast Asia: Situated on the eastern half of the island of Timor, three islands, and an exclave bordering Banda and Timor Seas.

Area: 14,874 sq km; world ranking 155

Population: 1,100,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 156. Density: 74/sq km, world ranking 103

Capital: Dili

Independent since 20 May 2002, 28 November 1975

Constitution: 20 May 2002

Parliamentary system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and supreme commander of East Timor Defense Forces.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Parliament of East Timor/Parlamento Nacional de Timor-Leste, 65 seats, 5-year term.

 

Togo

The Togolese Republic/République Togolaise

Western Africa, bordering Bight of Benin.

Area: 56,790 sq km; world ranking 123

Population: 6,000,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 109. Density: 106/sq km, world ranking 78

Capital: Lomé

Independent since 27 April 1960

Constitution: 27 September 1992

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for unlimited number of 7-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister who is appointed by the president.

Unicameral legislature:

◄National Assembly/Assemblée Nationale, 91 seats, 5-year term.

 

Tonga

Kingdom of Tonga

Oceania: Situated on an archipelago of 169 islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 748sq km; world ranking 174

Population: 103,000 (11-2011); world ranking 179. Density: 138/sq km, world ranking 61

Capital: Nuku’alofa

Independent since 4 June 1970

Constitution: 4 November 1875, revised

Constitutional monarchy

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄Legislative Assembly/Fale Alea, 26 seats (9 chosen by noble families, 2 ex officio), 4-year term.

 

Transdniestria, see Moldova

 

Trinidad and Tobago (T&T)

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

America: Situated on two main islands and 20 other islands and rocks between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 5,130 sq km; world ranking 166

Population: 1,300,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 153. Density: 253/sq km, world ranking 35

Capital: Port-of-Spain

Independent since 31 August 1962

Constitution: 1 August 1976

Parliamentary system

President: Elected by Parliament for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Bicameral legislature—Parliament:

◄Senate, 31 seats (appointed), 5-year term.

◄House of Representatives, 41 seats, 5-year term.

 

Tobago

Area: 300 sq km

Population: 60,874 (2011)

Authority: Tobago House of Assembly Act of 1996

Government: Executive Council of the Assembly is headed by a Secretary and composed of not more than 5 members of the Assembly to carry out day-to-day administrative functions.

Unicameral legislature:

◄House of Assembly, 16 seats (4 appointee), 4-year term.

 

Tunisia

The Tunisian Republic/Jumhuriya at-Tunisiya

Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Area: 163,610 sq km; world ranking 90

Population: 10,800,000 (06-2012e); world ranking 79. Density: 66/sq km, world ranking 115

Capital: Tunis

Independent since 20 March 1956

Constitution: 27 January 2014

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for a 5-year term to serve as chief of state.

Government: Headed by the prime minister.

Unicameral legislature:

◄ Assembly of the Representatives of the People/Nuwwab sh-Sha’b, 217 seats, 5-year term.

State religion: Islam is the official state religion and is practiced by 99 percent of the population. Eighty-five percent follow the Maliki school and 15 percent the Hanafi school of the Sunni branch. There are also a small number of adherents of the Sufi school of Shi’a Islam.

 

Turkey

Republic of Turkey/Türkiye Çumhuriyeti

Western Asia/Middle East, bordering Aegean, eastern Mediterranean, and Black Seas.

Area: 780,580 sq km; world ranking 36

Population: 79,814,871 (01-2017); world ranking 18. Density: 96/sq km, world ranking 85

Capital: Ankara (Angora) (Istanbul until 1923)

Founded: 1281

Republic established on 29 October 1923

Constitution: 7 November 1982, as amended

Presidential system

President: Popularly elected for not more than two 5-year terms to serve as chief of state and head of government (since June 2018).

Unicameral legislature:

◄Grand National Assembly of Turkey/Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi (TBMM), 600 seats, 4-year term.

State religion: None. Secular state in which 98 percent practice Islam of which 92 percent belong to the Sunni branch and 7 percent are Alevis.

 

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), see Cyprus (North)