Country Info

Facts

Name: Republic of Moldova

Area: 33,851 sq km

Capital: Chisinau (Kishinev)

Independence: 1991 from the Soviet Union

National Holiday: 27 August

Constitution: adopted 29 July 1994; effective 27 August 1994; note - replaced 1979 Soviet constitution

Population: 4,320,748 (July 2010 est.)

Suffrage: universal, 18 years of age required

Ethnicity: Moldovan/Romanian 78.2%, Ukrainian 8.4%, Russian 5.8%, Gagauz 4.4%, Bulgarian 1.9%, other 1.3% (2004 census)

Languages: Moldovan (official), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)

Religions: Eastern Orthodox 98%, Jewish 1.5%, Baptist and other 0.5% (2000)

Geography

Location: Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania

Geographic coordinates: 47 00 N, 29 00 E

Map references: Europe

Area: 33,851 sq km

Land: 32,891 sq km

Water: 960 sq km

Area – comparative: slightly larger than Maryland

Land boundaries: total: 1,390 km

Border countries: Romania 450 km, Ukraine 940 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: moderate winters, warm summers

Terrain: rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Dniester River 2 m

Highest point: Dealul Balanesti 430 m

Natural resources: lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone

Geography – note: landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone

Political System

The constitution declares Moldova to be a parliamentary republic and provides for multiple political parties, a separation of powers between branches of government, a market economy and respect for human rights.

The President

President elected by Parliament for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); last successful election held on 4 April 2005, most recent (failed) election held on 10 December 2009)

Acting President Mihai GHIMPU (since 11 September 2009)

note: Vladimir VORONIN, president since 4 April 2001, resigned on 11 September 2009; Mihai GHIMPU, the Speaker of Parliament, is serving as acting president until new elections can be held, possibly in 2010; the parliament twice failed to elect a president in 2009 and must wait until at least late 2010 to dissolve itself and hold new presidential elections, given that the constitution forbids parliament from being dissolved more than twice in a 12-month period

Executive

Prime minister designated by the president upon consultation with Parliament; within 15 days from designation, the prime minister-designate must request a vote of confidence from the Parliament regarding his/her work program and entire cabinet; prime minister designated on 17 September 2009; cabinet received a vote of confidence on 25 September 2009.

Prime minister: Vlad Filat (since 25 September 2009)

Legislative

Moldova has a unicameral Parliament or Parlamentul (101 seats; members elected on an at-large basis by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

Judiciary

Supreme Court; Constitutional Court (the sole authority for constitutional judicature)

Economic Development

Travel, History and Traditions

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