A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in
1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Socialist
rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993.
The most recent presidential elections were held in 2001; President RENE,
who had served since 1977, was re-elected. In April 2004 RENE stepped down
and Vice President James MICHEL was sworn in as president.
Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
Total Area: 455 sq km
Land Area: 455 sq km
Comparative Area: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Constitution Day (National Day), 18 June (1993)
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