Italy: President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro asks Antonio Maccanico to form a government. His attempts fail, and on February 16 Scalfaro announces new elections will be held on April 21.
United Kingdom: The Labour Party wins a by-election in Hemsworth (West Yorkshire) with 72% of the votes, the Liberal Democrats getting 9%, the Conservatives 7%, and Arthur Scargill's new Socialist Labour Party over 5%.
Finland: Justice Minister Sauli Niinistö becomes finance minister.
France: Former president of the Regional Council of Picardie (1979-80) Jacques Mossion dies.
Guinea: Following the dismissal of Defense Minister Abdourahmane Diallo, President Lansana Conté assumes that position.
Jordan: King Hussein appoints Abdul Karim al-Kabariti as prime minister. Kabariti keeps the office of foreign minister and also takes over the defense portfolio.
Burkina Faso: Prime Minister Marc-Christian Kaboré declares his resignation. The same day Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo is appointed to succeed him.
Haiti: The new president, René Préval, is sworn in. He succeeds Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Lesotho: The new king, Letsie III, accedes to the throne.
Poland: Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz of the Democratic Left Alliance is appointed new prime minister, succeeding Józef Oleksy, who resigned January 24. Cimoszewicz's cabinet is unchanged in the key posts, except for the appointment of Zbigniew Siemiatkowski as new interior minister.
Lithuania: Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius is ousted in a vote of no confidence (94-26); on February 15 Laurynas Mindaugas Stankevicius is elected to succeed him. President Algirdas Brazauskas rejects the resignation offers of the foreign and defense ministers. On February 23 he approves Stankevicius's new cabinet, including Algimantas Krizinauskas as finance minister and Virgilijus Bulovas as interior minister.
Tajikistan: Prime Minister Jamshed Karimov resigns; Yakhyo Azimov is appointed to succeed him.
Vanuatu: Prime Minister Serge Vohor announces his resignation. On February 23, Maxime Carlot Korman is elected to replace him. Amos Bangabiti becomes foreign minister.
Macedonia: Interior Minister Ljubomir Frckoski is named to replace Stevo Crvenkovski as foreign minister. The new interior minister is to be Tomislav Cokrevski, and Taki Fiti is to replace Jane Miljovski as finance minister. Parliament approves the new government on February 23.
Zambia: Former prime minister (1985-89) Kebby Musokotwane dies.
West Bank + Gaza Strip: Yasir Arafat is sworn in as president of the Palestinian Authority.
Bangladesh: Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party wins general elections by default, as most of the opposition boycotts the poll. Turnout is estimated at 5-15%.
Belgium: Former foreign minister (1977-80) Henri Simonet dies.
Honduras: President Carlos Roberto Reina names José Luis Núńez Beneth as defense minister.
Hungary: Former chairman of the Presidential Council (1988-89) Brunó Ferenc Straub dies.
Australia: Sir William Deane is sworn in as governor-general.
United States: Former governor of California (1959-67) Edmund G. Brown dies.
Cape Verde: President António Mascarenhas Monteiro is reelected with 80% for another 5 years. Turnout is 55%.
Hungary: Finance Minister Lajos Bokros announces his resignation, effective February 29. On February 26 Péter Medgyessy is appointed to succeed him.
Australia: Queensland premier Wayne Goss (Labor) resigns, no longer having a parliamentary majority. On February 26 a National/Liberal coalition government led by Premier Rob Borbidge (National) is sworn in.
Canada: Former Alberta premier (1943-68) Ernest C. Manning dies.
United States: Former Nevada governor (1959-67) Grant Sawyer dies.
India: Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister (1972-75) Prakash Chandra Sethi dies.
Austria: Hans Katschthaler (ÖVP) announces his resignation as premier of Salzburg. Franz Schausberger is selected to succeed him.
Canada: Glen Clark (NDP) is sworn in as premier of British Columbia, succeeding Michael Harcourt (NDP), who had resigned. In Newfoundland, Premier Brian Tobin's Liberals win the provincial election with 55% of the vote (37 seats), the Progressive Conservatives get 38.7% (9 seats), the NDP 4.5% (1 seat), and an independent 1.8% (1 seat).
Argentina: Jujuy Governor Guillermo Snopek dies. He is replaced by Vice Governor Carlos Ferraro.
Niue: Premier Frank F. Lui is reelected by parliament for another 3-year term, defeating Robert Rex, Jr., with 11 votes against 9. A general election was held February 16. Although the candidates of the new opposition Niue People's Party did well, pro-government independent candidates prevailed, taking 3 of the 6 seats of common roll and 8 of 14 village seats.
Australia: In elections in Tasmania, the Liberals win 16 out of 35 seats in the House of Assembly (41.2% of first-preference votes), Labor 14 (40.5%), Tasmanian Greens 4 (11.1%), and an independent 1. Turnout is 96%.
Equatorial Guinea: President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is reelected for another 7 years with more than 99% of the votes.
India: Sahib Singh Verma is sworn in as chief minister of Delhi, replacing Madan Lal Khurana, who had resigned.
Zaire: Jean-Marie Kititwa becomes new foreign minister, replacing Gérard Kamanda Wa Kamanda.
Haiti: Both houses of parliament agree to accept Rosny Smarth as prime minister. President René Préval had nominated Smarth to the post 11 days earlier.
Sierra Leone: In the first round of presidential elections held February 26-27, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) wins 35.8% of the vote, followed by John Karefa-Smart of the United National People's Party (UNPP) with 22.6% and Thaimu Bangura of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) with 16.1%. In the parliamentary election, the SLPP wins 36.1% of the vote and 27 of 68 elected seats, the UNPP 21.6% and 17 seats, and the PDP 15.3% and 12 seats.
Argentina: Former junta member (1966) Benigno Ignacio Varela dies.
Canada: Former Newfoundland lieutenant governor (1969-74) E. John A. Harnum dies.
New Zealand: In a cabinet reshuffle, Paul East becomes defense minister and Peter Dunne internal affairs minister.