April 1996


Equatorial Guinea: Ángel Serafín Seriche Dougan takes office as prime minister, succeeding Silvestre Siale Bileka.
Portugal: Former prime minister (1978) Alfredo Nobre da Costa dies.
San Marino: Pier Paolo Gasperoni (Socialist) and Pietro Bugli (Christian Democrat) are inaugurated as captains-regent for the next six months, replacing Pier Natalino Mularoni (Christian Democrat) and Marino Venturini (Socialist).
Zaire: Former governor-general of Belgian Congo (1952-58) Léon Pétillon (also governor of Ruanda-Urundi, 1949-52) dies.


Norfolk Island: Former administrator (1976-79) Desmond Vincent O'Leary dies.

Saint Lucia: Vaughan Lewis takes office as prime minister, succeeding John Compton, who retires. Lewis also takes the position of foreign minister.


Peru: Alberto Pandolfi is sworn in as prime minister, following the resignation of Dante Córdova the day before. Several key ministers are ratified in their posts, notably Jorge Camet as economy and finance minister, Francisco Tudela at foreign affairs, and Jaime Yoshiyama in the ministry of the presidency.
United States: Ron Brown, secretary of commerce since 1993, dies in an airplane crash near Dubrovnik, Croatia. On April 12 Mickey Kantor is appointed to succeed him.


Benin: Mathieu Kérékou assumes office as president after winning elections in March. On April 8 he appoints Adrien Houngbédji as prime minister. The new foreign minister is Pierre Osho, the defense minister Séverin Adjovi, the finance minister Moďse Mensah, the interior minister Théophile Nda.

South Africa: Trevor Manuel (ANC) succeeds Chris Liebenberg as finance minister.


Cuba: Former commander of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (1963-66) John Duncan Bulkeley dies.


Kyrgyzstan: Omurbek Kutuyev is appointed interior minister, replacing Madalbek Moldashev, who resigned April 2.
South Korea: In parliamentary elections, the ruling New Korea Party wins 139 out of 299 seats; the National Congress for New Politics wins 79 seats, the United Liberal Democrats 50, the Democratic Party 15, and independents 16. Turnout is 63.9%.
United Kingdom: The Labour Party wins a by-election in Staffordshire South East with 60.1%, gaining a seat previously held by the Conservatives, who drop to 28.4%.


Paraguay: Raúl Cubas Grau replaces Orlando Bareiro as finance minister. On April 27 Cubas resigns, and on April 29 Carlos Facetti Maculli is named finance minister.


Canada: Bud Olson is sworn in as lieutenant governor of Alberta.


Nigeria: The military government deposes the sultan of Sokoto, Ibrahim Dasuki. On April 21 Ibrahim Muhammadu Maccido becomes sultan.


India: The governor of Himachal Pradesh, Sheila Kaul, resigns. President Shankar Dayal Sharma appoints Haryana governor Mahabir Prasad to concurrently hold the governorship of Himachal Pradesh; he takes office April 23.
Italy: Parliamentary elections are won by the centre-left Ulivo (Olive Tree) alliance led by Romano Prodi, capturing 284 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 157 seats in the Senate, against the right-wing alliance Polo per le Libertŕ led by Silvio Berlusconi with 246 and 117 seats, respectively. The Lega Nord wins 59 and 27 seats, the Progressisti alliance around the Rifondazione Comunista 35 and 10, and other parties 6 and 4. Turnout is 82%.

Russia: Dzhokhar Dudayev, president of Chechnya since 1991, is killed in a Russian rocket attack. He is succeeded by Vice President Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev.


India: The chief minister of Assam since 1991, Hiteshwar Saikia, dies. State health minister Bhumidhar Barman is selected as caretaker chief minister.


Austria: The state assembly of Salzburg elects Franz Schausberger premier.


United States: Former CIA director (1973-76) William E. Colby dies.
Western Samoa: Parliamentary elections are won by the Human Rights Protection Party, winning 26 out of 49 seats. The Samoa National Development Party gets 13 seats, and independents 10.


Colombia: Finance Minister Guillermo Perry Rubio announces his resignation. He is succeeded by José Antonio Ocampo.


Guatemala: Former president (1966-70) Julio César Méndez Montenegro dies.