January 1997



Russia: Aslan Maskhadov resigns as prime minister of Chechnya.
Switzerland: Arnold Koller becomes president for the year 1997.
United Nations: Kofi Annan takes office as secretary-general.


Comoros: President Mohamed Taki appoints a new cabinet under Prime Minister Ahmed Abdou. Mouhtar Ahmed Charif is appointed foreign minister.
The Gambia: President Yahya Jammeh's Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction wins 33 of 45 seats at stake in parliamentary elections, followed by the United Democratic Party with 7 seats. Turnout is 73%.
Singapore: In parliamentary elections, the ruling People's Action Party wins 67% of the vote and 34 out of 36 contested seats, being unopposed in the remaining 47 constituencies. The Singapore Progressive Party and the Workers' Party win one seat each. Turnout is 96% (voting is compulsory).


American Samoa: Tauese P. Sunia is sworn in as governor.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Parliament approves the presidency's nominees for the new cabinet, notably Haris Silajdzic and Boro Bosic as co-prime ministers.
Somalia: 26 clan factions sign a peace accord and set up a National Salvation Council under the co-chairmanship of Ali Mahdi Muhammad, Osman Hassan Ali "Ato," Abdulkadir Muhammad Aden, Abdulahi Yussuf, and Aden Abdullahi Nur. Not among the 26 groups is the United Somali Congress/Somali National Alliance of Hussein Aydid, nor the breakaway "Republic of Somaliland."


Russia: In the presidential election runoff in the Mari El republic, Vyacheslav Kislitsyn wins with 59% of the vote against 36% for Leonid Markelov. Kislitsyn takes office January 14.


Chad: Of 57 seats decided in the first round of parliamentary elections, 37 are won by President Idriss Déby's Patriotic Salvation Movement. Foreign Minister Saleh Kebzabo's National Union for Development and Renewal follows with 7 seats, the rest going to minor opposition parties. Turnout is 48.5%. The remaining 68 seats in the 125-member parliament will be decided in a second round on February 23.
Mauritania: In a cabinet reshuffle, Ahmed Sidi Ould Khalifa replaces Lemrabott Sidi Mahmoud Ould Cheikh Ahmed as foreign minister, and Kabbah Ould Elewah takes over as minister of the interior.


Czech Republic: Vlasta Parkanová is appointed justice minister.


Poland: Former premier (1945-47) Edward Osóbka-Morawski dies.
Slovenia: Parliament reelects Janez Drnovsek as prime minister by 46 votes to 44. On January 24 a government is formed that includes Zoran Thaler as foreign minister.
United States: Jeanne Shaheen is inaugurated as governor of New Hampshire.



Nicaragua: Arnoldo Alemán is sworn in as president. His vice president is Enrique Bolańos Geyer. The new foreign minister is Emilio Álvarez Montalván; defense: Jaime Cuadra Somarriba; interior: José Antonio Alvarado Correa; finance: Esteban Duque Estrada.
Pakistan: Former chief minister of North-West Frontier Province (1990-93) Mir Afzal Khan dies.


Belarus: President Alyaksandr Lukashenka dismisses Foreign Minister Uladzimir Syanko and appoints Ivan Antanovich to replace him. Lukashenka also confirms the appointment of the previously acting defense minister, Alyaksandr Chumakau.


Russia: President Aslan Dzharimov of Adygeya is reelected with 57.9% of the vote; his two rivals, Aslanby Sovmiz and Kazbek Tsiku, win 19.5% and 15.7% respectively (turnout 56.2%). In Kabardino-Balkariya, President Valery Kokov is reelected with 98.3% of the vote at a turnout of 97.5%.


United States: Frank O'Bannon is inaugurated as governor of Indiana, and Cecil H. Underwood as governor of West Virginia.


Bolivia: Carlos Sánchez Berzaín is appointed interior minister.
Marshall Islands: Imata Kabua is elected president by the Nitijela (parliament).


Madagascar: Former foreign minister (1976, 1983-91) Jean Bemananjara dies.


Moldova: Petru Lucinschi is sworn in as president. The next day he asks Ion Ciubuc to form a government. On January 24 Parliament votes 74-15 to approve the new prime minister. In the new government sworn in on January 25, Mihai Popov remains foreign minister and Valeriu Chitan finance minister, while Valeriu Pasat becomes defense minister and Mihai Plamadeala interior minister.
United States: Gary Locke is inaugurated as governor of Washington.


Latvia: Vasilijs Melniks is appointed finance minister. He takes office January 17. Disagreements between President Guntis Ulmanis and Prime Minister Andris Skele over Melniks' appointment lead to Skele's resignation on January 20. On January 22 Melniks also resigns and Skele becomes acting finance minister.


Organization of African Unity: Former secretary-general (1984-85) Peter Onu dies.
Yugoslavia: The foreign minister of Montenegro, Janko Jeknic, dies in a car accident.


Austria: Chancellor Franz Vranitzky resigns. Finance Minister Viktor Klima is sworn in as new chancellor on January 28. Rudolf Edlinger succeeds Klima as finance minister, and Caspar Einem is replaced as interior minister by Karl Schlögl.



Tunisia: President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali appoints Abderrahim Zouari as foreign minister, to succeed Habib Ben Yahia, who becomes defense minister.
United States: President Bill Clinton is sworn in for his second term. On January 23 Madeleine Albright is sworn in as the new secretary of state.


Sweden: Prime Minister Göran Persson announces a cabinet reshuffle. Defense Minister Thage Peterson is replaced by Björn von Sydow, effective February 1.


Bulgaria: Petur Stoyanov takes office as president.


Canada: Hilary M. Weston takes office as lieutenant governor of Ontario.
Gabon: Prime Minister Paulin Obame-Nguema tenders his resignation. President Omar Bongo asks him to form a new government.


Switzerland: Former Landammann of Nidwalden (1965-66, 1967-68, 1969-70, 1971-72, 1973-74) Walter Vokinger dies.


Russia: Presidential elections in Chechnya are won by former prime minister Aslan Maskhadov with 59.3% of the vote, followed by Shamil Basayev with 23.5% and incumbent Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev with 10.1%. Turnout is 79.4%.


Canada: Lise Thibault takes office as lieutenant governor of Quebec.
Central African Republic: President Ange-Félix Patassé names Michel Gbezera-Bria as prime minister.