February 1997


Liechtenstein: In parliamentary elections held January 31 and February 2, the Fatherland Union wins 13 seats (49.2% of the vote), the Progressive Citizens' Party 10 (39.2%), and the Free List 2 (11.6%). Turnout is 86.9%.


Colombia: Guillermo Alberto González takes office as defense minister.
French Guiana: Dominique Vian becomes prefect.
Monaco: Michel Lévêque takes office as minister of state, succeeding Paul Dijoud.

Pakistan: Parliamentary elections are swept by the Pakistan Muslim League of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, winning 136 seats in the 217-seat National Assembly; Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party wins only 19. Turnout is 38%. Nawaz Sharif is sworn in as prime minister on February 17. On February 25 Gohar Ayub Khan is sworn in as foreign minister, Sartaj Aziz as finance minister, and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain as interior minister.


Norway: Justice Minister Anne Holt resigns and is replaced by Gerd-Liv Valla.
Poland: Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko resigns. He is succeeded by Marek Belka.



Canada: A.M. House takes office as lieutenant governor of Newfoundland.
Tanzania: Daniel Yona becomes finance minister.



Ecuador: Congress votes 44-34 to depose President Abdalá Bucaram for mental incapacity and declares Fabián Alarcón interim president. Bucaram refuses to relinquish office, and on February 7 Vice President Rosalía Arteaga also claims the presidency, the constitution being vague on the issue of succession. On February 8 Defense Minister Gen. Víctor Bayas resigns and is temporarily replaced by Gen. Paco Moncayo. On February 9 legislators and military leaders agree on a plan to resolve the crisis, and Bucaram concedes defeat. Arteaga is sworn in as interim president, but only for a few days until Congress is to reappoint Alarcón as president. She appoints Gil Barragán as interior minister.
Slovenia: Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek fails to get parliamentary ratification for his proposed cabinet, with 45 members voting for it and 45 against. On February 27 parliament approves a new government in a 52-37 vote.


India: In a state election in Punjab, the Akali Dal wins 74 seats, the BJP 18, Congress 14, others 11. Turnout is over 65%. On February 12 Parkash Singh Badal is sworn in as chief minister.


Nauru: The country's last four presidents - Lagumot Harris, Bernard Dowiyogo, Kennan Adeang, and Reuben Kun - keep their seats in a parliamentary election. On February 12 parliament elects Kinza Clodumar president, who names a cabinet including himself as foreign and finance minister and Vinson Detenamo as internal affairs minister.


Madagascar: Didier Ratsiraka takes office as president.


Estonia: Prime Minister Tiit Vähi survives a no-confidence vote by 46 votes to 45.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Former prime minister (1979-84) Milton Cato dies.


Ecuador: Congress appoints Fabián Alarcón president. He is to serve until Aug. 10, 1998. On February 12 Alarcón appoints César Verduga as interior minister. On February 13 he names Carlos Dávalos as finance minister and Gen. Ramiro Ricaurte as defense minister. Later in the month José Ayala Lasso is appointed foreign minister.
Paraguay: Interior Minister Juan Morales resigns. On February 13 Atilio Fernández is appointed to replace him.


Bulgaria: Sofia mayor Stefan Sofiyanski takes office as interim prime minister. His caretaker cabinet includes Stoyan Stalev as foreign minister, Georgi Ananiev as defense minister, Svetoslav Gavriyski as finance minister, and Bogomil Bonev as interior minister.
South Korea: Home Minister Kim Woo Suk resigns. The following day he is replaced by Suh Chung Hwa.

Russia: Aslan Maskhadov is inaugurated as president of Chechnya.


Latvia: Parliament approves a new government headed again by Andris Skele, who had resigned in January.


Japan: Former Ryukyu chief executive (1968-72) Chobyo Yara dies.

Trinidad and Tobago: The Electoral College elects the government's candidate, A.N.R. Robinson, president. He receives 46 votes; the opposition's candidate, Anthony Lucky, polls 18.


Andorra: In parliamentary elections, Chief Executive Marc Forné's Unió Liberal wins 16 out of 28 seats, followed by the Agrupament Nacional Democràtic with 6. Turnout is 81.6%.


Australia: Neil Raymond Conn becomes administrator of the Northern Territory.


Central African Republic: A new government is formed under Prime Minister Michel Gbezera-Bria. Foreign minister: Jean Mette-Yapende; defense: Pascal Kado; finance: Anicet Georges Dologuélé.
Guatemala: Former president (1963-66) Enrique Peralta Azurdia dies.
Solomon Islands: Michael Maina is sworn in as finance minister, replacing Edmund Andresen.


Belarus: Parliament approves Syarhei Linh as prime minister. He was appointed acting prime minister in November.
China: Deng Xiaoping, former vice-premier (1952-54, 1973-76, 1977-80) and paramount leader from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, dies.


North Korea: Defense Minister Choe Kwang dies. The same day, Premier Kang Song San is replaced for health reasons, and Hong Song Nam is appointed acting premier.
Madagascar: President Didier Ratsiraka names former finance minister Pascal Rakotomavo as prime minister. On February 27 Rakotomavo unveils his cabinet, including Herizo Razafimahaleo (foreign affairs), Tantely Andrianarivo (economy and finance), and Col. Jean-Jacques Rasolondraibe (interior).
South Africa: The former president of Transkei (1986-94), Tutor Nyangelizwe Vulindlela Ndamase, dies.


Chad: The second round of parliamentary elections gives President Idriss Déby's Patriotic Salvation Movement a total of 55 of the 125 seats. Wadal Abdelkader Kamougue's Union for Renewal and Democracy will have 31 seats and Foreign Minister Saleh Kebzabo's National Union for Development and Renewal 15.
Somalia: Muhammad Ibrahim Egal is reelected president of the not-internationally-recognized Republic of Somaliland, gaining 223 votes in the 315-member National Communities Conference. Suleiman Gaal comes in second with 90 votes, followed by Hargeysa mayor Muhammad Hashi with 2.



Gibraltar: Sir Richard Luce takes office as governor.
Switzerland: Former Landammann of Solothurn (1964, 1968, 1972) Franz Josef Jeger dies.


Estonia: Prime Minister Tiit Vähi resigns. On February 27 President Lennart Meri names Mart Siimann as new prime minister.

Italy: Prime Minister Romano Prodi wins a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies (308-257).
Seychelles: Foreign Minister Danielle de St. Jorre dies. President France-Albert René takes over the post.
Ukraine: President Leonid Kuchma sacks Finance Minister Valentyn Koronevsky. On February 26 he is replaced by Ihor Mityukov.


Australia: Former Northern Territory administrator (1981-89) Eric Eugene Johnston dies.
South Korea: Prime Minister Lee Soo Sung and the rest of his cabinet offer their resignations.


Latvia: Parliament approves the appointment of Roberts Zile as finance minister.
Sweden: Former governor of Värmland (1967-77) Rolf Edberg dies.
United Kingdom: The Labour Party wins a by-election in Wirral South, with 53% of the vote to 34% for the Conservatives.


Western Sahara: Bachir Mustafa Sayed is nominated as foreign minister of the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic.