July 1997


China: The British colony of Hong Kong is returned to China as a special administrative region. Tung Chee-hwa becomes chief executive.
Gibraltar: Former chief minister (1964-69, 1972-87) Sir Joshua Hassan dies.
Kyrgyzstan: Muratbek Imanaliyev replaces Roza Otunbayeva as foreign minister.


Mauritius: Rajkeswur Purryag becomes foreign minister.
Ukraine: President Leonid Kuchma accepts the resignation of Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko. On June 19 Kuchma had suspended him and appointed Vasyl Durdynets as acting prime minister "for the time of Pavlo Lazarenko's illness," while Lazarenko's aides said he was feeling fine. On July 11 Kuchma names Valery Pustovoitenko as his candidate for prime minister. Parliament approves him on July 16 (226-91 with 26 abstentions).


Albania: Interior Minister Belul Çelo resigns.
Guatemala: President Álvaro Arzú Irigoyen dismisses Defense Minister Gen. Julio Balconi Turcios; he is succeeded by Gen. Héctor Mario Barrios Zelada.


Albania: The second round of parliamentary elections are held, and the Socialists will have a total of 101 seats in the 155-seat parliament, their coalition allies 17, and the Democrats 27.
Cambodia: Second Prime Minister Hun Sen unilaterally announces that Prince Norodom Ranariddh is no longer first prime minister. On July 16 he appoints Foreign Minister Ung Huot as new first prime minister.
Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appoints Yaakov Neeman as finance minister (approved by the Knesset on July 9). On July 7 Netanyahu survives his second no-confidence vote in two weeks (48-39).
Mexico: In parliamentary elections, the Institutional Revolutionary Party wins 38.9% of the vote (239 seats), the National Action Party 27% (121), the Party of the Democratic Revolution 25.6% (125), the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico 3.9% (8), and the Workers Party 2.6% (7).


Bangladesh: Former president (1975-77) Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem dies.
Sierra Leone: Military leader Johnny Paul Koroma appoints himself as defense minister, and Pallo Bangura as foreign minister.


Saint Helena: Parliamentary election.


Turkey: The government of Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz wins a confidence vote (281-256).


Australia: Former foreign minister (1961-64) Sir Garfield Barwick dies.
Switzerland: Former president of the Council of State of Genève (1956-57) Alfred Borel dies.



India: Vice President K.R. Narayanan is elected president by state and federal legislators, receiving 4,231 votes (of a value of 956,290, i.e., 95%) to 240 (50,631, i.e., 5%) for T.N. Seshan. Narayanan is sworn in July 25.


Yugoslavia: Parliament elects Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic as federal president. He takes office July 23. Dragan Tomic then becomes acting president of Serbia.


Peru: Foreign Minister Francisco Tudela resigns. He is succeeded by Eduardo Ferrero Costa. On July 17 the resignation of Defense Minister Gen. Tomás Castillo Meza is announced. His post is filled by Interior Minister Gen. César Saucedo, who in turn is replaced by Gen. José Villanueva.


United States: Former secretary of housing and urban development (1965-68) Robert C. Weaver dies.


Canada: Russell MacLellan is sworn in as premier of Nova Scotia.


Liberia: Presidential and parliamentary elections. Charles Taylor wins 75.3% of the presidential vote, ahead of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (9.6%), Alhaji Kromah, and George Boley. Taylor's National Patriotic Party wins 21 of 26 seats in the Senate and 49 of 64 seats in the House of Representatives. Johnson-Sirleaf's Unity Party wins 3 seats in the Senate and 7 in the House. Kromah's All Liberia Coalition Party wins 2 Senate and 3 House seats. Turnout is just under 90%.


Mali: President Alpha Oumar Konaré's Alliance for Democracy in Mali (ADEMA) wins at least 93 of 147 seats outright in the first round of parliamentary elections. Most of the opposition boycotts the poll, and turnout is low.
Vietnam: Parliamentary election. Of the 450 elected candidates, 384 are members of the ruling Communist Party. Turnout is 99.6%.



Papua New Guinea: Parliament elects Bill Skate prime minister, with 71 votes against 35 for Sir Michael Somare. Chris Haiveta becomes foreign minister and Roy Yaki finance minister in a caretaker cabinet. On July 29 Kilroy Genia is named foreign minister and Mao Zeming defense minister, while Yaki is confirmed as finance minister.



Albania: President Sali Berisha resigns. On July 24 parliament elects Socialist Rexhep Meidani president (110-3 with 2 abstentions). Meidani then accepts the resignation of Prime Minister Bashkim Fino, and names Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano as new prime minister. In the new cabinet presented by Nano on July 25, Paskal Milo is foreign minister, Sabit Brokaj is defense minister, Neritan Ceka is interior minister, and Arben Malaj retains his post of finance minister.
Belarus: Mikalay Korbut is appointed finance minister.


Malawi: A new cabinet is formed. Vice-president and finance minister: Justin Malewezi; foreign minister: Mapopa Chipeta; defense: Joseph Kubalo; interior: Mevin Moyo.
Myanmar: Saw Maung, former chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (1988-92), dies.


Rabri Devi
India: Bihar Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav resigns, and is succeeded by his wife Rabri Devi.
Moldova: President Petru Lucinschi relieves Foreign Minister Mihai Popov of his duties. On July 28 Nicolae Tabacaru is appointed as new foreign minister.


V.S. Rama Devi
India: V.S. Rama Devi becomes governor of Himachal Pradesh.


Haiti: President René Préval nominates Ericq Pierre as new prime minister.
Latvia: Prime Minister Andris Skele resigns. Guntars Krasts of the Fatherland and Freedom Party is chosen as new prime minister.
Thailand: Former prime minister (1945-46, 1976) Seni Pramoj dies.


Australia: Peter Arnison is sworn in as governor of Queensland.
United States: Massachusetts Governor William Weld resigns. He is succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Paul Cellucci.


New Zealand: The paramount chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, Hepi Te Heuheu Tukino VII, dies.
Slovenia: Foreign Minister Zoran Thaler resigns.
United Kingdom: The Conservatives win a by-election in Uxbridge with 51% of the vote, compared to 39% for Labour and 5% for the Liberal Democrats.
Vietnam: Bao Dai, former emperor of Annam (1926-45) and of Vietnam (1945) and chief of state of South Vietnam (1949-55), dies.