Nepal: In a cabinet reshuffle, Foreign Minister Ram Sharan Mahat also takes the finance portfolio.
Venezuela: In a cabinet reshuffle, Luis Alfonso Dávila is named interior minister and Gen. Ismael Eliécer Hurtado Soucre defense minister.
Croatia: Zlatko Tomcic becomes acting president.
Slovenia: Dimitrij Rupel takes office as foreign minister.
Dominica: Rosie Douglas takes office as prime minister. He is also foreign minister, while Ambrose George becomes finance minister.
Nigeria: The emir of Borgu, Musa Muhammadu Kigera III dan Muhammadu Sani, dies. The governor of Niger state directs the traditional "kingmakers" to elect the successor, allowing them to do so despite two vacancies. On February 9 the "kingmakers" elect Haliru Dantoro Kitoro III dan Muhammadu Sani, the deceased emir's brother; the state governor declines to ratify the election and designates "kingmakers" to fill the vacancies. The resulting full complement of "kingmakers" on February 12 elects Isiaku Musa Jikantoro, and the governor ratifies his election and has him installed.
United Kingdom: Plaid Cymru wins a by-election in Ceredigion, Wales.
United States: Former attorney general (1972-73) Richard G. Kleindienst dies.
Anguilla: Peter Johnstone takes office as governor.
Austria: Wolfgang Schüssel (ÖVP) is sworn in as chancellor. Benita Ferrero-Waldner (ÖVP) becomes foreign minister, Ernst Strasser (ÖVP) interior minister, Herbert Scheibner (FPÖ) defense minister, and Karl-Heinz Grasser (FPÖ) finance minister.
Zimbabwe: Former foreign minister of Rhodesia (1968-74) John Hartley Howman dies.
Finland: Tarja Halonen wins the presidential election runoff with 51.6%, compared to 48.4% for Esko Aho. Turnout is 80%. On February 25 Erkki Tuomioja replaces Halonen as foreign minister.
Croatia: In the presidential election runoff, Stipe Mesic of the Croatian People's Party wins 56% of the vote and Drazen Budisa of the Croatian Social Liberal Party 44%. Turnout is 60.9%. Mesic is inaugurated February 18.
Yugoslavia: Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic is assassinated. On February 15 Gen. Dragoljub Ojdanic is appointed defense minister.
Greece: President Kostis Stephanopoulos is reelected with 269 votes in the 300-member parliament. His only opponent, Leonidas Kyrkos, receives 10 votes.
Romania: Former chairman of the Presidium of the Grand National Assembly (1958-61) and chairman of the Council of Ministers (1961-74) Ion Gheorghe Maurer dies.
United Kingdom: Welsh First Secretary Alun Michael resigns. Rhodri Morgan becomes acting first secretary and is confirmed in the office on February 15.
Canada: Lois Hole is sworn in as lieutenant governor of Alberta.
China: Former foreign minister (1972-74) Ji Pengfei dies.
Gibraltar: The Social Democrats of Chief Minister Peter Caruana win 58.4% of the vote and 8 of 15 seats in parliamentary elections, and the Socialist Labour Party 40.6% and 7 seats. Turnout is 83%.
Canada: Former lieutenant governor of Prince Edward Island (1974-80) Gordon Lockhart Bennett dies.
Jamaica: Paul Robertson becomes foreign minister.
India: Former lieutenant governor of Goa, Daman and Diu and administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli (1977-81) Pratap Singh Gill dies.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Alija Izetbegovic assumes the rotating chair of the presidency.
India: Former governor of Himachal Pradesh (1990), Kerala (1990-95), and Goa (1994) B. Rachaiah dies.
Paraguay: Foreign Minister José Félix Fernández Estigarribia resigns. He is replaced by Juan Esteban Aguirre Martínez.
Uzbekistan: President Islam Karimov names Lieut.Gen. Yury Agzamov as defense minister.
Canada: Former Prince Edward Island premier (1979-81) J. Angus MacLean dies.
Mali: Mandé Sidibé is named prime minister.
Gibraltar: David Durie is appointed as governor, to take office in April.
India: Former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh (1979) Tomo Riba dies.
Guinea-Bissau: Kumba Ialá is sworn in as president. On February 19 Caetano N'Tchama takes office as prime minister. His cabinet list published on February 20 includes Iaia Djaló as foreign minister, Lieut.Col. Veríssimo Correia Seabra as defense minister, Purna Bia as finance minister, and Artur Sanhá as minister of internal administration.
Belarus: President Alyaksandr Lukashenka drops Prime Minister Syarhei Linh and names Minsk mayor Uladzimir Yarmoshyn as acting prime minister.
Iran: In parliamentary elections, President Mohammad Khatami's allies win 170 seats in the 290-seat parliament. Hard-liners and conservatives win 45 and independents 10; the remaining 65 seats will be decided in runoffs in April.
Chad: Former prime minister (1982) Djidingar Dono Ngardoum dies.
Kyrgyzstan: In parliamentary elections, the Communist Party wins 27.8% of the vote, followed by the pro-government Union of Democratic Forces with 18.6%, the Democratic Party of Women with 12.7%, the Afghan War Veterans Party with 8%, and the Ata-Meken with 6.5%.
Canada: Lynda M. Haverstock is sworn in as lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan.
India: In state elections in Orissa (held February 17 and 22) and Haryana (February 22), Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's alliance defeats the main opposition Congress Party, though his Bharatiya Janata Party comes in second to its regional partners: the Biju Janata Dal in Orissa and the Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana. In Bihar elections (held February 12, 17, and 22), the alliance fails to oust the Rashtriya Janata Dal. In Manipur (February 12 and 22), results are split and a regional group leads the race in the 60-seat legislature.
Denmark: In a cabinet reshuffle, Karen Jespersen becomes interior minister.
Norfolk Island: Ronald Coane Nobbs wins most votes (15%) in parliamentary elections and subsequently becomes chief minister.
Canada: Ujjal Dosanjh is sworn in as premier of British Columbia.
Swaziland: Former acting prime minister (1996) Sishayi Nxumalo dies.
Germany: In state elections in Schleswig-Holstein, the Social Democratic Party wins 43.1% of the vote (41 of 89 seats), the Christian Democratic Union 35.2% (33), the Free Democratic Party 7.6% (7), the Greens 6.2% (5), and the South Schleswig Voters Association 4.1% (3). Turnout is 69.5%.
Senegal: In the first round of presidential elections, incumbent Abdou Diouf wins 41.3% of the vote, followed by Abdoulaye Wade with 31%, Moustapha Niasse with 16.8%, and Djibo Ka with 7.1%. A runoff will be held March 19.
Switzerland: Former president of the Council of State of Neuchâtel (1973-74, 1978-79) René Meylan dies.
Tajikistan: In the first round of parliamentary elections, the pro-government People's Democratic Party wins 64.5% of the vote, the Communist Party 20.6%, and the Islamic Renaissance Party 7.5%. Turnout is 93.2%.
Rwanda: Prime Minister Pierre-Célestin Rwigema resigns.
Pakistan: Former chief minister of Punjab (1995-96) Sardar Arif Nakai dies.
Switzerland: Former president of the Council of State of Vaud (1965, 1969) Pierre Schumacher dies.