Finland: Tarja Halonen takes office as president.
Libya: Mubarak Abdallah al-Shamikh is appointed secretary of the General People's Committee (prime minister) and Abdel Rahman Shalgham foreign minister.
Malawi: President Bakili Muluzi appoints Mathews Chikaonda as finance minister, Lilian Patel as foreign minister, and Rodwell Munyenyembe as defense minister.
Uruguay: Jorge Batlle takes office as president. Luis Brezzo becomes defense minister and Alberto Bensión finance minister, while Foreign Minister Didier Opertti and Interior Minister Guillermo Stirling remain in place.
Anguilla: In parliamentary elections, the United Front (Anguilla National Alliance and Anguilla Democratic Party) wins 4 of 7 seats, the Anguilla United Movement 2, and an independent 1. Turnout is 64%. On March 6 Osbourne Fleming is sworn in as chief minister. Victor Banks becomes finance minister.
Australia: Former South Australia governor (1991-96) Dame Roma Mitchell dies.
India: Naveen Patnaik takes office as chief minister of Orissa.
Saint Kitts and Nevis: In parliamentary elections, the Labour Party of Prime Minister Denzil Douglas wins 8 of the 11 seats, the Concerned Citizens Movement 2, and the Nevis Reformation Party 1. Turnout is slightly above 50%.
Uganda: Former prime minister (1985-86) Abraham Waligo dies.
Syria: Prime Minister Mahmoud Zuabi resigns. President Hafez al-Assad asks Muhammad Mustafa Mero to form a new government. Mero takes office March 13. The foreign, defense, interior, and finance ministers retain their posts.
United States: Former attorney general (1975-77) Edward H. Levi dies.
India: E.K. Mawlong becomes chief minister of Meghalaya.
Rwanda: Bernard Makuza is named prime minister. The new cabinet named on March 20 includes André Bumaya as foreign minister.
Saint Kitts and Nevis: In a cabinet reshuffle Sam Condor becomes foreign minister.
Côte d'Ivoire: Military ruler Robert Guéi sacks Foreign Minister Christophe M'Boua and replaces him with Charles Gomis.
Norway: Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik resigns. On March 17 Jens Stoltenberg of the Labour Party becomes prime minister. Thorbjørn Jagland becomes foreign minister, Bjørn Tore Godal defense minister, and Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen finance minister.
Chile: Ricardo Lagos takes office as president. Soledad Alvear Valenzuela becomes foreign minister, Mario Fernández defense minister, José Miguel Insulza interior minister, and Nicolás Eyzaguirre finance minister.
Spain: Former foreign minister (1973-74) Laureano López Rodó dies.
El Salvador: In parliamentary elections, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front wins 31 of 84 seats, the Nationalist Republican Alliance 29, the Party of National Conciliation 13, and the Christian Democratic Party 6.
Spain: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister José María Aznar's Popular Party wins 183 of 350 seats (44.6% of the vote), the Socialists 125 (34.1%), the United Left 8 (5.5%), and regional parties 34. Turnout is 70%.
Tajikistan: Runoffs are held in 12 constituencies where no candidate won an absolute majority in the February 27 parliamentary elections.
Romania: President Emil Constantinescu names Sorin Frunzaverde as defense minister.
United States: Former New York governor (1973-75) Malcolm Wilson dies.
Belarus: Uladzimir Yarmoshyn is confirmed as prime minister.
Tanzania: Former Zanzibar president (1985-90) Idris Abdul Wakil dies.
Nepal: Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai resigns. Girija Prasad Koirala is appointed prime minister on March 20 and sworn in on March 22. He also takes the defense portfolio, while Chakra Bastola becomes foreign minister, Mahesh Acharya finance minister, and Govinda Raj Joshi home affairs minister.
India: Pondicherry chief minister R.V. Janakiraman resigns. On March 22 P. Shanmugam is sworn in as chief minister.
Taiwan: Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party wins presidential elections with 39.3% of the vote, defeating independent James Soong (36.8%) and Lien Chan of the Nationalist Party (23.1%). Turnout is 82.7%. Chen will be sworn in on May 20.
Cameroon: Ferdinand Kongo Edima is named as interior minister to replace Samson Ename Ename.
Senegal: In the presidential election runoff, Abdoulaye Wade of the Senegalese Democratic Party wins 58.5% of the vote, defeating incumbent Abdou Diouf of the Socialist Party (41.5%).
Algeria: Tedjini Haddam, member of the High State Committee of 1992-94, dies.
Greece: Georgios Koumantos is sworn in as interim interior minister.
Bermuda: Former governor (1983-88) John William Morrison, Viscount Dunrossil, dies.
India: Former Nagaland chief minister (1990-92) Vamuzo Phesao dies.
Rwanda: President Pasteur Bizimungu resigns. The next day Vice President Paul Kagame takes over as interim president.
Germany: Werner Zeyer, former minister-president of the Saarland (1979-85), dies.
Russia: Vladimir Putin wins presidential elections with 52.9% of the vote, followed by Gennady Zyuganov with 29.2%, Grigory Yavlinsky with 5.8%, Aman Tuleyev with 2.9%, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 2.7%. Turnout is 68.6%.
France: Laurent Fabius is named to replace Christian Sautter as finance minister.
Iraq: In parliamentary elections, only members of the National Progressive Front and nonpartisans supporting the government are elected.
Israel: A no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Ehud Barak is defeated (50-30).
Brunei: Former chief minister (1962-67) Dato Seri Paduka Haji Marsal bin Maun dies.
Thailand: Interior Minister Sanan Kachornprasart resigns.
Austria: Former president (1974-86) Rudolf Kirchschläger dies.
Canada: Glenna F. Hansen is sworn in as commissioner of the Northwest Territories.