May 2000


Turkey: Ahmet Necdet Sezer gets 281 votes in the first round of voting for president. In the second round, he receives 314 votes, still short of the necessary two-thirds majority (367 votes) in the 550-seat parliament. In the third round on May 5, with a simple majority sufficient, he is elected with 330 votes. He takes office May 16.



Armenia: President Robert Kocharyan fires Prime Minister Aram Sarkisyan and Defense Minister Vagarshak Arutyunyan, whose first deputy Mikael Arutyunyan is appointed acting defense minister. On May 12 Kocharyan names Andranik Markaryan prime minister. A new cabinet is appointed May 20, Serzh Sarkisyan becoming defense minister.


Italy: Prime Minister Giuliano Amato's government wins a confidence vote in the Senate (179-112).

Slovenia: Parliament elects Andrej Bajuk prime minister (46-44). On May 15 he names a cabinet with Lojze Peterle as foreign minister and himself as finance minister, but this fails to get parliamentary approval on May 23.


Latvia: Parliament approves Andris Berzins as prime minister. Gundars Berzins becomes finance minister.


Canada: Pat Duncan is sworn in as premier of the Yukon Territory.
Saint Kitts and Nevis: Former prime minister (1979-80) Lee Moore dies.



Russia: Vladimir Putin is inaugurated as president. He names Mikhail Kasyanov acting prime minister, who is confirmed by the Duma on May 17 (325-55).


Benin: Former president (1960-63, 1970-72) Hubert Maga dies.
Colombia: Interior Minister Néstor Humberto Martínez resigns. He is replaced with Humberto de la Calle.
Saint Helena: Former governor (1991-95) Alan Hoole (also governor of Anguilla, 1995-96) dies after falling from a steep hillside.
São Tomé and Príncipe: Joaquim Rafael Branco becomes foreign minister.


Australia: Geoffrey Kennedy becomes acting governor of Western Australia.

Georgia: Parliament approves Giorgi Arsenishvili as minister of state. The new cabinet is submitted to the legislature on May 14; it includes Zurab Nogaideli as finance minister.


Italy: Former president of Friuli-Venezia Giulia (1964-73) Alfredo Berzanti dies.
Switzerland: Former Landammann of Nidwalden (1974-75, 1976-77) Norbert Zumbühl dies.


Yugoslavia: The chairman of the Executive Council of Vojvodina, Bosko Perosevic, is assassinated.


Ethiopia: In parliamentary elections, the Oromo People's Democratic Organization wins 177 of over 500 seats, the Amhara National Democratic Movement 134, and the Tigray People's Liberation Front 38.
Germany: In state elections in Nordrhein-Westfalen, the Social Democratic Party wins 42.8% of the vote (102 of 231 seats), the Christian Democratic Union 37% (88), the Free Democratic Party 9.8% (24), and the Greens 7.1% (17). Turnout is 56.7%.
Japan: Former prime minister (1998-2000) Keizo Obuchi dies.


Dominican Republic: In presidential elections, Hipólito Mejía of the Dominican Revolutionary Party wins 49.9% of the vote, Danilo Medina of the Dominican Liberation Party 24.9%, and former president Joaquín Balaguer of the Social Christian Reformist Party 24.6%. Turnout is 76.1%. Medina subsequently withdraws, making Mejía the winner without a runoff.


Canada: Myra Freeman is installed as lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia.


Côte d'Ivoire: Seydou Diarra becomes prime minister, Col. Grena Mouassi interior minister, and Mamadou Koulibaly finance minister.
Russia: Aleksey Kudrin is named finance minister.



Fiji: Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry is taken hostage in Parliament in a coup attempt led by George Speight, who names an interim prime minister, Ratu Timoci Silatolu, who does not take office. On May 20 Speight's group installs Ratu Jope Seniloli as "president," who then appoints Speight as interim prime minister. On May 27 President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara appoints Ratu Tevita Momoedonu as acting prime minister (Chaudhry being "unable to act"); as instructed, Momoedonu dismisses all ministers and immediately resigns to enable Mara to obtain complete executive authority. On May 29 the army chief, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, dismisses Mara and assumes power himself as Head of the Interim Military Government.

Lee Han Dong
South Korea: Prime Minister Park Tae Joon resigns. Finance Minister Lee Hun Jai becomes acting prime minister. On May 22 Lee Han Dong is named to the post.


Haiti: Former foreign minister (1958-59) Louis Mars dies.
Iceland: President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson is assured a further four years in office as the deadline for nominations passes with no other candidate qualifying to stand in elections.



Taiwan: Chen Shui-bian takes office as president. Tang Fei becomes prime minister, Tien Hung-mao foreign minister, Wu Shih-wen defense minister, Shea Jia-dong finance minister, and Chang Po-ya interior minister.


Syria: Former prime minister (1987-2000) Mahmoud Zuabi commits suicide.


Dominican Republic: Former provisional president (1965) José Rafael Molina Ureña dies.


Ecuador: Finance Minister Jorge Guzmán resigns. Agriculture Minister Mauricio Davalos becomes acting finance minister.


French Southern and Antarctic Lands: François Garde is named as administrator-superior.


Suriname: In parliamentary elections, the New Front for Democracy wins 47.5% of the vote (33 of 51 seats), the Millennium Combination 15.0% (10), and the Democratic National Platform 2000 9.9% (3). Turnout is 72.0%.


China: Murray MacLehose, Baron MacLehose of Beoch, former Hong Kong governor (1971-82, as Sir Murray MacLehose), dies.


Peru: In the presidential election runoff, incumbent Alberto Fujimori wins 51.2% of the vote and Alejandro Toledo 17.7%; many voters cast invalid ballots as proposed by Toledo.


Poland: The ministers of the Freedom Union, including Foreign Minister Bronislaw Geremek, Defense Minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz, and Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz, resign.


United States: Former Pennsylvania governor (1987-95) Robert P. Casey dies.


Bulgaria: Former foreign minister (1971-89), general secretary of the Communist Party (1989-90), chairman of the State Council (1989-90), and president (1990) Petur Mladenov dies.