December 2000



Mexico: Vicente Fox Quesada takes office as president. Jorge G. Castañeda becomes foreign minister, Gen. Gerardo Clemente Vega García defense minister, Francisco Gil Díaz finance minister, and Santiago Creel Miranda interior minister.

Federated States of Micronesia: Foreign Minister Epel K. Ilon resigns, effective December 8. President Leo Falcam appoints Ieske K. Iehsi as acting foreign minister.
Moldova: None of the two presidential candidates wins the required 61 votes in parliament. Communist candidate Vladimir Voronin gets 48 votes and Pavel Barbalat 37. The Constitutional Court rules that the election was flawed, and a repeat first-round vote is held on December 4; Voronin wins 50 votes and Barbalat 35. A second round is held on December 6 and fails again to produce a winner, Voronin receiving 59 votes and Barbalat 35. The next attempt, on December 21, fails as the centre-right majority boycotts the session and not enough deputies are present for a valid vote.
Nicaragua: José Adán Guerra Pastora becomes defense minister.


Austria: In state elections in Burgenland, the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) wins 46.6% of the vote (17 seats), the Austrian People's Party 35.3% (13), the Freedom Party 12.6% (4), and the Greens 5.5% (2). Turnout is 82%. On December 28 Hans Niessl (SPÖ) is elected premier.
Russia: In presidential elections in the Mari El republic, Leonid Markelov wins 29.2% of the vote and incumbent Vyacheslav Kislitsyn 25.2%. Turnout is 58.6%. In a runoff held December 17, Markelov wins 58% and Kislitsyn 33.7%.


Malaysia: Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin is appointed acting head of state of Sarawak, replacing Tun Datuk Patinggi Ahmad Zaidi Adruce bin Mohamad Noor, who dies the following day.
Suriname: Former chief minister (1973-75) and prime minister (1975-80, 1988-90) Henck Arron dies.


Japan: Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori forms a new cabinet, including Toshitsugu Saito as defense minister and Toranosuke Katayama as home affairs minister.

Mexico: Andrés Manuel López Obrador becomes chief of government of the Distrito Federal.


Ghana: In presidential elections, John Agyekum Kufuor wins 48.4% of the vote and Vice President John Atta Mills 44.8%. In the parliamentary election, Kufuor's New Patriotic Party wins 99 of 200 seats against 92 for the ruling National Democratic Congress. Turnout is just over 60%. A runoff is held on December 28, and won by Kufuor with 56.7% against 43.3% for Mills. Turnout is 59.7%. Kufuor will take office Jan. 7, 2001.


India: Former Tripura chief minister (1963-71) Sachindra Lal Singh dies.
Mexico: Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía becomes governor of Chiapas.
Tuvalu: Prime Minister Ionatana Ionatana dies. Deputy Prime Minister Lagitupu Tuilimu becomes acting prime minister.


Côte d'Ivoire: In parliamentary elections, President Laurent Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front wins 96 seats, against 77 for the Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire and 4 for the Ivorian Workers' Party.
Israel: Prime Minister Ehud Barak resigns.



Romania: In the presidential election runoff, Ion Iliescu wins 66.8% of the vote and Corneliu Vadim Tudor 33.2%. Iliescu takes office December 20. On December 28 Adrian Nastase is sworn in as prime minister. His cabinet includes Mircea Geoana as foreign minister, Ioan Mircea Pascu as defense minister, Mihai Tanasescu as finance minister, and Ioan Rus as interior minister.


Finland: Former prime minister (1964-66) Johannes Virolainen dies.
Germany: Former East Berlin mayor (1974-90) Erhard Krack dies.

Kyrgyzstan: Prime Minister Amangeldy Muraliyev resigns. On December 21 President Askar Akayev nominates two candidates for the post of prime minister; the vote in parliament is 34 for Kurmanbek Bakiyev and 9 for Muraliyev. Bakiyev is then officially appointed prime minister. On December 30 Temirbek Akmataliyev is appointed finance minister.
Trinidad and Tobago: In parliamentary elections, the United National Congress of Prime Minister Basdeo Panday wins 19 of 36 seats, the People's National Movement 16, and the National Alliance for Reconstruction 1. Turnout is about 76%.


India: Former chief minister of Karnataka (1996-99) Jayadevappa Halappa Patel dies.


Yugoslavia: Former president of the presidency of Kosovo (1974-81) Xhavid Nimani dies.


Ecuador: Finance Minister Luis Yturralde resigns. On December 18 Jorge Gallardo is named as new finance minister, to take office January 2.

United States: John Hoeven is sworn in as governor of North Dakota.



Bosnia and Herzegovina: Mirko Sarovic is sworn in as president of the Republika Srpska. On December 23 he nominates Mladen Ivanic for prime minister.


Cambodia: Former prime minister (1967-68) Son Sann dies.
Papua New Guinea: Foreign Minister Sir Michael Somare is sacked and replaced by Bart Philemon; Andrew Kumbakor becomes finance minister.
United States: Former New York City mayor (1966-74) John V. Lindsay dies.


Denmark: Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen resigns. On December 21, Finance Minister Mogens Lykketoft becomes foreign minister, Pia Gjellerup becomes finance minister, and Jan Trøjborg defense minister.
Kazakhstan: Bolat Iskakov is appointed interior minister, replacing Lt.Gen. Kairbek Suleymenov.


Belgium: Former foreign minister (1973-77) Renaat van Elslande dies.

United States: President-elect George W. Bush resigns as governor of Texas. Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry succeeds him.


Congo (Kinshasa): Former foreign minister (1996) Jean-Marie Kititwa dies.
The Sudan: In presidential elections held December 13-22, incumbent Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir wins 86.5% of the vote while his nearest rival, former president Gaafar Nimeiry, gains 9.6%.

Trinidad and Tobago: A new cabinet is sworn in, including Mervyn Assam as foreign minister and Gerard Yetming as finance minister.


Yugoslavia: In parliamentary elections in Serbia, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) alliance wins 64.1% of the vote and 176 of 250 seats, while the Socialists win 13.8% and 37 seats and the Radical Party 8.5% and 23 seats. Turnout is 57.6%.


Russia: Aleksey Lebed is reelected chairman of the government of Khakassia, winning 72.3% of the vote against 12.4% for Vasily Astanayev.

Venezuela: President Hugo Chávez names Adina Bastidas as executive vice-president; she is sworn in December 28.


India: Former maharaja of Banaras (1939-47) Vibhuti Narayan Singh dies.


Mexico: Former governor of Hidalgo (1957-61) and chief of government of the Distrito Federal (1966-70) Alfonso Corona del Rosal dies.