March 2003


Cyprus: The new cabinet of President Tassos Papadopoulos is sworn in. It includes Georgios Iakovou as foreign minister, Kyriakos Mavronikolas as defense minister, Andreas Christou as interior minister, and Markos Kyprianou as finance minister.
El Salvador: Former president (1967-72) Fidel Sánchez Hernández dies.


Estonia: In parliamentary elections, the Centre Party wins 25.4% of the vote (28 of 101 seats), Res Publica 24.6% (28), the Reform Party 17.7% (19), the Estonian People's Union 13% (13), the Pro Patria Union 7.3% (7), and the People's Party Mőődukad 7% (6). Turnout is 58%.
Serbia and Montenegro: Former acting foreign minister of Yugoslavia (1991-92) Milivoje Maksic dies.
Zambia: Former foreign minister (1986-90) Luke Mwananshiku dies.


Syria: In parliamentary elections held March 2-3, the ruling National Progressive Front (led by the Ba`th Party) wins 167 of 250 seats and independents the remaining 83. Turnout is 63%.


Georgia: Former coleader of the Military Council (1992) Jaba Ioseliani dies.

Germany: Christian Wulff becomes minister-president of Niedersachsen.

India: D.D. Lapang is sworn in as chief minister of Meghalaya.
Federated States of Micronesia: President Leo A. Falcam loses his seat in parliamentary elections.


Argentina: Former governor of Córdoba (1995-99) and federal interventor in Corrientes (1999-2001) Ramón Mestre dies.
Armenia: In the presidential runoff, incumbent Robert Kocharyan wins 67.4% of the vote against 32.6% for Stepan Demirchyan. Turnout is 67%.
Belize: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Said Musa's People's United Party wins 21 of the 29 seats in the National Assembly, and the United Democratic Party 8. The new cabinet sworn in on March 7 includes Godfrey Smith as foreign minister, Ralph Fonseca as finance and home affairs minister, and Sylvia Flores as defense minister.



Cuba: Parliament elects Fidel Castro to a sixth term as president of the Council of State.
India: Virbhadra Singh is sworn in as chief minister of Himachal Pradesh and Neiphiu Rio as chief minister of Nagaland.


Czech Republic: Václav Klaus is sworn in as president.

Nigeria: The Oba (traditional ruler) of Lagos, Adeyinka Akinola Oyekan II, dies. The "traditional prime minister," the Olorogun of Lagos, Teslim Jinadu-Eko, declares that there is no need for the appointment of a regent, and that he will oversee affairs pending the selection of a new Oba.
Serbia and Montenegro: Parliament elects Svetozar Marovic as president (65-47). He will also head the Council of Ministers, which is approved on March 17 and includes Boris Tadic as defense minister; Goran Svilanovic remains foreign minister.


Nauru: President Bernard Dowiyogo dies in Washington, D.C. (March 9, 7:40 EST = March 10, 0:40, Nauru time). Derog Gioura becomes acting president. On March 20 the parliament elects Gioura president with 9 votes against 7 for Kinza Clodumar.


Russia: Valentina Matvienko is appointed plenipotentiary of the president in Severo-Zapadny federal district.

Turkey: Prime Minister Abdullah Gül resigns. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is given a mandate to form a government. He takes office on March 14 after President Ahmet Necdet Sezer approves his new cabinet, which includes Gül as deputy prime minister and foreign minister. The government wins a vote of confidence on March 23 (350-162).



Serbia and Montenegro: Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic is assassinated. Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic is named acting prime minister. On March 13 a schedule is drawn up by which the five deputy prime ministers are to rotate as acting prime minister; according to this Covic is followed by Zarko Korac on March 17. But already on March 18 Zoran Zivkovic is approved as new prime minister.


Côte d'Ivoire: The new cabinet of Prime Minister Seydou Diarra is formed. Bamba Mamadou becomes foreign minister, while Bohoun Bouabré stays on as finance minister. Adou Assoa is named as interim defense minister on March 26.
Nicaragua: Eduardo Urcuyo is appointed interior minister in succession to Arturo Harding Lacayo.


Sierra Leone: George Banda Thomas becomes acting interior minister following the arrest and indictment for war crimes of Sam Hinga Norman.



Central African Republic: Insurgents loyal to Gen. François Bozizé capture the capital Bangui while President Ange-Félix Patassé is out of the country. Bozizé is presented by his spokesman as the new president. In a radio address on March 16 Bozizé declares himself president and says that he has suspended the constitution and dissolved the National Assembly and government. On March 23 Bozizé names Abel Goumba as prime minister. On March 31 Goumba names a cabinet that includes himself as finance minister, Bozizé as defense minister, Karim Meckassoua as foreign minister, and Col. Michel Paulin Bondéboli as interior minister.


China: Hu Jintao is elected as president. Zeng Qinghong replaces Hu as vice president. On March 16 Wen Jiabao is elected premier, and on March 17 a new cabinet is named that includes Li Zhaoxing as foreign minister, Gen. Cao Gangchuan as defense minister, and Jin Renqing as finance minister.
Togo: Former foreign minister (1996-98, 2000-02) Koffi Panou dies.


El Salvador: In parliamentary elections, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front wins 31 of 84 seats, President Francisco Flores' Nationalist Republican Alliance 27, the National Conciliation Party 16, the Democratic United Centre 5, and the Christian Democrat Party 5.
Finland: In parliamentary elections, the Centre Party wins 24.7% of the vote (55 of 200 seats), Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen's Social Democrats 24.5% (53), the National Coalition Party 18.5% (40), the Left Alliance 9.9% (19), the Greens 8% (14), the Christian Democrats 5.3% (7), and the Swedish People's Party 4.6% (8). Turnout is 69.6%.


India: Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi resigns. On March 18 Arjun Munda is sworn in as new chief minister.

Trinidad and Tobago: George Maxwell Richards takes office as president.
Uzbekistan: President Islam Karimov appoints Sadyk Safayev as foreign minister.


Palestine: President Yasir Arafat nominates Mahmoud Abbas for the new post of prime minister.


Belarus: Syarhey Martynau is named foreign minister.
Belarus: Former chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Belorussian S.S.R. (1985-89) Georgy Tarazevich dies.


Australia: In state elections in New South Wales, Premier Bob Carr's Labor Party wins 56 of 93 seats, the Liberal Party 18, the National Party 12, and independents 7.


South Korea: Former foreign minister (1998) Park Chung Soo dies.


China: Former Anhui governor (1981-83) Zhou Zijian dies.


International Labour Organization: Juan Somavia is reelected as director-general.


American Samoa: Governor Tauese P. Sunia dies. Lieutenant Governor Togiola Tulafono becomes acting governor.

Dominican Republic: Foreign Minister Hugo Tolentino Dipp resigns, prompting a cabinet reshuffle. Frank Guerrero Prats becomes foreign minister, while Rafael Calderón replaces José Lois Malkum as finance minister.
United States: Former UN ambassador (1975-76) Daniel Patrick Moynihan dies.


Malaysia: Datuk Musa Aman is sworn in as chief minister of Sabah.


Kiribati: President Teburoro Tito is toppled in a no-confidence motion, the opposition winning 21 out of 40 votes to defeat the government. The administration is taken over by the Council of State, chaired by the chairman of the Public Service Commission, Tion Otang.


Austria: In state elections in Niederösterreich, the People's Party wins 53.3% of the vote (31 of 56 seats), the Social Democratic Party 33.6% (19), the Greens 7.2% (4), and the Freedom Party 4.5% (2). Turnout is 71.1%.
Benin: In parliamentary elections, the Presidential Movement wins 52 of 83 seats (the Union for the Benin of the Future 31, the African Movement for Development and Progress 9, the Key Force 5, smaller parties 7), the Rebirth of Benin 15, and the Party of Democratic Renewal 11.
Russia: Former Soviet prime minister (1991) Valentin Pavlov dies.


China: Zhou Bohua is appointed acting governor of Hunan.