May 2003


Switzerland: Jean-Jacques Rey-Bellet becomes president of the Council of State of Valais.
United Kingdom: In parliamentary elections in Scotland, Labour wins 50 of 129 seats, the Scottish National Party 27, the Conservatives 18, the Liberal Democrats 17, the Greens 7, the Scottish Socialist Party 6, and independents 4. Turnout is 49.4%. In Wales, Labour wins 30 of 60 seats, Plaid Cymru 12, the Conservatives 11, the Liberal Democrats 6, and independents 1. Turnout is 38.2%.



India: The following new governors are appointed: Kailashpati Mishra for Gujarat (sworn in on May 7), Ram Prakash Gupta for Madhya Pradesh (sworn in on May 7), Om Prakash Verma for Punjab (sworn in on May 8), Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje for Himachal Pradesh (sworn in on May 8), Nirmal Chandra Jain for Rajasthan (sworn in on May 14), and S.K. Sinha for Jammu and Kashmir. A reshuffle of governors is announced on May 13 whereby Vinod Chandra Pande is transferred from Bihar to Arunachal Pradesh, Arvind Dave from Arunachal Pradesh to Manipur, Ved Marwah from Manipur to Jharkhand, M. Rama Jois from Jharkhand to Bihar, Krishna Mohan Seth from Tripura to Chhattisgarh, and Dinesh Nandan Sahay from Chhattisgarh to Tripura.


Congo (Kinshasa): The opposition nominates Arthur Zahidi Ngoma as one of the vice presidents for the power-sharing transitional government that is to be sworn in on May 29. On May 7 the RCD-Goma rebel group nominates Azarias Ruberwa as the fourth vice president. The installation of the government is later deferred.
Nauru: In parliamentary elections, the Nauru First party wins 3 of the 18 seats, the rest going to independents. On May 29 Ludwig Scotty is elected president, defeating Kinza Clodumar by 10 votes to 7.
United States: Will Wynn is elected mayor of Austin with 58.3% of the vote, defeating Michael Nofziger (16%) and Marc Katz (13.2%). Turnout is 14.9%. Laura Miller is reelected mayor of Dallas with 56% of the vote, defeating Mary Poss who wins about 40%. In El Paso, Joe Wardy wins 63% of the vote, defeating incumbent Raymond Caballero. Wardy takes office June 10.


Australia: Former governor of Western Australia (1980-83) Sir Richard Trowbridge dies.


Algeria: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika dismisses Prime Minister Ali Benflis and replaces him with Ahmed Ouyahia. His cabinet, named on May 9, includes Abdelatif Benachenhou as new finance minister.


Chad: Abderahman Moussa is named as new interior minister.
United States: Coleen Seng is elected mayor of Lincoln. She is sworn in on May 19. In Denver, John Hickenlooper (43%) and Don Mares (22%) will move on to a runoff.


Iraq: U.S. President George W. Bush announces the appointment of Paul Bremer to replace Jay Garner as top civil administrator. Bremer arrives in Baghdad on May 12.
Nigeria: Former governor of Bauchi (1987-90) and Plateau (1990-92) Joshua Madaki dies in a car accident.
United States: President George W. Bush announces the nomination of Colin McMillan as secretary of the Navy and James G. Roche as secretary of the Army.


Namibia: Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila becomes finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle.


Kiribati: The first round of parliamentary elections is held; a second round takes place on May 14.
The Netherlands: Former queen's commissioner of Utrecht (1980-85) Pieter van Dijke dies.


Iceland: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Davíd Oddsson's Independence Party wins 33.7% of the vote (22 of 63 seats), the Social Alliance 31% (20), the Progressive Party 17.7% (12), the Left Green Alliance 8.8% (5), and the Liberal Party 7.4% (4). Turnout is 87.7%.
Papua New Guinea: The governor of Simbu province, Louis Ambane, dies.


Australia: Governor-General Peter Hollingworth stands aside pending the outcome of legal proceedings against him. Sir Guy Green, governor of Tasmania, is chosen to take over his duties, being sworn in as administrator (i.e., acting governor-general) on May 15. On May 25 Hollingworth announces his resignation, which becomes effective on May 28.

Federated States of Micronesia: Joseph J. Urusemal is elected and sworn in as president.
Serbia and Montenegro: In presidential elections in Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic wins 63.3% of the vote, against 30.8% for Miodrag Zivkovic and 3.9% for Dragan Hajdukovic. Turnout is 48.5% (the minimum 50% turnout rule has been scrapped). Vujanovic resigns as parliament speaker (and thus acting president) on May 19; deputy speakers Rifat Rastoder and Dragan Kujovic take over his functions. Vujanovic becomes president on May 22 when the official election results are announced.


Andorra: Joan Enric Vives Sicília succeeds Joan Martí Alanís as bishop of Urgel and ex officio co-prince of Andorra.

Lithuania: Virgilijus Bulovas is sworn in as interior minister.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: In the Republika Srpska, Prime Minister Dragan Mikerevic announces the appointment of Branko Krsmanovic as finance minister.
Canada: Former Nova Scotia premier (1993-97) John Savage dies.



Alberto Fernández
Argentina: Carlos Saúl Menem drops out of the presidential race, leaving Néstor Kirchner to become president-elect by default. Kirchner resigns as governor of Santa Cruz on May 20 and is succeeded by Héctor Icazuriaga on May 22. On May 25 Kirchner takes office as president, Daniel Scioli as vice president, Alberto Fernández as cabinet chief, Rafael Bielsa as foreign minister, José Pampuro as defense minister, and Aníbal Fernández as interior minister; Roberto Lavagna is retained as economy minister. Also on May 25 Alberto Rodríguez Saá takes office as governor of San Luis.


Romania: Former prime minister (1982-89) Constantin Dascalescu dies.


China: Qiangba Puncog is elected chairman of the government of Xizang.


Belgium: In parliamentary elections, the Flemish Liberals of Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt win 15.4% of the vote (25 of 150 seats), the Flemish Socialists 14.9% (23), the Flemish Christian Democrats 13.3% (21), the French Socialists 13% (25), the Flemish Bloc 11.6% (18), the French Liberals 11.4% (24), the French Christian Democrats 5.5% (8), the French Greens (Ecolo) 3.1% (4), the New Flemish Alliance 3.1% (1), the Flemish Greens (Agalev) 2.5% (0), and the National Front 2% (1). Turnout is 91.6%.


Andorra: Josep Maria Cabanes is appointed interior minister.
India: Former Indian military governor of Portuguese India (1961-62) K.P. Candeth dies.

Switzerland: Christian Huber becomes president of the government of Zürich.


Benin: President Mathieu Kérékou names Joseph Gnonlonfoun as acting foreign minister and Pierre Osho as acting interior minister; they replace Antoine Idji Kolawolé and Daniel Tawéma (resigned).


Barbados: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Owen Arthur's Barbados Labour Party wins 23 of 30 seats and the Democratic Labour Party 7. Arthur names Home Affairs Minister Mia Mottley as new deputy prime minister to replace Billie Miller, who remains foreign minister in the new cabinet sworn in on May 26.
Uganda: Vice President Specioza Kazibwe resigns. Gilbert Bukenya replaces her on May 23, when also Ruhakana Rugunda replaces Eriya Kategaya as interior minister.
United States: Christine Todd Whitman announces her resignation as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, effective June 27.
United States: Former Arkansas governor (1981-83) Frank D. White dies.


Indonesia: The provincial council of Jawa Barat elects Danny Setiawan governor with 49 of 100 votes, against 39 for Tayo Tarmadi.
Nigeria: Riliwan Babatunde Osuolale Akiolu I is appointed Oba of Lagos.


Australia: Former Victoria governor (1992-97) Richard McGarvie dies.


Armenia: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan's Republican Party wins 23.5% of the vote (31 of 131 seats), the Justice bloc 13.6% (14), the Orinats Yerkir (Country of Law) party 12.3% (19), the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) 11.4% (11), the National Unity party 8.8% (9), and the United Labour Party 5.7% (6). Turnout is 52.2%.
Germany: In state elections in Bremen, the Social Democratic Party wins 42.3% of the vote (40 of 83 seats), the Christian Democratic Union 29.9% (29), the Greens 12.8% (12), the Partei Rechtsstaatlicher Offensive 4.3% (0), the Free Democratic Party 4.2% (1), and the German People's Union 2.3% (1). Turnout is 61.4%.
Russia: In Belgorod oblast, Yevgeny Savchenko is reelected head of the administration with 61.2% of the vote, while Vasily Altukhov (Communist) wins 21.9%, Anatoly Popkov 3.5%, and about 10% voting against all. Turnout is 66.5%.
Spain: Elections are held in several autonomous communities, with the following results (IU=United Left; PP=Popular Party; PSOE=Spanish Socialist Workers' Party):


Indonesia: Rizal Nurdin is reelected as governor of Sumatera Utara.


Costa Rica: Finance Minister Jorge Wálter Bolaños resigns.
Gibraltar: Sir Francis Richards is sworn in as governor.
The Netherlands: Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's new cabinet is sworn in. The new deputy prime ministers are Thom de Graaf and Gerrit Zalm, who also becomes finance minister; other key ministries are unchanged.


Zambia: President Levy Mwanawasa sacks Vice President Enoch Kavindele and Finance Minister Emmanuel Kasonde. Nevers Mumba is named as new vice president. Legal Affairs Minister George Kunda is to act in Kasonde's place until a new finance minister is appointed.


Bulgaria: A no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Simeon Sakskoburggotski's government is defeated (129-104).
Czech Republic: Defense Minister Jaroslav Tvrdík resigns. The next day he withdraws his resignation, but hours later resigns again.
Nigeria: The following new governors take office: Chris Ngige (Anambra), Ali Modu Sheriff (Borno), Ayo Fayose (Ekiti), Mohammed Danjuma Goje (Gombe), Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano), Ibrahim Idris (Kogi), Bukola Saraki (Kwara), Otunba Gbenga Daniel (Ogun), Olusegun Agagu (Ondo), Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun), and Rashidi Ladoja (Oyo).
Sri Lanka: W.M.P.B. Dissanayake, chief minister of Central province, dies. Wasantha Aluvihare is acting chief minister since May 19.


Nepal: Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand resigns.