March 2004


Bosnia and Herzegovina: Prime Minister Adnan Terzic nominates Dragomir Dumic as defense minister. Dumic renounces his nomination on March 8. On March 9 Terzic nominates Nikola Radovanovic for the post and he is approved by parliament on March 15.
Comoros: Former prime minister (1996) and interim president (1998-99) Tadjidine Ben Said Massounde dies.
Guinea: Madikaba Camara is named finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
Iraq: Muhammad Bahr al-Uloum becomes president of the Governing Council.



Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates Mikhail Fradkov for the post of prime minister. He is confirmed by the Duma on March 5. On March 9 a new cabinet is appointed including Sergey Lavrov as new foreign minister, while Rashid Nurgaliyev is confirmed as interior minister and Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov and Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin also keep their posts. Vladimir Yakovlev becomes new plenipotentiary of the president in Yuzhny federal district. The governor of Perm oblast, Yury Trutnev, enters the government as natural resources minister, and Anatoly Temkin becomes acting governor on March 11. Temkin himself is invited to work in the Ministry of Natural Resources, however, and on March 12 Oleg Chirkunov becomes new acting governor, to serve out the rest of Trutnev's term until December 2005.


Serbia and Montenegro: Serbian prime minister-designate Vojislav Kostunica names his cabinet including Dragan Jocic as interior minister and Mladjan Dinkic as finance minister. The parliament confirms the new government on March 3. Dragan Marsicanin, who enters the government as economy minister, resigns as parliament speaker (and as such, acting president) and is succeeded by the senior deputy speaker, Vojislav Mihailovic, until on March 4 Predrag Markovic is elected speaker.


Nepal: In a cabinet reshuffle, Bhekh Bahadur Thapa becomes foreign minister and Kamal Thapa home affairs minister.
Papua New Guinea: Parliament Speaker Bill Skate steps aside as acting governor-general because of a court hearing against him. Chief Justice Sir Mari Kapi is on leave so that Skate advises Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to appoint a cabinet minister to act as governor-general. The next day, however, Skate is found not guilty of the charges and resumes his post.


Paraguay: Defense Minister Carlos Romero Arza is dismissed and Roberto González appointed in his place.


Canada: Paul Okalik is reelected premier of Nunavut, defeating Tagak Curley in a secret ballot by the 19 legislature members.
Ecuador: Former president (1961-63) Carlos Julio Arosemena Monroy dies.
United States: Former Nevada governor (1971-79) Mike O'Callaghan dies.


Libya: Mohamed Ali al-Houeiz replaces al-Ujayli Abd al-Salam Burayni as finance minister.


Austria: In state elections in Kärnten, the Freedom Party (FPÖ) wins 42.4% of the vote (16 of 36 seats), the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) 38.4% (14), the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) 11.6% (4), and the Greens 6.7% (2); turnout is 78.6%. In Salzburg, the SPÖ wins 45.4% of the vote (17 of 36 seats), the ÖVP 37.9% (14), the FPÖ 8.7% (3), and the Greens 8% (2); turnout is 77.3%.


Greece: In parliamentary elections, New Democracy (ND) wins 45.4% of the vote (165 of 300 seats), the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) 40.6% (117), the Greek Communist Party (KKE) 5.9% (12), and the Coalition of Left and Progress (Synaspismos) 3.3% (6). Turnout is 76.5%. On March 8 ND leader Kostas Karamanlis is given the mandate to form a new government. He announces its composition on March 9, including Petros Molyviatis as foreign minister, Spilios Spiliotopoulos as defense minister, Georgios Alogoskoufis as finance and economy minister, and Prokopis Pavlopoulos as interior minister. The government is sworn in on March 10. Parliament passes a confidence vote on March 22 (165-135).


China: Former chairman of the Revolutionary Committee of Henan (1978-79) Duan Junyi dies.

São Tomé and Príncipe: Foreign Minister Mateus Meira Rita resigns. In a reshuffle on March 15 Óscar Sousa, current defense and interior minister, also becomes foreign minister, until on March 30 Ovídio Pequeno is named as new foreign minister.
Vanuatu: Finance Minister Sela Molisa resigns. He is succeeded by Jimmy Nicklam.


Haiti: Gérard Latortue is named prime minister. He is sworn in on March 12. On March 16 Yvon Siméon is chosen as foreign minister, Henri Bazin as finance minister, and Hérard Abraham as interior minister. The cabinet is sworn in March 17.


Latvia: Parliament approves (56-33) a new government headed by Indulis Emsis of the Union of Greens and Farmers. Rihards Piks becomes foreign minister, Atis Slakteris defense minister, Oskars Spurdzins finance minister, and Eriks Jekabsons interior minister.


Pakistan: Former Punjab governor (1977-78) Aslam Riaz Hussain dies.
Thailand: In a cabinet reshuffle, Somkid Jatusripitak becomes finance minister, Gen. Chetta Thanajaro defense minister, and Bhokin Bhalakula interior minister.
United States: Former Indiana governor (1981-89) Robert D. Orr dies.
United States: James G. Roche, who was nominated as Army secretary on May 7, 2003, withdraws his candidature and remains Air Force secretary.


Georgia: President Mikheil Saakashvili appoints Salome Zurabishvili as foreign minister.


South Korea: President Roh Moo Hyun is suspended from office after a vote of the National Assembly (193-2) to impeach him. Prime Minister Goh Kun takes over as acting president until the Constitutional Court finally decides whether to unseat the president, a process that could take up to six months.


Latvia: Former chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Latvian S.S.R. (1970-88) Jurijs Rubenis dies.
Russia: In presidential elections, incumbent Vladimir Putin wins 71.2% of the vote, Nikolay Kharitonov (Communist) 13.7%, Sergey Glazyev 4.1%, Irina Khakamada 3.9%, and Oleg Malyshkin (Liberal Democratic Party) 2%. Turnout is 64.3%. In presidential elections in Udmurtia, incumbent Aleksandr Volkov wins 54.3% of the vote, followed by Yevgeny Odiyankov with 18.9% and 15% against all candidates; turnout is 67.3%. Results of gubernatorial elections: Spain: In parliamentary elections, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) wins 42.6% of the vote (164 of 350 seats), the Popular Party (PP) 37.6% (148), the United Left 5% (5), Convergence and Union 3.2% (10), the Republican Left of Catalonia 2.5% (8), the Basque Nationalist Party 1.6% (7), and the Canarian Coalition 0.9% (3). Turnout is 77.2%. In regional elections in Andalucía, the PSOE wins 50.3% of the vote (61 of 109 seats) and the PP 31.8% (37). Turnout is 75.9%.


Uruguay: Interior Minister Guillermo Stirling announces his resignation. Daniel Borrelli takes over the ministry on March 16.


Mexico: Former governor of Aguascalientes (1962-68) Enrique Olivares Santana dies.

Russia: Sergey Abramov is appointed as prime minister of Chechnya (pro-Moscow government). He is confirmed by the parliament on March 17.


Russia: Former head of the republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia (1992-99) Vladimir Khubiyev dies.


Canada: Former foreign minister (1968-74) Mitchell Sharp dies.


The Netherlands: Former queen (1948-80) Juliana dies.
Taiwan: In presidential elections, incumbent Chen Shui-bian (Democratic Progressive Party) wins 50.1% of the vote and Lien Chan (Kuomintang) 49.9%. Turnout is 80.3%.


Australia: Jim Bacon resigns as premier of Tasmania and Paul Lennon is sworn in as new premier.
Brazil: Former governor of Mato Grosso (1978-79) Cássio Leite de Barros dies.
Comoros: Results of elections to the parliaments of the autonomous islands held March 14 and 21: El Salvador: In presidential elections, Antonio Saca (Nationalist Republican Alliance) wins 57.7% of the vote, Schafik Hándal (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front) 35.6%, and Héctor Silva (United Democratic Centre-Christian Democratic Party) 3.9%. Saca is to be sworn in on June 1.
France: Results of regional elections, with the respective candidates to the presidencies, and including the results of the second round on March 28 (FN=National Front, MPF=Movement for France, PC=Communist Party, PRG=Left Radical Party, PS=Socialist Party, UDF=Union for French Democracy, UMP=Union for a Popular Movement): Malaysia: In parliamentary elections, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition wins 64.4% of the vote (198 of 219 seats), the Parti Islam (PAS) 15.8% (7 seats), and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) 9.5% (12). Turnout is 63.6%. Results of state elections: United States: Former South Carolina governor (1971-75) John C. West dies.


Tunisia: In a cabinet reshuffle, Mohamed Rachid Kechiche is named to replace Mounir Jaïdane as finance minister. He takes office on March 24.



Antigua and Barbuda: In parliamentary elections, the United Progressive Party wins 55.2% of the vote (12 of 17 seats) and the Antigua Labour Party 41.7% (4); a runoff will be held for the Barbuda seat to break a tie. On March 24 Baldwin Spencer is sworn in as prime minister. Harold Lovell becomes foreign minister and Errol Cort finance minister.
Australia: Sir Rupert Hamer, former premier of Victoria (1972-81), dies.


Malta: Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami steps down and Lawrence Gonzi is sworn in as prime minister. Finance Minister John Dalli becomes foreign minister; Gonzi takes over the finance portfolio. On March 29 the parliament elects (33-29) Fenech Adami as president, to be sworn in on April 4.


Vanuatu: Roger Abiut, speaker of parliament, becomes acting president following the expiration of John Bani's term.


Bangladesh: Mohammad Lutfuzzaman Babar is named home affairs minister in a cabinet reshuffle.


Poland: Prime Minister Leszek Miller announces his resignation effective May 2. On March 29 President Aleksander Kwasniewski names Marek Belka as his candidate to succeed Miller.


China: Former governor of Sichuan (1987-93) Zhang Haoruo dies.
Uganda: Foreign Minister James Wapakhabulo dies. Tom Butime becomes acting foreign minister.


Georgia: In parliamentary elections, the National Movement-Democrats wins 67.6% of the vote (135 of 150 seats elected by party lists) and the Rightist Opposition 7.6% (15).
Guinea-Bissau: In parliamentary elections, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde wins 45 of 100 seats (33.9% of the votes), the Party for Social Renewal 35 (26.5%), and the United Social Democratic Party 17 (17.6%). Turnout is 76.3%.
Malaysia: A new cabinet is unveiled in which Azmi Khalid becomes home affairs minister. The cabinet is sworn in on March 30.


France: In a cabinet reshuffle, Michel Barnier becomes foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin interior minister, and Nicolas Sarkozy finance and economy minister.
Isle of Man: Former lieutenant governor (1974-80) Sir John Warburton Paul (also governor [1962-65] and governor-general [1965-66] of The Gambia, governor of British Honduras [1966-72], and governor [1972-73] and acting governor-general [1973] of The Bahamas) dies.
Papua New Guinea: The Supreme Court rules the election of Sir Pato Kakaraya as governor-general null and void and orders a new election.
Switzerland: Former president of the government of Zürich (1989-90, 1994-95) Hedi Lang dies.
United States: The Senate confirms Alphonso Jackson as secretary of housing and urban development.