May 2004




Guernsey: Laurie Morgan is elected to the new post of chief minister.
India: Ram Prakash Gupta, governor of Madhya Pradesh since 2003 and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh (1999-2000), dies. Chhattisgarh Governor Krishna Mohan Seth is given the additional charge as governor of Madhya Pradesh (sworn in May 2).
Iraq: Ezzedine Salim becomes president of the Governing Council.
Lithuania: Algirdas Butkevicius, named finance minister on April 26, takes up his post, but only takes the oath of office on May 4.


Switzerland: Jean-René Fournier takes office as president of the Council of State of Valais and Ruedi Jeker as president of the government of Zürich.


Iran: Former foreign minister (1979) Ahmad Mirfendereski dies.

Mali: The new government of Prime Minister Ousmane Issoufi Maïga is announced. Moctar Ouane becomes foreign minister, Mamadou Sissouma defense minister, and Aboubacar Traoré finance minister; Gen. Kafougouna Koné remains as interior (territorial administration) minister.
Pakistan: Former chief minister of Balochistan (1976-77) Sardar Mohammad Khan Barozai dies.
Panama: In presidential elections, Martín Torrijos of the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) wins 47.4% of the vote, former president Guillermo Endara (Solidarity) 30.9%, José Miguel Alemán Healy (Vision of the Country) 16.4%, and Ricardo Martinelli (Democratic Change) 5.3%. Turnout is 76.9%. Torrijos will take office on September 1. In parliamentary elections, the PRD wins 43 of 78 seats, outgoing president Mireya Moscoso's Arnulfista Party 17, and Solidarity 8.

Poland: Marek Belka is sworn in as prime minister. His government includes Ryszard Kalisz as new interior minister.


Dominican Republic: Former foreign minister (1961-62) Ambrosio Álvarez Aybar dies.
Israel: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government survives a no-confidence vote (62-46).


The Gambia: Samba Bah is appointed interior minister.
International Monetary Fund: Rodrigo Rato of Spain is named managing director.
New Zealand: Prime Minister Helen Clark's government survives a confidence vote (62-58).


Peru: Congress votes (62-39) to force the resignation of Interior Minister Fernando Rospigliosi. On May 7 Javier Reátegui is sworn in as interior minister.


British Virgin Islands: Former governor (1978-81) James Alfred Davidson dies.
Georgia: The head of the republic of Ajaria, Aslan Abashidze, flees after an ultimatum by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who proclaimed direct presidential rule in the republic for a transitional period. On May 7 an interim council is set up, chaired by Levan Varshalomidze, to rule Ajaria before new elections are held.


Aruba: Fredis Refunjol is sworn in as governor by Queen Beatrix. He is installed officially at a parliament session on May 11.
Canada: John Harvard is appointed lieutenant governor of Manitoba.
Iran: In the second round of parliamentary elections, conservatives win 40 of 57 seats, reformists 8, and independents 9.
Nepal: Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa resigns.


Kiribati: Former resident commissioner of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands (1949-51) Sir John Peel (also resident in Brunei, 1946-48) dies.


Bolivia: Former foreign minister (1978-79) Raúl Botelho Gosálvez dies.

C. Gomes
Guinea-Bissau: Carlos Gomes Júnior is named as new prime minister; he is installed the next day. His government, named on May 11 and sworn in on May 12, includes Soares Sambú as foreign minister, Daniel Gomes as defense minister, João Aladje Fadiah as finance minister, and Lassana Seidi as interior minister.
New Caledonia: In parliamentary elections, the Rassemblement-UMP wins 16 of 54 seats, The Future Together 16, the National Union for Independence 8, the Caledonian Union 7, and the National Front 4. Turnout is 76.4%.
Russia: Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov is killed in an explosion. Prime Minister Sergey Abramov becomes acting president.


M. Singh

K.N. Singh
India: In parliamentary elections held April 20 and 26 and May 5 and 10, the Congress party wins 145 of 543 seats (26.8% of the vote), its allies 71 (8.3%), the Bharatiya Janata Party 137 (22.6%), its allies 47 (12.5%), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) 43 (5.5%), the Samajwadi Party 36 (4.3%), the Bahujan Samaj Party 19 (5.3%), and the Communist Party of India 10 (1.4%). Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee resigns on May 13. On May 19 Manmohan Singh is invited to form a government. He is sworn in as prime minister on May 22 along with his cabinet, the portfolios being announced on May 23: K. Natwar Singh becomes foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee defense minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram finance minister, and Shivraj Patil interior minister.
India: In state elections in Sikkim, the Sikkim Democratic Front wins 31 of 32 seats (71.1% of the vote) and the Congress 1 (26.1%).

Barnes Jones
Montserrat: Deborah Barnes Jones is sworn in as governor.
Philippines: Presidential elections are won by incumbent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with 40% of the vote, against 36.5% for Fernando Poe, Jr., 10.9% for Panfilo Lacson, 6.5% for Raul Roco, and 6.2% for Eddie Villanueva. Noli de Castro is elected vice president with 49.8%, against 46.9% for Loren Legarda and 3.2% for Herminio Aquino. Of the 12 Senate seats at stake, the ruling K4 coalition wins 7. It also wins 181 of 212 congressional districts (Lakas-CMD 91, Nationalist People's Coalition 58, Liberal Party 29, Kampi 3); the opposition LDP wins 15 seats.


Taiwan: Lee Jye is named to become defense minister in the new cabinet that takes office May 20 when President Chen Shui-bian begins his second term.
Vanuatu: President Alfred Maseng is removed from his position by the Supreme Court. The speaker of parliament, Roger Abiut, again becomes acting president.


Macedonia: Branko Crvenkovski takes office as president. On May 14 he asks Hari Kostov to form a new government.


India: Karnataka Chief Minister S.M. Krishna submits his resignation. Dharam Singh is installed as new chief minister on May 28.
Papua New Guinea: Former governor of New Ireland (1997-2002) Paul Tohian dies.
Syria: Gen. Hassan Turkmani is sworn in as defense minister, succeeding Gen. Mustafa Tlass.


India: Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy is sworn in as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.
South Korea: The Constitutional Court overturns the impeachment motion against President Roh Moo Hyun, who takes up the presidency again. Prime Minister Goh Kun hands in his resignation on May 24. It is accepted on May 25, and Lee Hun Jai becomes acting prime minister.
Poland: Prime Minister Marek Belka loses a confidence vote, winning only 188 votes in the 460-seat lower house, with 262 against.


Congo (Kinshasa): Urbain Kisula Ngoy is named governor of Katanga; he is sworn in on May 26.
Dominican Republic: In presidential elections, former president (1996-2000) Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Liberation Party wins 57.1% of the vote, incumbent Hipólito Mejía of the Dominican Revolutionary Party 33.7%, and Eduardo Estrella of the Social Christian Reformist Party 8.7%. Turnout is 72.8%. Fernández is to be sworn in on August 16.


Cyprus: Makis Keravnos is named finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle. He is sworn in on May 19.

Iraq: Ezzedine Salim, president of the Governing Council, is killed in a car bomb attack. The Council chooses Ghazi al-Yawer to replace him. He is to serve until June 30.


Nigeria: President Olusegun Obasanjo suspends the governor of Plateau state, Joshua Dariye, for six months, and appoints Gen. (ret.) Chris Alli as interim administrator.
Papua New Guinea: Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare sacks seven ministers, including Defense Minister Kappa Yarka. Mathew Gubag is sworn in to replace Yarka.


India: Former chief minister of Kerala (1980-81, 1987-91, 1996-2001) E.K. Nayanar dies.


Malawi: Presidential elections are won by Bingu wa Mutharika of the United Democratic Front (UDF) with 35.9% of the vote, followed by John Tembo of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) with 27.1%, Gwanda Chakuamba of the Mgwirizano Coalition with 25.7%, and Brown Mpinganjira of the National Democratic Alliance with 8.7%. In parliamentary elections, the MCP wins 60 of 193 seats, the UDF 49, and the Mgwirizano Coalition 28. Mutharika is sworn in on May 24.


Bahrain: The king, Sheikh Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa, fires his interior minister, Sheikh Muhammad ibn Khalifa Al Khalifa. Rashid ibn Abdullah ibn Ahmad Al Khalifa becomes new interior minister.


French Polynesia: In parliamentary elections, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira (People's Rally) of President Gaston Flosse wins 28 of 57 seats, the Union for Democracy 27, the Fetia Api (New Star) 1, and No Oe E Te Nunaa (This Country is Yours) 1. Turnout is 78.3%.
Germany: The 1,205-member Federal Assembly elects Horst Köhler president with 604 votes against 589 for Gesine Schwan. Köhler is to take office on July 1.


Indonesia: Sjachroedin is elected governor of Lampung, defeating former governor Oemarsono.

Namibia: President Sam Nujoma dismisses Foreign Minister Hidipo Hamutenya. On May 27 Marco Hausiku is named foreign minister.


Serbia and Montenegro: The UN administrator of Kosovo, Harri Holkeri, resigns.


Papua New Guinea: Parliament elects Sir Paulias Matane governor-general; in the fourth round of voting, he wins 50 votes against 46 for Sir Pato Kakaraya. On May 28 Jeffery Nape is elected speaker and as such becomes acting governor-general until Matane is sworn in.


Anguilla: Alan Huckle is sworn in as governor.
Czech Republic: Former foreign minister of Czechoslovakia (1971-88) Bohuslav Chnoupek dies.
Switzerland: Former president of the Council of State of Neuchâtel (1968-69, 1970-71, 1974-75) Carlos Grosjean dies.