February 2005


Mexico: Mario Marín Torres takes office as governor of Puebla.

Monaco: Rainier Imperti takes up the newly-created post of delegate for foreign relations.

Nepal: King Gyanendra dismisses the government of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and assumes power himself. On February 2 the king announces the formation of a new government including Ramesh Nath Pandey as foreign minister, Madhukar Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana as finance minister, and Dan Bahadur Shahi as interior minister.
Taiwan: Frank Hsieh is sworn in as premier.
United States: Samuel Bodman is sworn in as energy secretary and Jim Nicholson as veterans affairs secretary.


India: The governor of Goa, S.C. Jamir, dismisses the government of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. Pratapsing Rane is sworn in as new chief minister.


Mozambique: Armando Guebuza is sworn in as president. The next day he names his cabinet, including Alcinda Abreu as foreign minister, Manuel Chang as finance minister, and José Pacheco as interior minister. Luísa Diogo remains prime minister and Tobias Dai defense minister.
Switzerland: Ralph Lewin takes office as president of the government of Basel-Stadt.


Chad: Prime Minister Moussa Faki resigns and is replaced by Pascal Yoadimnadji. On February 4 Ngueyam Djaibe is named finance minister.

Georgia: Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania dies. On February 8 President Mikheil Saakashvili nominates Finance Minister Zurab Nogaideli as prime minister. In the new cabinet presented on February 11, Valeri Chechelashvili is finance minister. Parliament approves the proposed government on February 17 (175-24).
Haiti: Georges Moïse is installed as interior minister, instead of the originally named Michel Bernardin.
India: In state elections in Haryana, the Indian National Congress wins 67 of 90 seats, the Indian National Lok Dal 9, the Bharatiya Janata Party 2, the Bahujan Samaj Party 1, the Nationalist Congress Party 1, and independents and others 10. Turnout is 71.9%. Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala resigns on February 27.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates incumbent Sergey Sobyanin as governor of Tyumen oblast. Sobyanin is confirmed by the local parliament on February 17 (24-1).
Solomon Islands: Finance Minister Francis Zama is sacked and replaced by Peter Boyers.
United States: Alberto Gonzales is confirmed by the Senate (60-36) and sworn in as attorney general.


Malawi: Davis Katsonga becomes foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
Mexico: Eugenio Hernández Flores takes office as governor of Tamaulipas.
Russia: The Primorsky kray legislative assembly confirms Sergey Darkin as governor (35-1).



Ukraine: Parliament approves Yuliya Tymoshenko as prime minister (373-0). A cabinet is named including Borys Tarasyuk as foreign minister, Anatoliy Hrytsenko as defense minister, Yuriy Lutsenko as interior minister, and Viktor Pynzenyk as finance minister.
Uzbekistan: Elyor Ganiyev is appointed foreign minister.


Benin: In a cabinet reshuffle, Cosme Sehlin is named finance minister and Seïdou Mama Sika interior minister. The new cabinet is installed on February 9.


Togo: President Gnassingbé Eyadéma dies. The armed forces confer power on his son, Faure Gnassingbé, although the head of the National Assembly, Fambaré Ouattara Natchaba, would have been the constitutional successor. To legalize Faure's succession, the National Assembly on February 6 elects him speaker and approves a measure to allow him to complete his father's term without early elections. He is formally sworn in on February 7. On February 21 the National Assembly rescinds the constitutional amendments again, but not his election as speaker; he thus remains acting president until elections are held within 60 days. On February 25 he resigns, and the first deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Abass Bonfoh, is elected speaker in his place, thus becoming acting president.


Mexico: In gubernatorial elections in Guerrero, Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) wins 56% of the vote against 42.9% for Héctor Astudillo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI); turnout is 51.6%. In Baja California Sur, Narciso Agúndez Montaño (PRD) is elected with 45.4% of the vote against 36.1% for Rodimiro Amaya (PRI); turnout is 52.9%. In Quintana Roo, Félix González Canto (PRI) is elected with 41.7% of the vote against 35.6% for Ignacio García Zalvidea (PRD) and 22.7% for Addy Joaquín Coldwell of the National Action Party (PAN).

Russia: In the gubernatorial runoff in Nenets autonomous okrug, Aleksey Barinov is elected governor with 48.6% of the vote against 30.2% for Igor Koshin and 19% against all candidates. Turnout is 60%. Barinov is inaugurated on February 18.
Thailand: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Thai Rak Thai (Thais Love Thais) party wins 377 of 500 seats against 96 for the Democrat Party, 25 for the Chart Thai (Thai Nation) party, and 2 for the Mahachon (People's) Party.
United States: Former Delaware governor (1949-53, 1961-65) Elbert N. Carvel dies.


Faeroe Islands: Former prime minister (1970-81, 1985-89, 1991-93) Atli P. Dam dies.
India: Former governor of Bihar (1999-2003), Jharkhand (2002), and Arunachal Pradesh (2003-04) Vinod Chandra Pande dies.
Kyrgyzstan: Former first secretary of the Communist Party of the Kirgiz S.S.R. (1991) Jumgalbek Amanbayev dies.
United States: Carlos Gutierrez is sworn in as commerce secretary.


Denmark: In parliamentary elections, the Venstre party wins 29% of the vote (52 of 179 seats), the Social Democrats 25.9% (47), the Danish People's Party 13.2% (24), the Conservative People's Party 10.3% (18), the Radikale Venstre 9.2% (17), the Socialist People's Party 6% (11), and the Unity List 3.4% (6). Turnout is 84.4%.

Estonia: Prime Minister Juhan Parts asks President Arnold Rüütel to dismiss Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland. Rüütel does so on February 10. Defense Minister Jaak Jõerüüt acts as foreign minister from February 11. Parts announces the nomination of Rein Lang as new foreign minister on February 18 and he is appointed by President Rüütel on February 21.
Greece: Karolos Papoulias is elected president, receiving 279 votes in the 300-seat parliament. He is to be sworn in on March 12.


Russia: Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov's government survives a vote of no confidence in the State Duma (112-20 with 4 abstentions, the rest of the 450 MPs not taking part; 226 votes would have been needed for the adoption of the motion).


Grenada: Former prime minister (1989-90) Ben Jones dies.


Guatemala: Former foreign minister (1963-66) Alberto Herrarte González dies.



Georgia: Sergey Bagapsh is sworn in as president of Abkhazia. Raul Khadjimba becomes vice president. On February 14 Bagapsh appoints Aleksandr Ankvab prime minister.
Seychelles: Patrick Pillay is named foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle.


French Polynesia: By-elections are held in Tahiti and Moorea after the previous election of May 23, 2004, was invalidated in this district (37 of the total 57 seats). Oscar Temaru's Union for Democracy (UPLD) wins 46.9% of the votes (25 seats), President Gaston Flosse's People's Rally (Tahoeraa Huiraatira; TH) 40% (10) and the Alliance for a New Democracy (ADN) 10.6% (2). Turnout is 79.8%. This gives a total of 27 seats for the UPLD, 27 for the TH, and 3 for the ADN. On February 18 President Flosse is ousted by a no-confidence motion passed with 30 votes. A new president is scheduled to be elected on February 28, but due to a lack of a three-fifths quorum in the assembly, this is postponed to March 3.


Croatia: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic is nominated as foreign minister. The parliament approves the reshuffled government on February 17.
Lebanon: Former prime minister (1992-98, 2000-04) Rafiq Hariri is killed in a bomb attack.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Republika Srpska parliament elects Pero Bukejlovic prime minister (46-33). Svetlana Cenic becomes finance minister. The new government is formally inaugurated on February 17.
United States: Michael Chertoff is confirmed by the Senate (98-0) and sworn in as secretary of homeland security.


Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates incumbent Nikolay Vinogradov as governor of Vladimir oblast. Vinogradov is confirmed by the local legislative assembly on February 18 (28-3). Also on February 18 Putin nominates incumbent Aleksandr Mikhailov as governor of Kursk oblast, confirmed by the local parliament on February 22 (41-0). On February 19 Putin nominates incumbents Leonid Korotkov and Nikolay Volkov as governors of Amur oblast and Yevreyskaya autonomous oblast, respectively. Korotkov is confirmed on February 24 (21-7 with 1 abstention) and Volkov on February 25 (14-0). On February 21 Putin nominates incumbent Aleksandr Filipenko as governor of Khanty-Mansi autonomous okrug, confirmed on February 24 (25-0). On February 25 Putin nominates incumbent Boris Zolotarev as governor of Evenkia autonomous okrug and Pavel Ipatov as governor of Saratov oblast, who is to be confirmed by the local parliament on March 3.


Mongolia: Parliament confirms the removal of Defense Minister Badarch Erdenebat. Prime Minister Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj becomes acting defense minister.


Cyprus: Parliamentary elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are won by Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat's Republican Turkish Party-United Forces with 44.5% of the vote (24 of 50 seats), followed by the National Union Party with 31.7% (19), the Democrat Party with 13.5% (6), and the Peace and Democracy Movement with 5.8% (1). Turnout is about 74%.
Germany: In state elections in Schleswig-Holstein, the Christian Democratic Union wins 40.2% of the vote (30 of 69 seats), the Social Democratic Party 38.7% (29), the Free Democratic Party 6.6% (4), the Greens 6.2% (4), and the South Schleswig Voters Association 3.6% (2). Turnout is 66.6%.
Mexico: In gubernatorial elections in Hidalgo, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong of the Institutional Revolutionary Party wins 54.2% of the vote, against 30.9% for José Guadarrama of the Party of the Democratic Revolution and 12.1% for José Antonio Haghenbeck of the National Action Party.
Portugal: In parliamentary elections, the Socialist Party wins 45.1% of the vote (120 of 230 seats), the Social Democratic Party 28.7% (72), the United Democratic Coalition (Communists/Greens) 7.6% (14), the People's Party 7.3% (12), and the Left Bloc 6.4% (8). Turnout is 65%. On February 24 President Jorge Sampaio asks Socialist leader José Sócrates to form a government.
South Africa: Former premier of Eastern Cape (1994-97) Raymond Mhlaba dies.

United Nations: High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers resigns. On February 24 he hands over responsibilities to his deputy Wendy Chamberlin, who becomes acting high commissioner.


Anguilla: In parliamentary elections, the governing Anguilla United Front party wins 39% of the vote (4 of 7 seats), the Anguilla National Strategic Alliance 20% (2), and the Anguilla United Movement 20% (1). Turnout is 74.6%.
Palestine: Legislators from the dominant Fatah movement agree on a new cabinet including Nasser al-Kidwa as foreign minister and Nasser Yousef as interior minister; Salam Fayyad is to remain finance minister. The endorsement by parliament is delayed, however, and Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia presents a modified cabinet (but unchanged in the key posts mentioned), which is approved on February 24 (54-12).
San Marino: In a government reshuffle, Rosa Zafferani becomes secretary of state for the interior.
United States: Former Georgia governor (1959-63) Ernest Vandiver dies.


Ecuador: Interior Minister Jaime Damerval resigns. Xavier Ledesma is appointed interior minister.
Paraguay: Interior Minister Nelson Mora resigns. On February 23 he is replaced by Rogelio Benítez.


India: In state elections in Bihar held February 3, 15, and 23, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) wins 74 of 243 seats, the Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) 55, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 38, the Lok Jan Shakti Party 30, the Indian National Congress (INC) 10, and the Communist Party of India 3. On February 28 Chief Minister Rabri Devi resigns. In elections held in Jharkhand on the same dates, the BJP wins 30 of 81 seats, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha 17, the INC 9, the RJD 7, and the JD-U 6. On February 28 Chief Minister Arjun Munda resigns.


Mexico: The governor of Colima, Gustavo Vázquez Montes, dies in a plane crash. Arnoldo Ochoa González becomes acting governor.
Mexico: Former governor of Nuevo León (1967-71) Eduardo A. Elizondo dies.
Turkey: Former foreign minister (1995) Ali Coskun Kirca dies.


Egypt: Former prime minister (1986-96) Atef Sedki dies.
France: Finance Minister Hervé Gaymard resigns. Thierry Breton is appointed in his place.


Australia: State elections in Western Australia are won by Premier Geoff Gallop's Labor Party with 41.9% of the votes (32 of 57 seats), compared to 35.6% (18) for the Liberal Party and 3.7% (5) for the National Party.
Chile: Former acting foreign minister (1963) Enrique Ortúzar Escobar dies.
Zimbabwe: Former foreign minister (1981-87) Witness Mangwende dies.


Argentina: In gubernatorial elections in Santiago del Estero, Gerardo Zamora (Radical Civic Union, under an alliance named Civic Front for Santiago) wins 46.4% of the votes, against José Figueroa (Justicialist Party) with 39.7% and Héctor Ruiz (Movimiento Santiago Viable) with 9.7%. Turnout is 65%. Zamora is to take office March 23.
Brazil: Former governor of Piauí (1947-51) José da Rocha Furtado dies.
Kyrgyzstan: In the first round of parliamentary elections, 35 of the 75 seats are allocated.
Monaco: Jean-Paul Proust is appointed minister of state, effective May 1.
Tajikistan: In the first round of parliamentary elections, the People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan wins 49 of 63 seats (74% of the vote), the Communist Party 4 (13%), the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan 2 (8%), and independents 5. Turnout is 92.6%. The remaining 3 seats are to be allocated in a second round on March 13.


Lebanon: Prime Minister Omar Karami's government resigns.