April 2005



Czech Republic: The cabinet of Prime Minister Stanislav Gross survives a no-confidence vote (78 members of parliament vote for the motion, 76 against, with 44 abstentions; 101 votes would have been necessary). On April 9, however, Gross announces his resignation, proposing Jan Kohout to replace him. On April 19 a new coalition is agreed on to be headed by Jirí Paroubek. On April 25 Gross formally hands in the resignation of his government and Paroubek is appointed prime minister. The new cabinet, appointed the same day, is unchanged in the key posts.
Greenland: Sřren Hald Mřller takes office as high commissioner.
Mexico: Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo takes office as governor of Guerrero and Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong as governor of Hidalgo.


San Marino: Fausta Simona Morganti (Democrat) and Cesare Antonio Gasperoni (Christian Democrat) take office as captains-regent.

Switzerland: Rainer Huber becomes Landammann of Aargau.
United States: Former secretary of housing and urban development (1969) Robert C. Wood dies.


Lebanon: Former foreign minister (1992) Nasri Maalouf dies.
Madagascar: Former foreign minister (1967-72) and member of the acting presidential triumvirate (1970) Jacques Rabemananjara dies.


Vatican City: Pope Ioannes Paulus II dies. The dean of the College of Cardinals, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, and the chamberlain, Eduardo Cardinal Martínez Somalo, manage affairs during the vacancy. The conclave to elect a new pope begins on April 18. On April 19 Ratzinger is elected and chooses the name Benedictus XVI. On April 21 he confirms Angelo Cardinal Sodano as secretary of state and Giovanni Lajolo as foreign minister.


Kyrgyzstan: The ousted president, Askar Akayev, agrees to resign. He signs a resignation letter on April 4. The parliament was to accept the resignation on April 5, but postpones the session to April 6 and then to April 7. Even then the debate is inconclusive and the resignation is not yet accepted. On April 8 the vote on the matter is postponed until April 11, when 38 deputies in the 75-seat house pass a motion accepting the resignation.
Switzerland: Former Landammann of Glarus (1990-94) Jules Landolt dies.


Italy: Regional elections are held April 3-4.
Kuwait: Badr al-Humaidhi is named finance minister, replacing Mahmud al-Nuri.
Moldova: Vladimir Voronin is reelected president, winning 75 votes in parliament against 1 for Gheorghe Duca. On April 8 Voronin reappoints Vasile Tarlev as prime minister. The parliament approves Tarlev's new cabinet on April 19 (56-21). Foreign Minister Andrei Stratan, Defense Minister Valeriu Plesca, Interior Minister Gheorghe Papuc, and Finance Minister Zinaida Greceanîi retain their posts.


Austria: The government of Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel survives a no-confidence vote (84-94).
Bermuda: Former governor (1973-77) Sir Edwin Leather dies.

Jordan: Prime Minister Faisal al-Fayez's government resigns. King Abdullah II designates Adnan Badran as new prime minister. His government is sworn in on April 7 with Farouk Kasrawi as foreign minister, Awni Yerfas as interior minister, Bassem Awadallah as finance minister, and Badran himself as defense minister.
Mexico: Narciso Agúndez Montańo takes office as governor of Baja California Sur and Félix González Canto as governor of Quintana Roo.

Russia: Pavel Ipatov is inaugurated as governor of Saratov oblast.
United States: In mayoral elections in St. Louis, incumbent Francis G. Slay (Democrat) wins 78.7% of the vote, defeating Willie Marshall (Green) with 21.3%.


Iraq: Jalal Talabani is elected president, with outgoing president Ghazi al-Yawer and Finance Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi elected as vice presidents. The trio gets 227 votes in the 275-seat National Assembly. They are sworn in on April 7; on that day also Ibrahim al-Jaafari is named as prime minister. On April 28 the Assembly approves a partial cabinet with Jaafari as acting defense minister, Bayan Jabr as interior minister, and Ali Allawi as finance minister; Hoshyar Zebari remains foreign minister.

Albert II
Monaco: Prince Rainier III dies. He is succeeded by his son, who becomes Albert II.
Namibia: Charles Namoloh is appointed defense minister.


Papua New Guinea: John Momis resigns as governor of Bougainville, effective April 20. Deputy Governor Gerard Sinato then takes over as acting governor.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates acting incumbent Oleg Kozhemyako as governor of Koryak autonomous okrug. He is confirmed by the local parliament on April 15 (12-0).


Djibouti: President Ismail Omar Guelleh, the only candidate, is reelected with 100% of the votes. Turnout is 78.9%.


Mexico: In gubernatorial elections in Colima, Silverio Cavazos Ceballos of the Institutional Revolutionary Party wins 51.5% of the vote against 47.6% for Leoncio Morán Sánchez of the National Action Party. Turnout is 55%.


Bolivia: Former member of the military junta (1970) Fernando Sattori Ribera dies.

Canada: Ann Meekitjuk Hanson is appointed commissioner of Nunavut. She takes office April 21.
Organization of American States: The election of a new secretary-general results in a deadlock, with Luis Ernesto Derbez (foreign minister of Mexico) and José Miguel Insulza (interior minister of Chile) receiving 17 votes each on five ballots. A new vote is scheduled for May 2.



Estonia: The parliament confirms Andrus Ansip as prime minister and approves his cabinet including Urmas Paet as foreign minister, Kalle Laanet as interior minister, Aivar Sőerd as finance minister, and Jaak Jőerüüt continuing as defense minister. The new government is sworn in on April 13.


Lebanon: Prime Minister Omar Karami announces his resignation after failing to form a new government. Najib Mikati is designated as new prime minister on April 15. A new cabinet is announced on April 19, with Elias Murr as defense minister, Hassan Sabaa as interior minister, and Demianos Kattar as finance minister; Mahmoud Hammoud stays on as foreign minister. The cabinet wins a vote of confidence (109-1 in the 128-member parliament) on April 27.
Serbia and Montenegro: Former president of the Presidency of Serbia (1982-84) Nikola Ljubicic dies.


Canada: Tony Whitford is appointed as commissioner of the Northwest Territories. He is sworn in on April 29.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates incumbent Pyotr Sumin as governor of Chelyabinsk oblast and incumbent Aman Tuleyev as governor of Kemerovo oblast. On April 15 Putin nominates incumbent Yegor Stroyev as governor of Oryol oblast. On April 16 Putin nominates Viktor Shershunov as head of the administration of Kostroma oblast. Sumin is confirmed by the local legislative assembly on April 18 (42-0). Tuleyev is confirmed by the Kemerovo oblast Council of People's Deputies on April 20 (35-0). Shershunov is confirmed by the local Duma on April 21 (20-3). Stroyev is confirmed by the Oyrol oblast Council of People's Deputies on April 23 (46-0).


Tuvalu: Filoimea Telito is sworn in as governor-general.

Zimbabwe: In a cabinet reshuffle, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi is appointed foreign minister. Acting Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa is confirmed in his post.


Guinea-Bissau: In a cabinet reshuffle, President Henrique Rosa replaces Interior Minister Lassana Seidi with Joaquim Mumine Embaló and Defense Minister Daniel Gomes with Martinho Ndafa Cabi.
Tonga: Defense Minister 'Aloua Fetu'utolu Tupou dies. Foreign Minister Sonatane Tu'a Taumoepeau Tupou takes over as acting defense minister on April 22.


Cyprus: In presidential elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat (Republican Turkish Party) wins 55.6% of the vote and Dervis Eroglu (National Unity Party) 22.7%. Turnout is about 64%. Talat resigns as prime minister on April 23 and is sworn in as president on April 24. On April 25 he appoints Ferdi Sabit Soyer to form a government. Talat approves Soyer's cabinet on April 26.
India: Former governor of Himachal Pradesh (1999-2000) and Uttar Pradesh (2000-04) Vishnu Kant Shastri dies.
Spain: In parliamentary elections in País Vasco/Euskadi, the ruling coalition of the Basque Nationalist Party and Eusko Alkartasuna wins 38.6% of the vote (29 of 75 seats), the Socialist Party 22.6% (18), the Popular Party 17.3% (15), the Communist Party 12.5% (9), the United Left 5.4% (3), and Aralar 2.3% (1).


Hungary: Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány sacks his finance minister, Tibor Draskovics, and names János Veres to replace him. Veres takes office April 25.


Lithuania: Finance Minister Algirdas Butkevicius resigns.
Federated States of Micronesia: Wesley W. Simina is sworn in as governor of Chuuk.


Ecuador: Congress votes (60-2) to remove President Lucio Gutiérrez. Vice President Alfredo Palacio is sworn in as president. On April 21 a new cabinet is formed including Antonio Parra as foreign minister, Solón Espinosa as defense minister, Mauricio Gándara as interior minister, and Rafael Correa as economy and finance minister.

Italy: Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi hands in his resignation, pledging to form a new government. President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi asks him to do so on April 22. Berlusconi forms his government on April 23 with the key ministries unchanged; Giulio Tremonti becomes deputy prime minister. The government wins votes of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies on April 27 (334-240) and in the Senate on April 28 (170-117).
Serbia and Montenegro: Former president of the National Assembly (1969-74) and of the Presidency (1974-78) of Serbia and president of the Presidium of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (1983-84) Dragoslav Markovic dies.
Ukraine: The parliament of Crimea approves Anatoliy Matvienko as new prime minister.


Germany: The Landtag of Baden-Württemberg elects Günther Oettinger as minister-president.

Liechtenstein: A new government is sworn in with Otmar Hasler remaining head of government and finance minister, Rita Kieber-Beck becoming foreign minister, and Martin Meyer interior minister.


Togo: Acting President Abass Bonfoh dismisses Interior Minister François Akila Esso Boko; his functions are taken over by Justice Minister Katari Foli-Bazi.


Australia: Former premier of Queensland (1968-87) Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen dies.


Andorra: In parliamentary elections, the Liberal Party of Andorra wins 41.2% of the vote (14 of 28 seats), the Social Democratic Party 38.1% (11), the Andorran Democratic Centre-21st Century 11% (2), the Democratic Renovation 6.2% (1), and the Greens 3.5% (0). Turnout is 80.4%.
Israel: Former president (1993-2000) Ezer Weizman dies.
Togo: In presidential elections, Faure Gnassingbé of the Togolese People's Rally wins 60.2% of the vote, Emmanuel Akitani Bob of the Union of Forces for Change 38.2%, Nicolas Lawson of the Renewal and Redemption Party 1%, and Harry Olympio of the Rally for Support of Democracy and Development 0.6%. Turnout is 63.6%. Akitani, disputing the results, proclaims himself president on April 27.


Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates incumbent Konstantin Titov as governor of Samara oblast. Titov is confirmed by the local Duma on April 26 (22-0).


Central African Republic: Former prime minister (1975-76) Elisabeth Domitien dies.


Bangladesh: Former foreign minister (1971-73, 1996-2001) Abdus Samad Azad dies.

Germany: The Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein elects Peter Harry Carstensen as minister-president.


Pakistan: Former chief minister of North-West Frontier Province (1973-75) Sardar Inayatullah Khan Gandapur dies.


Russia: Vyacheslav Dudka is sworn in as governor of Tula oblast.


Guyana: Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj resigns, effective the end of May.
Niue: In parliamentary elections, Premier Young Vivian retains his seat unopposed.