March 2006


Serbia and Montenegro: The prime minister of Kosovo, Bajram Kosumi, resigns. On March 2 President Fatmir Sejdiu nominates Agim Çeku to become prime minister. The parliament approves Çeku (65-33) on March 10. Fatmir Rexhepi becomes interior minister.


Austria: Former mayor of Wien (1973-84) and foreign minister (1984-86) Leopold Gratz dies.
Cambodia: Prime Minister Hun Sen announces the removal of co-defense minister Nhek Bun Chhay and co-interior minister Prince Norodom Sirivudh. Sar Kheng is confirmed as sole interior minister and Tea Banh as sole defense minister in a confidence vote on March 21. Nhek Bun Chhay is confirmed as deputy prime minister but Prince Norodom Sirivudh is not confirmed in that same post.
South Korea: Lee Yong Sup is named home affairs minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
Russia: Chechen President Alu Alkhanov accepts the resignation of Prime Minister Sergey Abramov and nominates Ramzan Kadyrov as prime minister. On March 4 Kadyrov is confirmed by the People's Assembly of Chechnya (39-0).


Russia: The legislative assembly of Karelia confirms Sergey Katanandov as head of the republic (53-0).


Benin: In presidential elections, Yayi Boni (independent) wins 35.6% of the vote, Adrien Houngbédji (Democratic Renewal Party) 24.1%, Bruno Amoussou (Social Democratic Party) 16.2%, and Léhadi Vinagnon Soglo (Renaissance Party of Benin) 8.4%. Turnout is 76.9%. In the runoff on March 19, Boni wins 74.5% and Houngbédji 25.5%; turnout is 69.5%. Boni is to take office April 6.
Croatia: Former president (1991-92) and prime minister (1995) of the Serb Republic of Krajina Milan Babic commits suicide.

Libya: Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmudi becomes secretary of the General People's Committee (prime minister) and Ahmed Abd al-Hamid Munaysi finance minister.


Russia: Shamil Zaynalov is elected prime minister of Dagestan.


Argentina: The suspended chief of government of Buenos Aires city, Aníbal Ibarra, is removed from office. His deputy Jorge Telerman will finish his term.


Cape Verde: Cristina Fontes Lima is sworn in as defense minister.
Fiji: Ratu Josefa Iloilo is reappointed as president by the Council of Chiefs. Vice President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi is also confirmed.


Portugal: Aníbal Cavaco Silva is sworn in as president.
Turkmenistan: Finance Minister Atamurad Berdiyev is relieved of his post.


Indonesia: Barnabas Suebu wins gubernatorial elections in Papua with 31.5% of the vote, defeating Lukas Enembe (29.6%), John Ibo (22.9%), Constant Karma (9.9%), and Dick Henk Wabiser (6%).
Indonesia: The acting governor of Sumatera Utara, Rudolf Pardede, is installed as governor.
United States: Interior Secretary Gale Norton resigns, effective at the end of March. On March 16 President George W. Bush nominates Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne as new interior secretary.


Chile: Michelle Bachelet takes office as president. Alejandro Foxley becomes foreign minister, Vivianne Blanlot defense minister, Andrés Zaldívar interior minister, and Andrés Velasco finance minister.
Indonesia: Abraham O. Atururi wins gubernatorial elections in Irian Jaya Barat with 61.3% of the vote, defeating Yorrys Raweyai (23%) and Dortheus Asmuruf (15.7%).
Rwanda: James Musoni is appointed finance minister and Sheikh Musa Fazil Harerimana minister of internal security.
Serbia and Montenegro: Former chairman of the Central Committee of the League of Communists (1986-89), president of the Presidency (1989-91), and president (1991-97) of Serbia and president of Yugoslavia (1997-2000) Slobodan Milosevic dies.


Colombia: In parliamentary elections, the Liberal Party (PL) wins 38 of 166 seats in the Chamber of Representatives, the Social Party of National Unity (PSUN) 33, the Colombian Conservative Party (PCC) 29, and Radical Change (CR) 20. In the Senate, the PSUN wins 20 of 100 seats, the PCC 18, the PL 17, and CR 15.
El Salvador: In parliamentary elections, the Nationalist Republican Alliance wins 34 of 84 seats, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front 32, the National Conciliation Party 10, the Christian Democratic Party 6, and Democratic Change 2.


Simpson Miller

Jamaica: Prime Minister P.J. Patterson announces he will resign on March 30. Portia Simpson Miller is sworn in as new prime minister on that day. She then names a cabinet (sworn in March 31) in which she takes up the defense portfolio and Anthony Hylton becomes foreign minister.


Estonia: Former foreign minister (1990-92) and president (1992-2001) Lennart Meri dies.
South Korea: Prime Minister Lee Hae Chan resigns. Han Duck Soo becomes acting prime minister. On March 24 Han Myung Sook is nominated as prime minister.


Angola: Roberto Leal Monteiro is sworn in as interior minister.
Brazil: Former acting governor of Mato Grosso (1986-87) Wilmar Peres de Farias dies.
Ecuador: Interior Minister Alfredo Castillo submits his resignation to President Alfredo Palacio, who accepts it, to take effect March 17. On the latter date Palacio appoints Felipe Vega as interior minister, who takes office March 20.
Greece: Former foreign minister (1978-80) and prime minister (1980-81) Georgios Rallis dies.


Argentina: Carlos Sancho takes office as governor of Santa Cruz following the resignation of Sergio Acevedo.
Burundi: Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye is appointed as interior minister.
Nigeria: Peter Obi of the All Progressive Grand Alliance is sworn in as governor of Anambra, following a court ruling on March 15 which confirmed his victory at the 2003 elections over Chris Ngige.
Switzerland: Former president of the government of Zürich (1974-75, 1980-81, 1986-87) Jakob Stucki dies.
United States: Former treasury secretary (1979-81) G. William Miller dies.


Australia: In parliamentary elections in South Australia, the Labor Party wins 28 of 47 seats, the Liberal Party 15, the National Party 1, and independents 3. In Tasmania, the Labor Party wins 14 of 25 seats, the Liberal Party 7, and the Tasmanian Greens 4.
San Marino: Former captain-regent (1945-46, 1954) Secondo Fiorini dies.



Belarus: In presidential elections, incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka wins 83% of the vote and his nearest challenger Alyaksandr Milinkevich 6.1%.
India: Former chief minister of Assam (1978-79) Golap Borbora dies.
Palestine: Prime minister-designate Ismail Haniya presents his proposed cabinet, including Mahmoud Zahar as foreign minister, Omar Abdel-Razeq as finance minister, and Said Siam as interior minister. On March 28 the parliament approves the cabinet (71-36 with 2 abstentions), and it is sworn in on March 29.


Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates incumbent Sergey Morozov as governor of Ulyanovsk oblast. Morozov is confirmed by the local legislative assembly (21-4) on March 28.


Laos: Vice President Choummaly Sayasone is elected general secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party.


Sweden: Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds resigns. She is replaced temporarily by Deputy Prime Minister Bosse Ringholm. On March 27 Jan Eliasson is appointed as foreign minister, to take office April 24; Carin Jämtin becomes acting foreign minister until his installation.
Vanuatu: Prime Minister Ham Lini defeats a no-confidence motion (30-20).


Afghanistan: In a cabinet reshuffle, Rangin Dadfar Spanta is nominated as foreign minister and the acting interior minister, Zarar Ahmad Moqbel, as interior minister.


France: Former president of the Regional Council of Nord-Pas-de-Calais (1981-92) Noël Josèphe dies.
Mauritius: Former foreign minister (1986-90) Sir Satcam Boolell dies.
Syria: Najah al-Attar is sworn in as second vice president.


Indonesia: Bandjela Paliudju is sworn in as governor of Sulawesi Tengah.


Germany: In state elections in Baden-Württemberg, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) wins 44.2% of the vote (69 of 139 seats), the Social Democratic Party (SPD) 25.2% (38), the Greens 11.7% (17), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) 10.7% (15), and the Election Alternative Labour and Social Justice (WASG) 3.1% (0); turnout is 53.4%. In Rheinland-Pfalz, the SPD wins 45.6% of the vote (53 of 101 seats), the CDU 32.8% (38), the FDP 8% (10), the Greens 4.6% (0), and the WASG 2.5% (0); turnout is 58.2%. In Sachsen-Anhalt, the CDU wins 36.2% of the vote (40 of 97 seats), the Left Party 24.1% (26), the SPD 21.4% (24), the FDP 6.7% (7), and the Greens 3.6% (0); turnout is 44.4%.

de Jongh-Elhage
Netherlands Antilles: Emily de Jongh-Elhage takes office as prime minister. Roland Duncan becomes internal affairs minister; Ersilia de Lannooy remains finance minister.
São Tomé and Príncipe: In parliamentary elections, the opposition Force for Change Democratic Movement-Democratic Convergence Party coalition, allied to President Fradique de Menezes, wins 36.8% of the vote (23 of 55 seats), the governing Liberation Movement of São Tomé and Príncipe 29.5% (20), the Independent Democratic Action 20% (11), and the New Way Movement 4.7% (1). Turnout is 66.9%.
Ukraine: In parliamentary elections, the Party of Regions of Ukraine wins 32.1% of the vote (186 of 450 seats), the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc 22.3% (129), the Our Ukraine bloc of parties 14% (81), the Socialist Party 5.7% (33), and the Communist Party 3.7% (21). Turnout is 67.7%.


Brazil: Finance Minister Antônio Palocci resigns. He is replaced by Guido Mantega, who takes office March 28.


India: Former chief minister of Haryana (1968-75, 1986-87, 1996-99) Bansi Lal dies.
Israel: In parliamentary elections, Kadima wins 21.8% of the vote (29 of 120 seats), Labour 15.1% (19), Shas 9.6% (12), Yisrael Beiteinu 9% (11), Likud 8.9% (12), the National Union-National Religious Party 6.9% (9), Gil 5.9% (7), United Torah Judaism 4.8% (6), Meretz-Yachad 3.6% (5), the United Arab List 3.1% (4), Hadash 2.8% (3), and Balad 2.4% (3). Turnout is 63.2%.
Nicaragua: Mario Flores is appointed finance minister.
United States: Former secretary of health, education and welfare (1973-75) and defense (1981-87) Caspar Weinberger dies.


Tonga: Feleti Sevele is confirmed as prime minister.


Brazil: Waldir Pires is named defense minister to replace José Alencar (who remains vice president). Luís Abílio de Sousa Neto takes office as governor of Alagoas, Maria de Lourdes Abadia as governor of the Distrito Federal, Alcides Rodrigues Filho as governor of Goiás, José Mendonça Bezerra Filho as governor of Pernambuco, and Cláudio Lembo as governor of São Paulo.
Papua New Guinea: The governor of Enga, Peter Ipatas, is suspended and hands the reins to his deputy Peter Iggy.
Samoa: In parliamentary elections, the Human Rights Protection Party wins 33 of 49 seats, the Samoa Democratic United Party 10, and independents 6.