May 2006


Switzerland: Thomas Burgener becomes president of the Council of State of Valais and Verena Diener president of the government of Zürich.


Afghanistan: The new cabinet approved on April 20 is sworn in.
Italy: Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi tenders his resignation.
Kyrgyzstan: Prime Minister Feliks Kulov submits the resignation of his cabinet but it is immediately refused by President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
Nepal: Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala announces his cabinet, in which he keeps the defense portfolio to himself, while K.P. Sharma Oli becomes foreign minister, Ram Sharan Mahat finance minister, and Krishna Prasad Sitaula home (interior) minister.


Chad: In the first round of presidential elections, incumbent Idriss Déby Itno (Patriotic Salvation Movement) wins 64.7% of the vote, Delwa Kassire Koumakoye (National Rally for Democracy and Progress) 15.1%, Albert Pahimi Padacké (National Rally of Christian Democrats) 7.8%, Mahamat Abdoulaye (Movement for Peace and Development in Chad) 7.1%, and Brahim Koulamallah (Renewed African Socialist Movement) 5.3%. Turnout is 53.1%.

India: In elections in Kerala held April 22 and 29 and May 3, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) wins 61 of 140 seats, the Indian National Congress 24, the Communist Party of India 17, the Muslim League Kerala State Committee 7, and the Kerala Congress 7. Turnout is 72.3%. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy resigns on May 12. On May 18 V.S. Achuthanandan is sworn in as chief minister.
Mexico: Former governor of Jalisco (1983-88) Enrique Álvarez del Castillo dies.


Israel: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's new cabinet is sworn in. It includes Amir Peretz as defense minister, Avraham Hirchson as finance minister, and Roni Bar-On as interior minister; Tzipi Livni continues as foreign minister.
Solomon Islands: Parliament elects Manasseh Sogavare as prime minister with 28 votes against 22 for Fred Fono. Sogavare is sworn in the same day. On May 5 he announces his cabinet, including Patteson Oti as foreign minister, Bartholomew Ulufa'alu as finance minister, and Bernard Ghiro as home affairs minister.


Poland: President Lech Kaczynski accepts Foreign Minister Stefan Meller's resignation. Anna Fotyga becomes acting foreign minister and on May 9 is appointed as the new foreign minister.

United Kingdom: In a cabinet reshuffle, Margaret Beckett becomes foreign secretary, John Reid home secretary, and Des Browne defence secretary.
United States: CIA Director Porter Goss resigns. On May 8 Gen. Michael Hayden is nominated for the post. He is confirmed by the Senate on May 26 (78-15) and sworn in on May 30. Also on May 26, Dirk Kempthorne is confirmed by voice vote and sworn in as interior secretary; Jim Risch succeeds Kempthorne as governor of Idaho.


Brazil: Former governor of Rio Grande do Norte (1961-66) Aluízio Alves dies.
Japan: Former governor of Shizuoka (1974-86) Keizaburo Yamamoto dies.
Singapore: In parliamentary elections, the People's Action Party wins 66.6% of the vote (82 of 84 seats), the Workers' Party 16.3% (1), and the Singapore Democratic Alliance 13% (1).


South Africa: Former prime minister of Transkei (1987) Stella Sigcau dies.

Switzerland: Robert Marti is elected Landammann of Glarus.



Costa Rica: Óscar Arias Sánchez takes office as president. Laura Chinchilla becomes first vice president, Bruno Stagno foreign minister, Guillermo Zúńiga finance minister, and Fernando Berrocal security minister.
India: In elections in Tamil Nadu, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam wins 96 of 234 seats, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 61, the Indian National Congress 34, and the Patali Makkal Katchi 18. Turnout is 70.8%. Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalitha resigns on May 11; Kalaignar Muthuvel Karunanidhi is asked to form a cabinet on May 12 and is sworn in on May 13. In elections in West Bengal held April 17, 22, 27, and May 3 and 8, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) wins 175 of 294 seats, the All India Trinamool Congress 29, the All India Forward Bloc 23, the Indian National Congress 21, and the Revolutionary Socialist Party 20. Turnout is 82%. In elections in Pondicherry held May 3 and 8, the Indian National Congress wins 10 of 30 seats, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 7, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 3, and the Pudhucherry Munnetra Congress 3. Turnout is 85.7%.

Italy: The election of a president by 1,009 lawmakers and regional representatives begins. In the first round of voting, no candidate wins the two-thirds majority (673 votes) which is needed in the first three rounds. Gianni Letta wins 369 votes; 438 ballots are left blank. The second and third rounds on May 9 also fail, with 724 and 770 blank votes respectively. In the fourth round on May 10, Giorgio Napolitano is elected with 543 votes; 347 votes are blank. On May 15 President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi resigns, three days before the regular end of his term, and Napolitano is sworn in. On May 16 Napolitano asks Romano Prodi to form a government, and on May 17 Prodi is sworn in as prime minister, with a cabinet including Massimo D'Alema as foreign minister, Arturo Parisi as defense minister, Giuliano Amato as interior minister, and Tommaso Padoa Schioppa as economy and finance minister. The government wins confidence votes in the Senate (165-155) on May 19 and in the Chamber of Deputies (334-268) on May 23.
Thailand: The Constitutional Court rules that the parliamentary elections held on April 2 were invalid and that new elections must be organized.


Libya: Former foreign minister (1964-65) and prime minister (1965-67) Hussein Maziq dies.

Ukraine: Anatoliy Hrytsenko is elected chairman of parliament of the Crimea.


Fiji: In parliamentary elections held May 6-13, Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's United Fiji Party wins 36 of 71 seats, the Fiji Labour Party 31, the United People's Party 2, and independents 2. Turnout is 87.7%.


Comoros: In the second round of presidential elections, Ahmed Abdallah Sambi is elected with 58% of the votes against 28.3% for Ibrahim Halidi and 13.7% for Mohamed Djaanfari. Turnout is 57.3%. Sambi is sworn in on May 26. He names a new government on May 28, with Ahmed Ben Said Jaffar as foreign minister and Hassani Hamadi as finance minister; Mohamed Abdoulwahab, the cabinet director, is in charge of defense.
Haiti: René Préval is sworn in as president. On May 17 he designates Jacques-Édouard Alexis for the post of prime minister. The Senate ratifies the nomination on May 24 (22-0) and the Chamber of Deputies on May 25 (79-0).


Dominican Republic: In parliamentary elections, the Dominican Liberation Party alliance wins 52.4% of the vote (96 of 178 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 22 of 32 seats in the Senate), the Dominican Revolutionary Party alliance 21.9% (60 and 6), and the Christian Social Reform Party alliance 23.3% (22 and 4). Turnout is 56.5%.
France: Former president of the Regional Council of Aquitaine (1979-81) André Labarrčre dies.
Switzerland: Former president of the Council of State of Neuchâtel (1957-58) André Sandoz dies.


Iraq: Nuri al-Maliki is sworn in as prime minister with a cabinet in which he is also acting interior minister, Salam al-Zobaie acting defense minister, and Bayan Jabr finance minister. Hoshyar Zebari remains foreign minister.
Malaysia: In state assembly elections in Sarawak, the Barisan Nasional coalition wins 62 of 71 seats.
Nigeria: Former governor of Gongola (1985-86) and Benue (1986) Yohanna Madaki dies.
United States: In the mayoral runoff in New Orleans, incumbent Ray Nagin wins 52.4% of the vote and Mitch Landrieu 47.6%. Turnout is 38%.


Cyprus: In parliamentary elections, the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) wins 31.2% of the vote (18 of 59 seats), the Democratic Rally (DISY) 30.3% (18), the Democratic Party (DIKO) 17.9% (11), the Socialist Party (EDEK) 8.9% (5), and the European Party (Evroko) 5.7% (3). Turnout is 89%.
Panama: Former governor of the Panama Canal Zone (1975-79) Harold R. Parfitt dies.


Japan: Former governor of Gifu (1958-66) Yukiyasu Matsuno dies.


Guadeloupe: Jean-Jacques Brot is appointed prefect.
Thailand: Thaksin Shinawatra resumes his duties as prime minister.
United States: Former treasury secretary (1993-94) Lloyd Bentsen dies.


Algeria: Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia resigns. Abdelaziz Belkhadem is appointed as new prime minister. On May 25 he names his cabinet, with no change in the key ministries.
Pakistan: Ali Mohammad Jan Orakzai is sworn in as governor of the North-West Frontier Province.


United Arab Emirates: Sir Julian Bullard, former British political agent in the Trucial States (1968-70), dies.


Russia: The prime minister of Adygeya, Asfar Khagur, resigns, effective May 30 when Yevgeny Kovalev becomes acting prime minister.


Guatemala: Former president (1978-82) Fernando Romeo Lucas García dies.

Russia: The president of separatist Chechnya, Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev, appoints Akhmed Zakayev as foreign minister.


Colombia: In presidential elections, incumbent Álvaro Uribe Vélez (Colombia First) wins 62.2% of the vote, Carlos Gaviria Díaz (Alternative Democratic Pole) 22.0%, and Horacio Serpa Uribe (Liberal Party) 11.8%. Turnout is 45.1%.


Guinea: In a cabinet reshuffle, Mamady Condé becomes foreign minister and Moussa Solano territorial administration and decentralization (interior) minister.
Italy: In regional elections in Sicilia on May 28-29, the House of Liberties wins 61.5% of the vote (53 of 80 seats) and the Union 36.1% (27). House of Liberties candidate Salvatore Cuffaro is reelected president with 53.1% of the vote against 41.6% for the Union's Rita Borsellino and 5.3% for Nello Musumeci of the Sicilian Alliance. Turnout is 59.2%.


India: Ram Kapse resigns as lieutenant governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The lieutenant governor of Pondicherry, M.M. Lakhera, has already been acting lieutenant governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands since February 12 during Kapse's absence for medical treatment.
United States: Treasury Secretary John Snow resigns. Henry M. Paulson, Jr., is nominated to replace him.


Lithuania: Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas announces his resignation.
Montserrat: In parliamentary elections, the Movement for Change and Prosperity wins 36.1% of the vote (4 of 9 seats), the New People's Liberation Party 29.4% (3), the Montserrat Democratic Party 24.4% (1), and independents 10.1% (1). Turnout is 77%.