December 2007


Belgium: Yves Leterme gives up his second attempt to form a government. On December 10 the outgoing prime minister, Guy Verhofstadt, is asked to form an interim government. He is appointed on December 20. His government, sworn in December 21, includes Pieter De Crem as defense minister, while Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht, Interior Minister Patrick Dewael, and Finance Minister Didier Reynders continue in their posts. It is to remain in office until March 23, 2008. On December 23 it wins a confidence vote in parliament (97-46).
Chad: Defense Minister Mahamat Nour Abdelkerim is dismissed.


Canada: In mayoral elections in Québec, Régis Labeaume (independent) wins 59% of the vote, Ann Bourget (Renouveau municipal de Québec) 32.7%, and Marc Bellemare (Vision Québec) 3.8%. Turnout is 45.7%. Labeaume is sworn in on December 8.
China: Wang Sanyun becomes acting governor of Anhui.
Indonesia: The first direct election for governor of Sulawesi Tenggara is won by Nur Alam with 42.8% of the vote, ahead of incumbent Ali Mazi with 39.3%, Masyhur Masie Abunawas with 9.3%, and Mahmud Hamundu with 8.6%.
Russia: In parliamentary elections, United Russia wins 64.2% of the vote (315 of 450 seats), the Communist Party 11.6% (57), the Liberal-Democratic Party 8.2% (40), Fair Russia 7.8% (38), the Agrarian Party 2.3 (0), and Yabloko 1.6% (0).
Somalia: Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein announces his cabinet. Muhammad Ali Hamoud becomes foreign minister, Ismail Ahmed Nur defense minister, and Muhammad Yusuf Weyrah finance minister; Muhammad Mahmud Guled Gamadhere remains interior minister. On December 16 Hussein dissolves the cabinet again.




Australia: Kevin Rudd is sworn in as prime minister with his cabinet, including Stephen Smith as foreign minister, Joel Fitzgibbon as defense minister, and Lindsay Tanner as finance minister.


Togo: Komlan Mally is appointed as prime minister. He takes office December 6. On December 13 he names his government, including Léopold Gnininvi as foreign minister; the defense ministry is "reattached" to the presidency.


Mongolia: Prime Minister Sanj Bayar nominates a cabinet including Sanjaasürengiyn Oyun as foreign minister, Jamiyandorj Batkhuyag as defense minister, Chultem Ulaan as finance minister, and Tsendiyn Munkh-Orgil as internal affairs minister. It is confirmed by parliament on December 5.


Czech Republic: The government of Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek survives a no-confidence vote (97 for, 101 against).


Latvia: Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis hands in his resignation. On December 14 Ivars Godmanis is asked to form a new cabinet. On December 20 parliament approves (54-43) a Godmanis-led government, in which Vinets Veldre becomes defense minister, Mareks Seglins interior minister, and Atis Slakteris finance minister.
Russia: Prime Minister Anatoly Kozachko of Kalmykia is dismissed and Vladimir Sengleyev appointed as acting prime minister. On December 12 Sengleyev is confirmed as prime minister by the local parliament.
Solomon Islands: Nelson Ne'e is sworn in as home affairs minister.
Switzerland: Laurent Moutinot becomes president of the Council of State of Genève.


China: Li Hongzhong is elected acting governor of Hubei.

Ecuador: Foreign Minister María Fernanda Espinosa resigns. On December 7 María Isabel Salvador becomes foreign minister.
Ukraine: President Viktor Yushchenko submits to parliament the candidacy of Yuliya Tymoshenko for prime minister. She fails to be elected on December 11, when she receives 225 votes, 2 votes being against her and all other members not taking part; 226 votes were necessary. Yushchenko resubmits her name on December 12 and she is approved by 226 votes on December 18. Later that day parliament approves her cabinet (by 227 votes), including Volodymyr Ohryzko as foreign minister, Yuriy Yekhanurov as defense minister, Yuriy Lutsenko as interior minister, and Viktor Pynzenyk as finance minister.


Lebanon: The vote of parliament to elect a new president, scheduled for this date, is postponed to December 11. On December 10 it is postponed to December 17, on December 17 to December 22, on December 21 to December 29, and on December 28 to January 12.


Argentina: Celso Jaque takes office as governor of Mendoza and Mauricio Macri as chief of government of the city of Buenos Aires.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Presidential elections in the Republika Srpska are won by Rajko Kuzmanovic (Alliance of Independent Social Democrats) with 41.8% of the vote; Ognjen Tadic (Serbian Democratic Party) wins 35.2% and Mladen Ivanic (Party of Democratic Progress) 17.1%. Turnout is 37.1%. Kuzmanovic is sworn in on December 28.


Argentina: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner takes office as president. Julio Cobos becomes vice president, Florencio Randazzo interior minister, and Martín Lousteau economy minister. Cabinet Chief Alberto Fernández, Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana, and Defense Minister Nilda Garré continue in their posts. The following new provincial governors take office: Daniel Scioli (Buenos Aires), Jorge Capitanich (Chaco), Juan Schiaretti (Córdoba), Walter Barrionuevo (Jujuy), Oscar Mario Jorge (La Pampa), Maurice Closs (Misiones), Jorge Sapag (Neuquén), and Juan Manuel Urtubey (Salta).
Australia: Former New South Wales governor (1996-2001) Gordon Samuels dies.


Argentina: Sergio Urribarri takes office as governor of Entre Ríos, Luis Beder Herrera as governor of La Rioja, and Hermes Binner as governor of Santa Fe.
Brazil: The governor of Roraima, Ottomar de Sousa Pinto, dies. Vice Governor José de Anchieta Júnior becomes governor.
Federated States of Micronesia: John Ehsa wins the gubernatorial runoff in Pohnpei.
Serbia: In Kosovo, President Fatmir Sejdiu asks Hashim Thaçi to form a government.
United States: Steve Beshear is sworn in as governor of Kentucky.


Bermuda: Sir Richard Gozney is sworn in as governor.
Switzerland: The parliament elects Pascal Couchepin as president for 2008, with 197 of 210 votes. Christoph Blocher fails to be reelected as a federal councillor, when Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf is elected instead. On December 13 Hans-Rudolf Merz is elected as vice president for 2008 (193 of 211 votes). In the allocation of portfolios on December 18, no changes are made, so that Widmer-Schlumpf will inherit the justice post from Blocher.


Russia: The governor of Yaroslavl oblast, Anatoly Lisitsyn, submits his resignation to the president. It is accepted on December 19 and Sergey Vakhrukov is appointed as acting governor and nominated to succeed Lisitsyn. On December 25 Vakhrukov is confirmed by the local Duma (44-0) and sworn in.


Solomon Islands: Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare's government is defeated in a no-confidence vote in parliament (25-22). On December 20 Derek Sikua is elected prime minister, defeating Patteson Oti by 32 votes to 15. Snyder Rini is sworn in as finance minister on December 21 and William Haomae as foreign minister and James Tora as home affairs minister on December 22.


Russia: The governor of Smolensk oblast, Viktor Maslov, submits his resignation to the president. It is accepted on December 19 and Sergey Antufyev is appointed as acting governor and nominated to succeed Maslov. On December 24 Antufyev is confirmed by the local Duma (46-2) and sworn in.
United States: The Senate confirms James Peake as veterans affairs secretary. He is sworn in on December 20.


Croatia: Prime Minister Ivo Sanader is asked to form a new cabinet.


India: In parliamentary elections in Gujarat held December 11 and 16, the Bharatiya Janata Party wins 117 of 182 seats and Congress 59.

Kyrgyzstan: In parliamentary elections, the Ak Zhol (Bright Path) party wins 71 of 90 seats, the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan 11, and the Party of Communists of Kyrgyzstan 8. Turnout is over 60%. On December 24 Igor Chudinov is elected prime minister and on December 27 a cabinet is appointed including Tazhikan Kalimbetova as finance minister, other key posts remaining unchanged.


Argentina: Fabiana Ríos takes office as governor of Tierra del Fuego.


Bermuda: In parliamentary elections, the ruling Progressive Labour Party wins 52.5% of the vote (22 of 36 seats) and the United Bermuda Party 47.3% (14). Turnout is 75.6%.
Lithuania: Regimantas Ciupaila is sworn in as interior minister.


India: In parliamentary elections in Himachal Pradesh held on November 14 and December 19, the Bharatiya Janata Party wins 41 of 68 seats and the Indian National Congress 23. Turnout is 71.5%. On December 30 Prem Kumar Dhumal is sworn in as chief minister.
Indonesia: Former governor of Kalimantan Barat (1993-2003) Aspar Aswin dies.
Indonesia: After a lawsuit by Amin Syam, who narrowly lost the Sulawesi Selatan gubernatorial election in November, the Supreme Court rules that a repeat election should be held in 4 regencies of the province because of irregularities.
South Korea: Lee Myung Bak (Grand National Party) wins presidential elections with 48.7% of the vote, ahead of Chung Dong Young (United New Democratic Party) with 26.1% and Lee Hoi Chang (independent) with 15.1%.


Nauru: President Ludwig Scotty is removed in a no-confidence vote in parliament (10-7) and Marcus Stephen is elected president. Stephen subsequently announces his cabinet including himself as home affairs minister, Kieren Keke as foreign minister, and Frederick Pitcher as finance minister.


Canada: John Crosbie is appointed as lieutenant governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, to be sworn in Jan. 31, 2008.
Peru: Ántero Flores-Aráoz takes office as defense minister.


Australia: Former premier of Western Australia (1974-82) Sir Charles Court dies.
China: Chen Zhenggao is appointed acting governor of Liaoning.

Slovenia: Danilo Türk is sworn in as president.


Thailand: In parliamentary elections, the People's Power Party wins 233 of 480 seats, the Democrat Party 165, and Chart Thai 37.
Uzbekistan: President Islam Karimov is reelected with 88.1% of the vote.


China: Li Zhanshu becomes acting governor of Heilongjiang.


Kenya: In presidential elections, incumbent Mwai Kibaki wins about 47% of the vote, Raila Odinga about 44%, and Kalonzo Musyoka about 9%.
Pakistan: Former prime minister (1988-90, 1993-96) Benazir Bhutto is killed in a suicide attack.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: Parliament reappoints Nikola Spiric as prime minister.
Switzerland: Former Landammann of Aargau (1989-90) Victor Rickenbach dies.


Croatia: Interior Minister Ivica Kirin resigns.


Congo (Brazzaville): A new government is named including Raymond Mboulou as territorial administration (interior) minister.


Bhutan: In elections to 15 of the 25 seats in the National Council (upper house), only nonpartisans are elected.
Libya: Former prime minister (1960-63) Muhammad Osman Said dies.