March 2008


Russia: Ravil Geniatullin is inaugurated as governor of the new Zabaikalsky kray.


Russia: In presidential elections, Dmitry Medvedev wins 70.3% of the vote, Gennady Zyuganov 17.7%, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky 9.3%. Turnout is 69.8%. Medvedev is to be sworn in on May 7.


Canada: In parliamentary elections in Alberta, the Progressive Conservative Party wins 52.7% of the vote (73 of 83 seats), the Liberal Party 26.2% (8), the New Democratic Party 8.6% (2), the Wildrose Alliance Party 6.8% (0), and the Green Party 4.6% (0). Turnout is 40.7%.


Cyprus: Markos Kyprianou takes office as foreign minister.
India: In parliamentary elections in Meghalaya, the Indian National Congress wins 25 of 60 seats, the Nationalist Congress Party 14, the United Democratic Party 11, and the Hill State People's Democratic Party 2. Turnout is 89.4%. On March 19 Chief Minister D.D. Lapang resigns and Donkupar Roy is sworn in as chief minister.
India: Former chief minister of Nagaland (1974-75, 1977-80) Vizol dies.
Libya: Muftah Muhammad Kaiba becomes secretary of the General People's Congress (head of state) and Abdel Fattah Younis public security minister.

Uruguay: The new foreign and defense ministers, Gonzalo Fernández and José Bayardi, take office.


Antigua and Barbuda: Sir George Walter, former premier of Antigua (1971-76), dies.


India: In parliamentary elections in Nagaland, the Nagaland People's Front wins 26 of 60 seats, the Indian National Congress 23, the Bharatiya Janata Party 2, and the Nationalist Congress Party 2. Turnout is 86.8%. On March 12 president's rule is revoked in the state and Neiphiu Rio is sworn in as chief minister.
India: The governor of Maharashtra, S.M. Krishna, resigns. On March 6 the governor of Goa, S.C. Jamir, is given the additional charge of Maharashtra; he is sworn in on March 9.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: Haris Silajdzic takes over the rotating chairmanship of the presidency.


Rwanda: Rosemary Museminari is appointed foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
United Kingdom: Francis Pym, Baron Pym, former foreign secretary (1982-83), dies.


Malaysia: In parliamentary elections, the National Front wins 50.3% of the vote (140 of 222 seats) and opposition parties 46.8% (82). Results of state elections: On March 18 Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announces his new cabinet with himself remaining first finance minister, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop second finance minister, and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak defense minister, while Datuk Seri Rais Yatim becomes foreign minister and Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar internal security and home affairs minister.

Malta: In parliamentary elections, the Nationalist Party wins 49.3% of the vote (35 of 69 seats), the Labour Party 48.8% (34), and the Democratic Alternative 1.3% (0). Turnout is 93%. On March 12 Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi names his new cabinet (sworn in the same day), including Tonio Borg as foreign minister, Carm Mifsud Bonnici as home affairs minister, and Tonio Fenech as finance minister.
Serbia: Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica resigns.


Austria: In state elections in Niederösterreich, the Austrian People's Party wins 54.3% of the vote (31 of 56 seats), the Social Democratic Party 25.6% (15), the Freedom Party 10.5% (6), and the Greens 6.8% (4). Turnout is 73.1%.
Brazil: Former governor of Paraná (1955-56) Adolpho de Oliveira Franco dies.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates Ilya Mikhalchuk as head of administration of Arkhangelsk oblast. Mikhalchuk is confirmed by the local assembly (55-3) on March 19.
Spain: In parliamentary elections, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) wins 43.4% of the vote (169 of 350 seats), the Popular Party (PP) 39.9% (153), the United Left 3.8% (2), Convergence and Union 3% (11), the Basque Nationalist Party 1.2% (6), and the Republican Left of Catalonia 1.2% (3). Turnout is 75.3%. In regional elections in Andalucía, the PSOE wins 47.9% of the vote (56 of 109 seats) and the PP 38.4% (47).


Indonesia: Yurnalis Ngayoh is inaugurated as governor of Kalimantan Timur.
Lebanon: The vote of the parliament to elect a new president, scheduled for March 11, is postponed to March 25. On March 24 it is postponed to April 22.
Mozambique: In a cabinet reshuffle, Oldemiro Balói is named to replace Alcinda Abreu as foreign minister; he is sworn in March 11. On March 26 Defense Minister Tobias Dai is dismissed and Filipe Nyusi appointed in his place; Nyusi is sworn in March 27.


Sovereign Military Order of Malta: Matthew Festing is elected grand master.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates Oleg Kovalev as governor of Ryazan oblast. Kovalev is confirmed by the local Duma (36-0) on March 14.


Hungary: Former chairman of the Presidential Council (1987-88) Károly Németh dies.
India: The lieutenant governor of Puducherry, Mukut Mithi, resigns. On March 13, the lieutenant governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bhopinder Singh, is given additional charge of Puducherry (sworn in March 15).
Russia: The president of Ingushetia, Murat Zyazikov, dismisses the government of the republic. Khava Yevloyeva becomes acting prime minister. On March 14 Kharun Dzeytov is appointed as new prime minister.

United States: The governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, announces his resignation, effective March 17, when Lieutenant Governor David Paterson is sworn in as governor.


British Virgin Islands: Sir Ian Thomson, former administrator (1967-71, as John Sutherland Thomson), dies.
Taiwan: Finance Minister Ho Chih-chin resigns. Lee Ruey-tsang becomes acting finance minister.


Iran: In parliamentary elections, conservatives win 132 of 290 seats, reformists 31, and independents 39. Turnout is 60%. Runoffs for the remaining seats will be held on April 25.
Norway: Former governor of Sogn og Fjordane (1976-94) Ingvald Johan Ulveseth dies.
Sweden: Former governor of Västmanland (1960-80) Gustav Cederwall dies.


China: Hu Jintao is reelected president by the National People's Congress. On March 16 Wen Jiabao is reelected as premier. On March 17 a new cabinet is approved, including Liang Guanglie as defense minister.
Gabon: Former foreign minister (1967-68) Benjamin Ngoubou dies.


Sri Lanka: Former foreign minister (2005) Anura Bandaranaike dies.


Albania: Defense Minister Fatmir Mediu resigns. Gazmend Oketa is subsequently appointed as defense minister, is endorsed by parliament on March 27, and sworn in on March 28.
Kuwait: The cabinet of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Muhammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah resigns.
Mauritius: Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam sacks Foreign Minister Madan Dulloo. Ramgoolam himself becomes acting foreign minister.
Turks and Caicos Islands: Gordon Wetherell is appointed governor, to take office in August.


The Gambia: In a cabinet reshuffle, Omar Touray is appointed foreign minister. He is sworn in on March 26.
Italy: Former president of Puglia (1995-2000) Salvatore Distaso dies.

Moldova: Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev resigns. On March 21 President Vladimir Voronin submits to the parliament the candidacy of Zinaida Greceanîi as prime minister. Her cabinet is approved on March 31 by 56 votes in the 101-seat parliament. Mariana Durlesteanu becomes finance minister and Valentin Mejinschi interior minister.


Belgium: Yves Leterme is sworn in as prime minister. The key ministers of the previous government keep their posts. As a consequence of Marie Arena's entry into the federal government, her post of minister-president of the French community is taken over by Rudy Demotte, minister-president of Wallonia. On March 22 the parliament backs Leterme's government in a confidence vote (97-48).
Tonga: 'Otenifi Afu'alo Matoto is appointed as finance minister.


Colombia: Former chairman of the Military Junta of Government (1957-58) Gabriel París Gordillo dies.
Congo (Kinshasa): Louis Léonce Muderhwa is elected governor of Sud-Kivu by the provincial deputies (33 of 36 votes) following the resignation of Célestin Cibalonza Byaterana in February.


Taiwan: In presidential elections, Ma Ying-jeou (Kuomintang) wins 58.4% of the vote and Frank Hsieh (Democratic Progressive Party) 41.6%.


Japan: Ikuo Kabashima (backed by the Liberal-Democratic Party) wins gubernatorial elections in Kumamoto, defeating Takayuki Kamakura (backed by the Democratic Party of Japan).


Bhutan: In parliamentary elections, the Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party wins 67% of the vote (45 of 47 seats) and the People's Democratic Party 33% (2). Turnout is 79.4%.


Pakistan: The National Assembly elects Yousaf Raza Gilani as prime minister (264-42). He is sworn in on March 25 and wins a unanimous expression of confidence from the National Assembly on March 29. On March 31 the new cabinet is sworn in with Shah Mehmood Qureshi as foreign minister, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar as defense minister, and Ishaq Dar as finance minister; Rehman Malik is advisor to the prime minister for interior.


Comoros: The union army seizes control of Anjouan, toppling the island's renegade president, Mohamed Bacar. On March 26 Ikililou Dhoinine, one of the federation's vice presidents, is appointed as provisional leader of Anjouan until the formation of a transitional government. On March 31 Lailizamane Abdou Cheik is sworn in as interim president.


Pakistan: Former governor of Sindh (1977-78) Abdul Qadir Shaikh dies.


Nigeria: Re-run gubernatorial elections in Kogi are again won by Ibrahim Idris (People's Democratic Party), who defeats Abubakar Audu (All Nigerian People's Party) 74%-25%.
Zimbabwe: In presidential elections, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) wins 47.9% of the vote, incumbent Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) 43.2%, and Simba Makoni (independent) 8.3%. In parliamentary elections, the MDC wins 51.3% of the vote and 109 seats, including 42.9% (99) for Tsvangirai's faction and 8.4% (10) for that of Arthur Mutambara, and the ZANU-PF 45.9% (97). One seat is won by an independent; the remaining 3 of the 210 seats will be filled in by-elections due to the death of candidates.


Senegal: Cheikh Tidiane Sy is appointed interior minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
United States: Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson announces his resignation.