April 2008




Botswana: Ian Khama is inaugurated as president after Festus Mogae retired. Mompati Merafhe becomes vice president, Phandu Skelemani foreign minister, Ramadeluka Seretse defense minister, and Peter Siele home affairs minister; Baledzi Gaolathe remains finance minister.
The Commonwealth: Kamalesh Sharma takes office as secretary-general.
Finland: Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva resigns. Alexander Stubb is designated to succeed him; he is sworn in on April 4.
Pakistan: The parliament of the North-West Frontier Province elects (113-0) Amir Haider Khan Hoti as chief minister and he is sworn in the same day.

Pedini Amati
San Marino: Rosa Zafferani (Democrats of the Centre) and Federico Pedini Amati (Party of Socialists and Democrats) take office as captains-regent.
Switzerland: Peter Beyeler becomes Landammann of Aargau.


Australia: Peter Underwood is sworn in as governor of Tasmania.
Ireland: Prime Minister Bertie Ahern announces he will resign on May 6. On April 9 Brian Cowen is elected leader of Fianna Fáil; he is expected to be installed as prime minister on May 7.


China: Bagatur is appointed acting chairman of the government of Nei Mongol autonomous region.
France: Laurent Beauvais is elected president of the Regional Council of Basse-Normandie (27-0).
Kosovo: Skënder Hyseni is nominated to become foreign minister.


China: Former foreign minister (1982-88) Wu Xueqian dies.


Nigeria: Ibrahim Idris is sworn in as governor of Kogi.


Montenegro: In presidential elections, incumbent Filip Vujanovic wins 51.9% of the vote, Andrija Mandic 19.5%, and Nebojsa Medojevic 16.6%. Turnout is 68%.


Pakistan: Syed Qaim Ali Shah is elected (90-0) by the Sindh Assembly as chief minister of Sindh. He is sworn in on April 8.


Indonesia: Syahrul Yasin Limpo is sworn in as governor of Sulawesi Selatan.
Pakistan: Nawab Aslam Raisani is elected (unopposed) by the Balochistan Assembly as chief minister of Balochistan. He is sworn in on April 9.


S. Sarkisyan

T. Sarkisyan

Armenia: Serzh Sarkisyan is sworn in as president and names Tigran Sarkisyan as prime minister. On April 14 the president names Eduard Nalbandyan as foreign minister and Seyran Ohanyan as defense minister. The government, as completed on April 21, includes Tigran Davtyan as finance minister.
Bhutan: Lyonchhen Jigmi Thinley is appointed and installed as prime minister. On the same day his cabinet is announced including Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering as foreign minister, Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu as finance minister, and Lyonpo Minjur Dorji as home affairs minister.
Ecuador: Defense Minister Wellington Sandoval resigns and is replaced by Javier Ponce Cevallos.

Guyana: Carolyn Rodrigues is appointed foreign minister; she is sworn in April 10.
South Korea: In parliamentary elections, the Grand National Party wins 153 of 299 seats, the United Democratic Party 81, independents 25, the Liberty Forward Party 18, the Pro-Park Coalition 14, the Democratic Labour Party 5, and the Renewal of Korea Party 3. Turnout is 46%.
Spain: The reelection of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as prime minister fails when he receives 168 votes in the Congress of Deputies; 158 votes are against him and 23 members abstain (a majority of 176 votes was required). A second vote (with a relative majority sufficient) is held on April 11, and he is elected by 169 votes to 158, with 23 abstentions. On April 12 he announces his cabinet (sworn in April 14), in which Carme Chacón Piqueras becomes defense minister, other key posts remaining unchanged.


Nepal: In elections to the Constituent Assembly, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) wins 220 of 601 seats, the Nepali Congress 110, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) 103, and the Madhesi People's Rights Forum 52.

Russia: Rail Sarbayev is confirmed by the local legislature as the new prime minister of Bashkortostan.
Somalia: The upper house of parliament of the secessionist Republic of Somaliland extends the term of President Dahir Riyale Kahin to May 2009.


Nigeria: The Court of Appeal nullifies the April 2007 election of the governor of Sokoto, Aliyu Wamakko, and orders the installation of the speaker of the state assembly, Abdullahi Balarabe Salame, as acting governor pending the organization of a new gubernatorial election.

Romania: Foreign Minister Adrian Cioroianu resigns. Lazar Comanescu is appointed as new foreign minister on April 14 and sworn in on April 15.


Haiti: The Senate votes 16-0 to oust Prime Minister Jacques-Édouard Alexis. On April 27 President René Préval designates Ericq Pierre as new prime minister.
Ireland: Former foreign minister (1969-73) and president (1976-90) Patrick J. Hillery dies.
Pakistan: Sardar Dost Muhammad Khosa is elected (unopposed) by the Punjab Assembly as chief minister of Punjab. He is sworn in on the same date.

Russia: Oleg Kovalev is sworn in as governor of Ryazan oblast.


Australia: Quentin Bryce, the governor of Queensland, is designated to become governor-general on September 5.
Bulgaria: Interior Minister Rumen Petkov resigns. On April 22 a cabinet reshuffle is announced; Mihail Mikov is nominated interior minister and Nikolay Tsonev defense minister. On April 24 the parliament approves the changes and the new ministers are sworn in.
Indonesia: The first direct election for governor of Jawa Barat is won by Ahmad Heryawan with 40.5% of the vote, ahead of Agum Gumelar with 34.5% and incumbent Danny Setiawan with 25%. Turnout is 67.3%.

Kenya: Raila Odinga is named to the new post of prime minister and a new cabinet is named, with no change in the key portfolios. Odinga is sworn in on April 17.


Italy: In parliamentary elections held April 13-14, the People of Freedom alliance wins 46.8% of the vote for the Chamber of Deputies (344 of 630 seats), the Democratic Party alliance 37.5% (246), the Centre Union 5.6% (36), and the Rainbow Left 3.1% (0); turnout is 80.5%. In the Senate, the People of Freedom alliance wins 47.3% of the vote (174 of 315 seats), the Democratic Party 38% (132), the Centre Union 5.7% (3), and the Rainbow Left 3.2% (0); turnout is 80.4%. (Vote percentages and turnout figures refer to voters in Italy only, while seat totals also include those elected by Italians abroad.) In regional elections, Renzo Tondo is elected president of Friuli-Venezia Giulia with 53.8% of the vote, defeating incumbent Riccardo Illy (46.2%), and in Sicilia, Raffaele Lombardo is elected with 65.4%, defeating Anna Finocchiaro (30.4%). Tondo takes office on April 19 and Lombardo on April 28.


French Polynesia: President Gaston Flosse is removed in a motion of no confidence (approved by 29 of the assembly's 57 members) and Gaston Tong Sang installed in his place. On April 19 Tong Sang names his government, including Jules Ienfa as vice president and Georges Puchon as finance minister.
Nigeria: The Court of Appeal nullifies the April 2007 election of the governor of Bayelsa, Timipre Sylva, and orders the installation of the speaker of the state assembly, Werinipre Seibarugu, as acting governor pending the organization of a new gubernatorial election. Seibarugu is sworn in on April 16.

Russia: President Vladimir Putin accepts the resignation of the governor of Irkutsk oblast, Aleksandr Tishanin, and appoints Igor Yesipovsky as acting governor.


Chad: President Idriss Déby Itno sacks Prime Minister Delwa Kassire Koumakoye and replaces him with Youssouf Saleh Abbas. On April 23 the new government is named, including Moussa Faki as foreign minister, Wadal Abdelkader Kamougue as defense minister, and Abakar Mallah as finance minister.
Indonesia: In the first direct election for governor of Sumatera Utara, Syamsul Arifin wins with 28.3% of the vote, followed by Tri Tamtomo (21.7%), Abdul Wahab Dalimunthe (17.4%), Siahaan (16.6%), and Ali Umri (16%).


Martinique: Former president of the Regional Council (1983-88) Aimé Césaire dies.


Russia: Ilya Mikhalchuk is sworn in as governor of Arkhangelsk oblast.
United States: President George W. Bush names Steven Preston secretary of housing and urban development as Alphonso Jackson's resignation becomes effective. Deputy Secretary Roy Bernardi becomes acting secretary, pending Preston's confirmation.
Turkmenistan: Annamukhammet Gochiyev is made finance minister.


Switzerland: Former Landammann of Obwalden (1993-94, 1995-96) Adalbert Durrer dies.


Macedonia: Former chairman of the Executive Council (1968-74) Ksente Bogoev dies.
Paraguay: Presidential elections are won by Fernando Lugo (Patriotic Alliance for Change) with 42.4% of the vote, followed by Blanca Ovelar (Colorado Party) with 31.8% and Lino Oviedo (National Union of Ethical Citizens) with 22.7%. Turnout is 65.5%. In the parliamentary elections, the Colorado Party wins 30 of 80 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 15 of 45 in the Senate, the Authentic Radical Liberal Party 27 (14), the National Union of Ethical Citizens 15 (9), and the Beloved Fatherland Party 3 (4).


Iran: Hossein Semsami is appointed temporary minister of economy and finance, replacing Davoud Danesh-Jaafari.
Lebanon: The parliamentary vote to elect a president is abandoned because not enough members are present. On April 26 a new vote is scheduled for May 13.


Guernsey: In parliamentary elections, only nonpartisans are elected. Turnout is 40.6%.
India: Former governor of Haryana (2000-04) Babu Parmanand dies.


Tonga: In parliamentary elections, pro-democracy candidates win 6 of the 9 elective seats. Turnout is 48%.


Argentina: Carlos Fernández is sworn in as new economy minister.
Iran: In the second round of parliamentary elections (turnout 26%), conservatives win another 38 seats, for a total of 170 of 290, reformists another 15 for a total of 46, and independents another 32 for a total of 71.


Brazil: Former governor of Amazonas (1971-75) Joăo Walter de Andrade dies.
Nauru: In parliamentary elections, supporters of President Marcus Stephen win 12 of the 18 seats. On the parliament's first sitting on April 29, Stephen is reelected as president.
Nigeria: The re-run gubernatorial elections in Adamawa are again won by Murtala Nyako (People's Democratic Party), defeating Alhaji Ibrahim Bapetel (Action Congress). Nyako is sworn in on April 30.


Switzerland: Carlo Schmid-Sutter is elected Regierender Landammann of Appenzell Innerrhoden.


African Union: Jean Ping takes office as chairman of the Commission.


Netherlands Antilles: Former prime minister (1973-77) Juan Miguel Gregorio Evertsz dies.