February 2009



Iceland: Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir is sworn in as prime minister. Össur Skarphédinsson becomes foreign minister and Steingrímur J. Sigfússon finance minister.


African Union: Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi is elected chairman.
Romania: Interior Minister Liviu Dragnea resigns. Dan Nica becomes acting minister and on February 12 is invested as new minister.
United States: The Senate confirms Eric Holder as attorney general (75-21). He is sworn in on February 3.


Ecuador: Interior Minister Fernando Bustamante resigns. Felipe Abril temporarily takes charge of the ministry until on February 11 Gustavo Jalkh takes office as new minister.
United States: President Barack Obama nominates Judd Gregg (Republican) as commerce secretary. Tom Daschle withdraws as nominee for secretary of health and human services. On February 12 Gregg withdraws his nomination, and on February 25 Obama introduces Gary Locke as his third nominee for commerce secretary.


Latvia: Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis survives a no-confidence motion introduced against him in parliament (40 votes in favour of the motion, 51 against).


Malaysia: The sultan of Perak forces the resignation of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin. On February 6, Dato' Zambry Abdul Kadir is sworn in as the new chief minister.
Ukraine: Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko and her cabinet survive a no-confidence motion in parliament (the motion receives 203 votes but 226 were needed for its adoption).


Canada: A no-confidence motion introduced in the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories against Premier Floyd Roland and his cabinet is defeated 10-8.

Georgia: Parliament approves Nika Gilauri as prime minister (106-8). He is succeeded as finance minister by Kakha Baindurashvili.
Palau: Sandra Pierantozzi is approved by the Senate (11-2) and sworn in as minister of state.


Afghanistan: Omar Zakhilwal is nominated as finance minister.
Brazil: Former governor of Piauí (1959-62) Francisco das Chagas Caldas Rodrigues dies.
French Polynesia: President Gaston Tong Sang resigns. The assembly accepts the resignation on February 9 and elects a new president on February 11. In the first round, Oscar Temaru wins 24 votes, Tong Sang 20, Édouard Fritch 12, and Sandra Levy-Agami 1; in the second round Temaru wins 37 votes and Tong Sang 20. On February 16 Temaru announces his cabinet with Antony Géros as vice-president and Georges Puchon as finance minister.


Liechtenstein: In parliamentary elections held February 6 and 8, the Fatherland Union wins 47.6% of the vote (13 of 25 seats), the Progressive Citizens' Party 43.5% (11), and the Free List 8.9% (1). Turnout is 84.6%. Otmar Hasler resigns as head of government and is to be succeeded by Klaus Tschütscher.


Madagascar: Defense Minister Cécile Manorohanta resigns. Vice-Adm. Mamy Ranaivoniarivo is appointed as defense minister. On February 19 Rabenja Sehenoarisoa is appointed as interior minister, replacing Gervais Rakotonirina.


Israel: In parliamentary elections, the Kadima party wins 28 of 120 seats, Likud 27, Yisrael Beiteinu 15, Labour 13, Shas 11, and United Torah Judaism 5. On February 20 President Shimon Peres asks Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government.
Niue: Premier Toke Talagi survives a no-confidence vote in parliament (11-6 in his favour).
Russia: President Dmitry Medvedev nominates incumbent Aleksandr Volkov as president of Udmurtia. On February 20 he is confirmed by the local Duma (89-1) and sworn in.


Bangladesh: Zillur Rahman, being unopposed, is declared president-elect. He is sworn in on February 12.
North Korea: Kim Yong Chun is appointed armed forces minister.

Zimbabwe: Morgan Tsvangirai is sworn in as prime minister. On February 13 the new cabinet is sworn in, including Emmerson Mnangagwa as defense minister, Tendai Biti as finance minister, and Kembo Mohadi and Giles Mutsekwa as joint home affairs ministers; Simbarashe Mumbengegwi remains foreign minister.


Indonesia: Soekarwo is sworn in as governor of Jawa Timur. In December 2008 the Constitutional Court had annulled Soekarwo's election victory, but after partial repeat elections and recounts he was confirmed as the winner, with 50.2% of the vote.
Turks and Caicos Islands: Home Affairs Minister Galmo Williams resigns and Lillian Boyce is named to the post. On February 13 Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Floyd Hall also resigns. Premier Michael Misick then announces his own resignation effective March 31; in the meantime he takes the finance portfolio himself, while Boyce will also be deputy premier.
Ukraine: Finance Minister Viktor Pynzenyk resigns. The parliament accepts the resignation on February 17.


Ghana: Kwabena Duffuor is sworn in as finance minister and Cletus Avoka as interior minister. Later in the month J.H. Smith is sworn in as defense minister and Mohammed Mumuni as foreign minister.


M.A. Omar
Somalia: Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke is named as prime minister. On February 14 he is approved by parliament (414-9) and sworn in. He announces his cabinet on February 20, with Mohamed Abdullahi Omar as foreign minister, Mohamed Abdi Gaandi as defense minister, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden as finance minister, and Abdulkadir Ali Omar as interior minister.


India: Former maharaja of Alwar (1937-47) Tej Singh dies.


Italy: In presidential elections in Sardegna held February 15-16, Ugo Cappellacci (People of Freedom) wins 51.9% of the vote and former president Renato Soru (Democratic Party) 42.9%. Cappellacci takes office February 27.



Russia: Governors Yegor Stroyev of Oryol oblast, Mikhail Kuznetsov of Pskov oblast, and Valery Potapenko of Nenets autonomous okrug resign and are respectively replaced in an acting capacity by Aleksandr Kozlov, Andrey Turchak, and Igor Fyodorov, all of whom are also nominated to become full governors. Aleksey Gordeyev is nominated as governor of Voronezh oblast in place of Vladimir Kulakov, whose term expires in March. On February 24 Fyodorov is confirmed by the local Assembly (14-1) and sworn in as head of the administration of Nenets autonomous okrug. On February 26 Gordeyev is confirmed by the local Duma (48-0). On February 27 Kozlov (47-0) and Turchak (37-0) are also confirmed by local councils and sworn in.
Uganda: In a cabinet reshuffle, Syda Bbumba becomes finance minister and Kirunda Kivejinja interior minister.


Brazil: The governor of Paraíba, Cássio Rodrigues da Cunha Lima, found guilty of election fraud charges, is ordered to step down by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. The following day the president of the Legislative Assembly, Arthur Paredes Cunha Lima, briefly becomes acting governor before José Targino Maranhão takes office as new governor.
Japan: Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa announces his resignation, effective in March or April. Later in the day he resigns with immediate effect and Prime Minister Taro Aso appoints Economy Minister Kaoru Yosano as finance minister.
Nigeria: The Court of Appeal nullifies the April 2007 election of the governor of Ekiti, Olusegun Oni, and orders that the speaker of the state House of Assembly, Tunji Odeyemi, be immediately sworn in as acting governor. A re-run election will be held in some parts of the state in the next 90 days.
Russia: President Dmitry Medvedev nominates incumbent Nikolay Vinogradov as governor of Vladimir oblast. He is confirmed by the local legislature (34-2) on February 28.


French Guiana: Daniel Ferey takes office as prefect.
Peru: Interior Minister Remigio Hernani resigns. Mercedes Cabanillas is sworn in as new interior minister.


Latvia: Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis resigns. On February 26 President Valdis Zatlers nominates Valdis Dombrovskis as prime minister.


Liberia: Former chairman of the Council of State (1995-96) Wilton Sankawulo dies.


Jordan: Prime Minister Nader Dahabi reshuffles his cabinet, Nasser Judeh being named foreign minister and Nayef al-Qadi interior minister. The new ministers are sworn in on February 23.


Nigeria: The Court of Appeal nullifies the April 2007 election of the governor of Ondo, Olusegun Agagu, and declares that Olusegun Mimiko is the duly elected governor. He is sworn in on February 24.


United States: Hilda Solis is confirmed by the Senate (80-17) and sworn in as labor secretary.


Marshall Islands: Foreign Minister Tony deBrum is sacked.
Pakistan: The Supreme Court disqualifies the chief minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, and President Asif Ali Zardari imposes governor's rule in the province for a period of two months.


Jamaica: Patrick Allen is sworn in as governor-general.


Romania: Former prime minister (1974-79) Manea Manescu dies.


Switzerland: Former president of the Council of State of Fribourg (1971, 1974) Max Aebischer dies.