Canada: Rob Ford takes office as mayor of Toronto and Jim Watson as mayor of Ottawa.
Mexico: Carlos Lozano de la Torre takes office as governor of Aguascalientes, Gabino Cué Monteagudo as governor of Oaxaca, and Javier Duarte de Ochoa as governor of Veracruz.
Switzerland: Mark Muller becomes president of the Council of State of Genève.
Australia: Ted Baillieu is sworn in as premier of Victoria.
Côte d'Ivoire: The election commission declares Alassane Ouattara the winner of the November 28 presidential runoff with 54.1% of the vote against 45.9% for incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, but the decision is annulled hours later by the Constitutional Council, which on December 3 cancels votes from seven northern departments on the basis of complaints of fraud, and as a result declares Gbagbo the winner with 51.5% against 48.5% for Ouattara, the turnout being given as 71.3%. On December 4 Gbagbo is sworn in for a new term. Earlier that day Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, recognizing Ouattara as president-elect, offered his resignation. Ouattara takes his own oath as president and reappoints Soro as prime minister. On December 5 Gbagbo appoints Gilbert Marie N'gbo Aké as prime minister, while Soro announces his cabinet with himself as defense minister and Hamed Bakayoko as interior minister and confirming Jean-Marie Kacou Gervais as foreign minister and Charles Koffi Diby as finance minister. On December 7 Aké's cabinet is announced with Alcide Djédjé as foreign minister, Alain Dogou as defense minister, Émile Guiriéoulou as interior minister, and Désiré Dallo as finance minister.
Morocco: Abdellatif Loudiyi is appointed minister-delegate in charge of defense.
Taiwan: Former premier (1989-90) Lee Huan dies.
Vanuatu: Parliament votes a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Edward Natapei (30-15). The deputy prime minister, Sato Kilman, is sworn in as prime minister. The next day a new government is announced including George Wells as foreign minister, Willie Lop as internal affairs minister, and Moana Carcasses Kalosil as finance minister.
Canada: Kathy Dunderdale is sworn in as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Cook Islands: Prime Minister Henry Puna allocates cabinet portfolios, Tom Marsters becoming foreign minister and Mark Brown finance minister.
South Korea: Parliament approves Kim Kwan Jin as defense minister. He takes office December 4.
Liberia: Toga McIntosh is appointed as foreign minister.
Sierra Leone: In a cabinet reshuffle, Joseph B. Dauda becomes foreign minister and Musa Tarawallie internal affairs minister.
Egypt: The second round of parliamentary elections is held. Turnout is 27%. The overall result gives the ruling National Democratic Party 420 of 508 elected seats and independents 70; 10 members are appointed by the president, for a total of 518.
United States: Former secretary of housing and urban development (1973-75) James T. Lynn dies.
United States: Neil Abercrombie is sworn in as governor of Hawaii.
Papua New Guinea: In a cabinet reshuffle, Sam Abal is appointed as deputy prime minister, Don Polye as foreign minister, and Puri Ruing as internal security minister. On
December 8, it appears that Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has cancelled the appointment of Abal and that he will stay in his office of foreign minister while Polye will continue to be deputy prime minister. On December 9, however, Somare confirms his original reshuffle and Abal is sworn in as deputy prime minister.
United States: John Hoeven, elected as U.S. senator, resigns as governor of North Dakota. Jack Dalrymple is sworn in as governor.
Switzerland: Parliament elects Micheline Calmy-Rey as president for 2011 (106 of 189 votes) and Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf as vice president (146 of 222 votes).
Maldives: The Supreme Court rules that seven cabinet ministers not endorsed by parliament cannot continue in their posts. On December 11 President Mohamed Nasheed appoints Hassan Afeef home affairs minister, Mohamed Aslam acting foreign minister, and Mahmood Razee acting finance minister; on December 13 Mohamed Muizzu Adhnan is appointed acting defense minister.
Papua New Guinea: The Supreme Court rules that the reelection by the parliament on June 25 of Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane was unconstitutional and removes him from office. The speaker of parliament, Jeffery Nape, becomes acting governor-general on December 13 and the parliament will have to meet within 40 days to elect a new governor-general. For unexplained reasons Michael Ogio takes over as acting governor-general on December 20.
Switzerland: Former president of the government of Bern (1984-85) Hans Krähenbühl dies.
Central African Republic: Former prime minister (1992-93) Timothée Malendoma dies.
Kosovo: In parliamentary elections, the Democratic Party of Kosovo wins 32.1% of the vote (34 of 120 seats), the Democratic League of Kosovo 24.7% (27), Self-Determination! 12.7% (14), the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo 11% (12), and the coalition around the New Kosovo Alliance 7.3% (8). Turnout is 45.3%.
Moldova: In the first round of gubernatorial elections in the Gagauz-Yeri autonomous region, incumbent Mihail Formuzal (United Gagauzia Movement) wins 36% of the vote, Nikolai Dudoglo (New Gagauzia Movement) 32%, and Irina Vlah (Communist Party) 31%. Turnout is 56.9%. The runoff is held on December 26, and Formuzal defeats Dudoglo 52%-48%; turnout is 57%.
Iran: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismisses Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and names Ali Akbar Salehi as acting foreign minister.
Papua New Guinea: Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare steps aside to face a tribunal over misconduct allegations. Sam Abal becomes acting prime minister.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: In parliamentary elections, the ruling Unity Labour Party wins 8 of 15 seats and the New Democratic Party 7. The new cabinet is announced and sworn in on December 19, with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves as finance and national security minister and Douglas Slater as foreign minister.
United States: Former UN ambassador (1999-2001) Richard Holbrooke dies.
Italy: Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his cabinet win confidence votes in the Senate (162-135) and the Chamber of Deputies (314-311).
Madagascar: Former prime minister (1997-98) Pascal Rakotomavo dies.
Argentina: Defense Minister Nilda Garré is sworn in as security minister, a newly created post. Arturo Puricelli succeeds her as defense minister.
Ecuador: Interior Minister Gustavo Jalkh announces his resignation. On December 17 Alfredo Vera Arrata is sworn in as new interior minister.
Mauritania: In a cabinet reshuffle, Amedi Camara is appointed finance minister.
Vanuatu: In a cabinet reshuffle, Dunstan Hilton is appointed internal affairs minister.
Canada: Former premier of Manitoba (1977-81) Sterling Lyon dies.
Armenia: Vache Gabrielyan becomes finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
Canada: Douglas George Phillips is sworn in as commissioner of Yukon.
Kyrgyzstan: Parliament approves a new government with Almazbek Atambayev as prime minister. Ruslan Kazakbayev remains as foreign minister, Zarylbek Rysaliyev as interior minister, and Chorobek Imashev as finance minister.
Spain: Rafael Luis Fernández Álvarez, former president of the Regional Council (1978-81) and president of the government (1981-83) of Asturias, dies.
Belarus: In presidential elections, incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka wins 79.7% of the vote and his closest challenger Andrey Sannikau 2.6%. Turnout is 90.7%. Prime Minister Syarhey Sidorski and his cabinet resign on December 27. On December 28 Lukashenka names Mikhail Myasnikovich as prime minister.
Iraq: Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki submits his new cabinet to parliament, with himself as acting defense and interior minister and Rafi al-Issawi as finance minister, while Hoshyar Zebari is to remain foreign minister. The cabinet is approved and sworn in on December 21.
Romania: Prime Minister Emil Boc survives a no-confidence vote in parliament, which is supported by only 190 members (236 are needed). He survives another one on December 23, when no votes are cast at all, the opposition failing to return to the session after an interruption caused by a protester jumping from a gallery.
Guinea: Alpha Condé is sworn in as president. Prime Minister Jean-Marie Doré's government resigns on December 22. On December 24 Condé appoints Mohamed Said Fofana as prime minister. On December 27 the government is named including Edouard Niankoye Lamah as foreign minister and Condé himself as defense minister; Kerfalla Yansané remains finance minister.
Guinea-Bissau: The resignation of Interior Minister Adja Satú Camará Pinto is announced. On December 22 Dinis Cablon Na Fantchamna is named to replace her.
Montenegro: Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic resigns. On December 24 President Filip Vujanovic nominates Finance Minister Igor Luksic as prime minister. His government is approved by parliament on December 29 and includes Milorad Katnic as finance minister.
Tonga: Tu'ivakano is elected prime minister with 14 votes in parliament, against 12 for 'Akilisi Pohiva. He is appointed by the king and sworn in on December 22.
Tuvalu: A no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Maatia Toafa passes 8-7. On December 24 Willy Telavi is elected as new prime minister, defeating Enele Sopoaga 8-7. In the new cabinet, Telavi also keeps the home affairs portfolio while Apisai Ielemia becomes foreign minister and Lotoala Metia finance minister.
France: Former president of the Regional Council of Bourgogne (1974-78) Jean Chamant dies.
French Polynesia: Richard Didier is appointed as high commissioner.
India: Former chief minister of Kerala (1977, 1981-82, 1982-87, 1991-95) K. Karunakaran dies.
Jordan: Parliament votes confidence (111-8) to the new cabinet of Prime Minister Samir al-Rifai.
Laos: Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh resigns. Parliament elects Thongsing Thammavong to replace him.
Monaco: José Badia is named foreign minister, effective Jan. 1, 2011.
Spain: Artur Mas i Gavarró is elected president of the Generalitat of Catalonia (62-45 with 28 abstentions). He takes office December 27.
Brazil: Former governor of São Paulo (1987-91) Orestes Quércia dies.
Chad: In a government reshuffle, Bichara Issa Djadallah replaces Wadal Abdelkader Kamougue as defense minister.
Venezuela: Former president (1974-79, 1989-93) Carlos Andrés Pérez dies.
Comoros: In the second round of presidential elections, Ikililou Dhoinine wins 61.1% of the vote, Mohamed Said Fazul 32.6%, and Abdou Djabir 6.2%. Turnout is 52.8%. In Grande Comore, Mouigni Baraka Said Soilihi is elected governor with 58.9% of the vote against 41.1% for incumbent Mohamed Abdoulwahab; in Anjouan, Anissi Chamsidine wins 59.8% and incumbent Moussa Toybou 40.2%; and in Mohéli, incumbent Mohamed Ali Said wins 53.7% and Ali Hilali Said 46.3%.
Dominican Republic: Former president (1982-86) Salvador Jorge Blanco dies.
Japan: In gubernatorial elections in Miyazaki, Shunji Kono defeats Shoichi Chuman, Daizen Miyamoto, and Tadakatsu Tsushima. Turnout is 40.8%.
Croatia: In a cabinet reshuffle, Davor Bozinovic is named defense minister and Martina Dalic finance minister. The new ministers are approved by parliament on December 29.
Moldova: Prime Minister Vlad Filat announces the resignation of his government. On December 28, when the new parliament meets, he becomes acting president as Mihai Ghimpu's mandate as speaker expires, until December 30 when Marian Lupu is elected as new speaker. On December 31 Filat is reappointed as prime minister.
Uzbekistan: Elyor Ganiyev is appointed foreign minister.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: The lower house of the Republika Srpska parliament confirms the new government headed by Aleksandar Dzombic.
Trinidad and Tobago: Sir Ellis Clarke, former governor-general (1972-76) and president (1976-87), dies.
Italy: Former president of Veneto (1980-89) Carlo Bernini dies.