January 2011



Brazil: Dilma Rousseff takes office as president and Michel Temer as vice president. Antônio Patriota becomes foreign minister, while Defense Minister Nelson Jobim and Finance Minister Guido Mantega stay in place. The following new governors take office: Sebastião Afonso Viana Macedo Neves (Acre), Carlos Camilo Góes Capiberibe (Amapá), Agnelo Santos Queiroz Filho (Distrito Federal), José Renato Casagrande (Espírito Santo), Marconi Ferreira Perillo Júnior (Goiás), Simão Robison Oliveira Jatene (Pará), Ricardo Vieira Coutinho (Paraíba), Carlos Alberto Richa (Paraná), Rosalba Ciarlini Rosado (Rio Grande do Norte), Tarso Fernando Herz Genro (Rio Grande do Sul), Confúcio Aires Moura (Rondônia), João Raimundo Colombo (Santa Catarina), Geraldo Alckmin Filho (São Paulo), and José Wilson Siqueira Campos (Tocantins).
Malaysia: Datuk Seri Juhar Mahiruddin takes office as head of state of Sabah.
Mexico: Mario López Valdez takes office as governor of Sinaloa and Egidio Torre Cantú as governor of Tamaulipas.
Switzerland: Micheline Calmy-Rey takes office as president. Erwin Jutzet becomes president of the Council of State of Fribourg, Martin Schmid president of the government of Graubünden, Philippe Receveur president of the government of Jura, Marcel Schwerzmann president of the government of Luzern, Reto Dubach president of the government of Schaffhausen, Christian Wanner Landammann of Solothurn, and Matthias Michel Landammann of Zug.
United States: Rick Snyder is inaugurated as governor of Michigan, Susana Martinez as governor of New Mexico, and Andrew Cuomo as governor of New York.


India: Former foreign minister (1985-86) and governor of Himachal Pradesh (1993) and Rajasthan (1993-98) Bali Ram Bhagat dies.
Federated States of Micronesia: In the gubernatorial runoff in Kosrae, Lyndon H. Jackson wins 54.4% of the vote and Nena S. Nena 45.6%. Jackson is sworn in on January 11.
Montserrat: Former chief minister (1978-91, 2001-06) John Osborne dies.
United States: Vincent Gray is inaugurated as mayor of the District of Columbia.


Guam: Eddie Calvo is sworn in as governor.
Tonga: Prime Minister Tu'ivakano names his cabinet with himself as foreign and defense minister and Sunia Fili as finance minister. The ministers take up their portfolios on January 4 but are only sworn in on January 14.
United States: Jerry Brown takes office as governor of California, Mark Dayton as governor of Minnesota, Brian Sandoval as governor of Nevada, Scott Walker as governor of Wisconsin, Matt Mead as governor of Wyoming, Greg Fischer as mayor of Louisville, and Angel Taveras as mayor of Providence.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: The upper house of the Republika Srpska parliament rejects the new government headed by Aleksandar Dzombic. On January 31, however, the Constitutional Court rules that there are no constitutional barriers for the new government to take over.
Ghana: Benjamin Kumbuor becomes interior minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
Mexico: Jorge Torres López takes office as governor of Coahuila, to fill the unfinished term of Humberto Moreira Valdés.
Pakistan: The governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, is assassinated. The speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, becomes acting governor. Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa is appointed as governor on January 11 and sworn in on January 13.
United States: Rick Scott takes office as governor of Florida and Lincoln Chafee as governor of Rhode Island.


Kuwait: Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Muhammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah survives a vote of no-confidence introduced in parliament (22 votes for the motion, 25 against).
United States: Dan Malloy takes office as governor of Connecticut and Paul LePage as governor of Maine.


Nigeria: In re-run gubernatorial elections in Delta, Emmanuel Uduaghan (People's Democratic Party) wins 61.1% of the vote and Great Ogboru (Democratic People's Party) 30.7%. Uduaghan is sworn in on January 10.
Russia: Former governor of Chelyabinsk oblast (1997-2010) Pyotr Sumin dies.
United States: Peter Shumlin takes office as governor of Vermont.


Mauritius: The chief commissioner of Rodrigues, Johnson Roussety, resigns. On January 12, Gaëtan Jhabeemissur is elected by the regional parliament and sworn in as chief commissioner.


Czech Republic: Former foreign minister of Czechoslovakia (1989-92) Jirí Dienstbier dies.
United States: Dennis Daugaard takes office as governor of South Dakota.


Pakistan: Former governor of the North-West Frontier Province (1976-77) Naseerullah Khan Babar dies.
United States: Nathan Deal takes office as governor of Georgia, Sam Brownback as governor of Kansas, John Kasich as governor of Ohio, Mary Fallin as governor of Oklahoma, and John Kitzhaber as governor of Oregon. Gavin Newsom (who becomes lieutenant governor of California) resigns as mayor of San Francisco, and the president of the Board of Supervisors, David Chiu, becomes acting mayor for a day, until on January 11 the Board elects Edwin M. Lee as new mayor, to finish Newsom's term.


United States: John Hickenlooper takes office as governor of Colorado. Bill Vidal replaces him as mayor of Denver.


Burkina Faso: Prime Minister Tertius Zongo and his cabinet resign. Zongo is reappointed as prime minister on January 13. On January 16 his new cabinet is announced with Auguste Dénise Barry as security minister, other key posts being unchanged.
Lebanon: More than a third of the ministers of Prime Minister Saad Hariri's cabinet (including Foreign Minister Ali al-Shami) resign, and consequently the cabinet is considered as resigned. After receiving the endorsements of 68 members of parliament for Najib Mikati and 60 for Hariri, President Michel Suleiman on January 25 asks Mikati to form a new cabinet.
Nepal: A scheduled 17th round of voting to elect a prime minister is cancelled as the last remaining candidate, Ram Chandra Poudel, withdraws.


Tunisia: Interior Minister Rafik Belhaj Kacem is sacked and Ahmed Friaa appointed in his place. On January 14 President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali dismisses the entire government and calls early parliamentary elections. Later that day, however, he flees the country amid riots and Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi declares himself interim president due to the "temporary incapacity" of the president. On January 15, the Constitutional Court declares that Ben Ali permanently vacated his position, and that therefore the speaker of parliament, Fouad Mebazaa, becomes interim president. Mebazaa asks Ghannouchi to form a new cabinet. Its composition is announced on January 17, with no change in key portfolios. On January 27 Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane resigns. In a cabinet reshuffle the same day, Ahmed Ounaïes is appointed as foreign minister, Abdelkrim Zbidi as defense minister, Farhat Rajhi as interior minister, and Jalloul Ayed as finance minister.
United States: Nikki Haley takes office as governor of South Carolina.


Chile: Defense Minister Jaime Ravinet resigns. Alfonso Vargas becomes acting minister. In a cabinet reshuffle on January 14, Andrés Allamand is named defense minister; he is sworn in on January 16.
Kuwait: Interior Minister Sheikh Jabir Al Khaled Al Sabah resigns.


Gabon: In a cabinet reshuffle, Rufin Pacôme Ondzounga is appointed as defense minister and Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet as budget (finance) minister.
Moldova: Prime Minister Vlad Filat announces his cabinet with Alexei Roibu as interior minister. On the same date, parliament gives it confidence (59 votes in favour with 42 abstentions) and its members are sworn in.
Monaco: Marco Piccinini is named finance minister.
Papua New Guinea: Parliament elects Michael Ogio as governor-general. He defeats Sir Pato Kakaraya 65-23.
United States: Terry Branstad takes office as governor of Iowa.


Mexico: Mariano González Zarur takes office as governor of Tlaxcala.
The Sudan: In a referendum held January 9-15 in the autonomous region of Southern Sudan (turnout 97.6%), 98.8% vote for independence, which is to be effective on July 9.
United States: Bill Haslam takes office as governor of Tennessee.


Argentina: Former governor of La Rioja (1989-91) Agustín Benjamín de la Vega dies.
Ireland: Foreign Minister Micheál Martin resigns. On January 19 Prime Minister Brian Cowen takes over the portfolio; later that day Defense Minister Tony Killeen resigns, whose portfolio is taken on January 20 by Social and Family Affairs Minister Éamon Ó Cuív.
Seychelles: Former governor (1962-67) Julian Edward George Asquith, Earl of Oxford and Asquith (also administrator of Saint Lucia 1958-62), dies.


Papua New Guinea: Sir Michael Somare resumes the prime ministership.
United States: Robert Bentley takes office as governor of Alabama.


China: Liu Weiping is elected governor of Gansu.
United States: Tom Corbett takes office as governor of Pennsylvania.


Brazil: Former foreign minister (1979-85) Ramiro Elysio Saraiva Guerreiro dies.
Switzerland: Former president of the Council of State of Valais (1968-69, 1971-72, 1975-76) Wolfgang Loretan dies.

Vietnam: Nguyen Phu Trong is elected general secretary of the Communist Party.


Russia: Former head of the administration of Lipetsk oblast (1993-98) Mikhail Narolin dies.


China: Zhao Zhengyong is elected governor of Shaanxi.


Australia: David Bartlett announces his resignation as premier of Tasmania. On January 24 Lara Giddings is sworn in as premier.
Central African Republic: In presidential elections, incumbent François Bozizé (National Convergence Kwa Na Kwa) wins 64.4% of the vote, Ange-Félix Patassé (independent) 21.4%, and Martin Ziguélé (Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People) 6.8%. Turnout is 54%. In the first round of parliamentary elections, 35 of 105 deputies are elected (26 for the National Convergence Kwa Na Kwa, 8 independents, and 1 for the Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People).
Iran: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad nominates Ali Akbar Salehi (currently acting) as foreign minister. Parliament approves him on January 30 (146-60).
Portugal: In presidential elections, incumbent Aníbal Cavaco Silva (Social Democratic Party) wins 52.9% of the vote, Manuel Alegre (Socialist Party) 19.8%, Fernando Nobre (independent) 14.1%, and Francisco Lopes (Communist Party) 7.1%. Turnout is 46.6%.


French Polynesia: Richard Didier takes office as high commissioner.


Canada: Ed Stelmach announces his resignation as premier of Alberta.


The Gambia: In a cabinet reshuffle, Mambury Njie is appointed as finance minister.


Egypt: President Hosni Mubarak asks the cabinet of Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif to resign. Omar Suleiman is appointed vice president and Ahmed Shafiq is asked to form a new government. It is sworn in on January 31, with Mahmoud Wagdi as new interior minister and Samir Radwan as new finance minister, other key posts being unchanged.
Kyrgyzstan: President Roza Otunbayeva accepts the resignation of Finance Minister Chorobek Imashev. On January 31 Dinara Shaydieva is appointed acting finance minister.


African Union: Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, president of Equatorial Guinea, becomes chairman.
Japan: In gubernatorial elections in Yamanashi, incumbent Shomei Yokouchi (independent backed by the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal-Democratic Party) wins 83% of the vote and Reiko Okubo (Communist Party) 17%.
Mexico: In gubernatorial elections in Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre Rivero (Party of the Democratic Revolution) wins about 56% of the vote and Manuel Añorve (Institutional Revolutionary Party) about 43%.


Niger: In the first round of presidential elections, Mahamadou Issoufou of the Niger Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) wins 36.2% of the vote, Seyni Oumarou of the National Movement for the Development of Society (MNSD) 23.2%, Hama Amadou of the Niger Democratic Movement for an African Federation (MODEN/FA) 19.8%, and Mahamane Ousmane of the Democratic and Social Convention (CDS) 8.3%. Turnout is 51.6%. A runoff is to be held on March 12. In parliamentary elections, the PNDS wins 39 of 113 seats, the MNSD 26, the MODEN/FA 24, the Niger Alliance for Democracy and Progress 8, the Rally for Democracy and Progress 7, the Union for Democracy and the Republic 6, and the CDS 2.