Kyrgyzstan: Almazbek Atambayev is sworn in as president. He appoints Omurbek Babanov as acting prime minister.
Mexico: Rubén Moreira Valdez is sworn in as governor of Coahuila.
Guyana: Donald Ramotar is sworn in as president. The cabinet sworn in on December 5 is unchanged in key positions.
Mexico: Former governor of Campeche (1973-79) Rafael Rodríguez Barrera dies.
Nigeria: In gubernatorial elections in Kogi, Capt. Idris Wada (People's Democratic Party) wins 62% of the votes and Audu Abubakar (Action Congress of Nigeria) 33%. Turnout is 39.2%.
Croatia: In parliamentary elections, the Kukuriku coalition (including the Social Democratic Party, Croatian People's Party, Istrian Democratic Assembly, and Croatian Pensioners' Party) wins 40.1% of the vote (80 of 151 seats) and the Croatian Democratic Union and allies 23.5% (47). Turnout is 56.3%. On December 14 Zoran Milanovic is given the mandate to create a new cabinet, which is approved by parliament (89 votes in favour) on December 23 and includes Vesna Pusic as foreign minister, Ante Kotromanovic as defense minister, Ranko Ostojic as interior minister, and Slavko Linic as finance minister.
Kuwait: Sheikh Jabir Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah is sworn in as prime minister. On December 14 a new cabinet is sworn in, with Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al Humoud Al Sabah also taking on the defense portfolio, while the foreign and finance ministers remain the same.
Russia: In parliamentary elections, United Russia wins 49.3% of the vote (238 of 450 seats), the Communist Party 19.2% (92), A Just Russia 13.2% (64), the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia 11.7% (56), and Yabloko 3.4% (0). Turnout is 60.2%.
Slovenia: In parliamentary elections, the Zoran Jankovic List-Positive Slovenia wins 28.5% of the vote (28 of 90 seats), the Slovenian Democratic Party 26.2% (26), the Social Democrats 10.5% (10), the Citizen's Alliance of Gregor Virant 8.4% (8), the Democratic Party of Slovenian Pensioners 7% (6), the Slovenian People's Party 6.9% (6), and New Slovenia-Christian People's Party 4.8% (4). Turnout is 65%.
Belgium: A new government is announced (sworn in December 6) with Elio Di Rupo as prime minister, Didier Reynders as foreign minister, Steven Vanackere as finance minister, Joëlle Milquet as interior minister, and Pieter De Crem remaining defense minister. The cabinet wins the confidence of the Chamber of Representatives (89-54) on December 10.
Saint Lucia: The new cabinet is sworn in, with Alva Baptiste as foreign minister, Prime Minister Kenny Anthony as finance minister, and Victor Phillip La Corbiniere as home affairs and national security minister.
Switzerland: Former Schultheiss of Luzern (1972, 1978) Felix Wili dies.
Austria: Markus Wallner is elected Landeshauptmann of Vorarlberg (24 of 36 votes).
China: Former governor of Macau (1979-81) Melo Egídio dies.
Egypt: The new government headed by Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri is sworn in, including Muhammad Ibrahim Yusuf as interior minister and Mumtaz al-Said as finance minister.
Russia: President Dmitry Medvedev nominates incumbent Aslan Tkhakushinov as head of the republic of Adygeya. On December 12 the State Council of Adygeya confirms Tkhakushinov (45-2).
Switzerland: Pierre-François Unger becomes president of the Council of State of Genève.
Yemen: The new cabinet of Prime Minister Muhammad Salim Basindwah is appointed (sworn in December 10) with Abdul Qadir Qahtan as interior minister and Sakhr Ahmad al-Wajih as finance minister; Abu Bakr al-Qirbi remains foreign minister and Muhammad Nasir Ahmad defense minister.
Australia: Former governor-general (1977-82) Sir Zelman Cowen dies.
El Salvador: Former foreign minister (1984-85) Jorge Eduardo Tenorio dies.
Gibraltar: In parliamentary elections, the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party-Liberal Party alliance wins 48.9% of the vote (10 of 17 seats), the Gibraltar Social Democrats 46.8% (7), and the Progressive Democratic Party 4.4% (0). Turnout is 82.5%. On December 9 Fabian Picardo is sworn in as chief minister.
Argentina: Lucía Corpacci is sworn in as governor of Catamarca and Francisco Pérez as governor of Mendoza. On December 10, Martín Buzzi is sworn in as governor of Chubut, José Manuel de la Sota as governor of Córdoba, Eduardo Fellner as governor of Jujuy, Carlos Soria as governor of Río Negro, and Claudio Poggi as governor of San Luis. On December 11, Antonio Bonfatti is sworn in as governor of Santa Fe.
Cameroon: A new government is named including Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo as foreign minister (taking office December 11) and Alamine Ousmane Mey as finance minister; Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo'o remains defense minister.
Russia: The prime minister of Chuvashia, Oleg Makarov, resigns. Mikhail Nozdryakov is appointed acting prime minister. On December 23 Ivan Motorin is appointed prime minister.
Argentina: Juan Manuel Abal Medina is sworn in as cabinet chief. Hernán Lorenzino becomes economy minister.
Georgia: The president of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoyty, resigns. Prime Minister Vadim Brovtsev will be acting president from December 11 until the presidential election rerun scheduled for March 25, 2012.
Peru: Prime Minister Salomón Lerner resigns and is replaced by the interior minister, Óscar Valdés, who is sworn in on December 11 with a cabinet including Daniel Lozada as interior minister and Alberto Otárola as defense minister; Rafael Roncagliolo remains foreign minister and Luis Miguel Castilla finance minister.
Moldova: In presidential elections in Transnistria, Yevgeny Shevchuk wins 38.6% of the vote, Anatoly Kaminsky 26.3%, and incumbent Igor Smirnov 24.7%; turnout is 60%. In the runoff held on December 25, Shevchuk wins 73.9% and Kaminsky 19.7%; turnout is 51.7%. Shevchuk is sworn in on December 30.
China: Li Bin is appointed acting governor of Anhui.
Gibraltar: Sir Robert Peliza, former chief minister (1969-72), dies.
New Zealand: Prime Minister John Key's new cabinet is named (sworn in December 14) with Jonathan Coleman as defense minister and Amy Adams as internal affairs minister; Murray McCully remains foreign minister and Bill English finance minister.
Papua New Guinea: The Supreme Court rules that the August 2 parliamentary declaration of a vacancy in the office of prime minister and the subsequent election of Peter O'Neill were illegal and orders the immediate restoration of Sir Michael Somare as prime minister. However, O'Neill, who is reelected by parliament (69-0) the same day, refuses to give way. On December 13 Somare announces his cabinet with Paru Aihi as foreign minister, Bob Dadae as defense minister, Patrick Pruaitch as finance minister, and Tim Bonga as internal security minister. On December 14 Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio swears in Somare's cabinet, whereupon the O'Neill faction in parliament votes to suspend Ogio, making Jeffery Nape acting governor-general, who then swears in O'Neill again as prime minister. On December 19 Ogio says he erred in reinstating Somare and will now recognize O'Neill; parliament then reinstates him as governor-general.
Russia: The governor of Vologda oblast, Vyacheslav Pozgalev, resigns. On December 14 President Dmitry Medvedev accepts the resignation and appoints Oleg Kuvshinnikov as acting governor. On December 28 Medvedev nominates Kuvshinnikov as governor and he is confirmed by the local Assembly (29-0) and sworn in.
Saint-Barthélemy/Saint-Martin: Philippe Chopin takes office as prefect of both territories.
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon: Patrice Latron takes office as prefect.
Tunisia: The Constituent Assembly elects Moncef Marzouki as president (153-3 with 2 abstentions and 44 blank votes). He is sworn in on December 13. On December 14 he asks Hamadi Jebali to form a government. This is presented on December 22, with Rafik Abdessalem as foreign minister, Ali Larayedh as interior minister, and Houcine Dimassi as finance minister; Defense Minister Abdelkrim Zbidi remains in his post. On December 23 the Constituent Assembly approves the government (154-38 with 11 abstentions) and it is sworn in December 24.
South Korea: Former prime minister (2000) Park Tae Joon dies.
Malaysia: Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah ibni al-Marhum Sultan Badlishah takes office as yang di-pertuan agong (head of state).
Switzerland: Parliament elects Alain Berset as new member of the Federal Council. Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf is elected as president for 2012 (174 of 239 votes) and Ueli Maurer as vice-president (122 of 170 votes). In the redistribution of portfolios on December 16, Berset is designated interior minister and Didier Burkhalter foreign minister.
Pakistan: Former governor of West Pakistan (1969-70) Nur Khan dies.
Russia: President Dmitry Medvedev appoints Mikhail Babich as his plenipotentiary in Privolzhsky federal district.
Moldova: Parliament again fails to elect a president, Marian Lupu winning 58 votes, short of the 61 needed.
The Netherlands: Liesbeth Spies is appointed interior minister.
Russia: Anton Siluanov is appointed finance minister.
Gabon: In parliamentary elections, the Gabonese Democratic Party wins 114 of 120 seats and the Rally for Gabon 3. Turnout is 34.2%.
North Korea: The general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the National Defense Commission (de facto leader), Kim Jong Il, dies.
San Marino: Former captain-regent (1995-96) Pier Natalino Mularoni dies.
Czech Republic: Former president of Czechoslovakia (1989-92) and the Czech Republic (1993-2003) Václav Havel dies.
Indonesia: Former governor of Jawa Timur (1988-93) Soelarso dies.
Spain: Parliament elects Mariano Rajoy as prime minister (187-149). On December 21 he is sworn in and names a cabinet (sworn in December 22) including José Manuel García-Margallo as foreign minister, Pedro Morenés as defense minister, Jorge Fernández Díaz as interior minister, and Cristóbal Montoro as finance minister.
Philippines: Mujiv Hataman takes office as officer-in-charge of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, to serve until new elections in 2013.
Kyrgyzstan: Parliament elects Omurbek Babanov as prime minister (113-2). Akylbek Zhaparov becomes finance minister. On December 26 President Almazbek Atambayev appoints Taalaybek Omuraliyev as defense minister.
Solomon Islands: Sir Moses Pitakaka, former governor-general (1994-99), dies.
India: Former chief minister of Karnataka (1990-92) S. Bangarappa dies.
Nauru: Former president (1986, 1986, 1996) Kennan Adeang dies.
The Bahamas: Former governor-general (1992-95) Sir Clifford Darling dies.
Jamaica: In parliamentary elections, the People's National Party wins 53.3% of the vote (42 of 63 seats) and the Jamaica Labour Party 46.6% (21). Turnout is 52.8%.
Maldives: Finance Minister Ahmed Inaz resigns.
Russia: Former governor of Tula oblast (1997-2005) Vasily Starodubtsev dies.
Iceland: Oddný G. Hardardóttir is named finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle.