May 2012


Canada: Former lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia (1994-2000) James Kinley dies.


Guernsey: Peter Harwood is elected chief minister, winning a vote of 27-20 against Jonathan Le Tocq.
Romania: Victor Ponta, the designated prime minister, names his government including Andrei Marga as foreign minister, Corneliu Dobritoiu as defense minister, Ioan Rus as interior minister, and Florin Georgescu as finance minister. On May 7 the government is approved by the parliament (284-92) and sworn in.
Switzerland: Esther Waeber-Kalbermatten becomes president of the Council of State of Valais and Markus Kägi president of the government of Zürich.


Hungary: János Áder is elected president, winning 262 votes in the 386-seat parliament. He is sworn in immediately but takes office only on May 10.


Jordan: The new government headed by Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh is sworn in. Tarawneh also becomes defense minister, while Ghaleb Zubi becomes interior minister and Suleiman Hafez finance minister; Nasser Judeh remains foreign minister.
Russia: President Dmitry Medvedev accepts the resignation of the governor of Stavropol kray, Valery Gayevsky, and appoints Valery Zerenkov as acting governor. On May 4 Medvedev nominates Zerenkov as governor, as well as two other acting incumbents, Viktor Basargin as governor of Perm kray and Sergey Yastrebov as governor of Yaroslavl oblast. On May 5 all three are confirmed by the local Dumas and sworn in.


Haiti: The Chamber of Deputies approves Laurent Lamothe as prime minister (62-3). On May 8 the Senate endorses (unanimously) his political program and cabinet; on May 14 the Chamber of Deputies does the same (70-7). In the new cabinet (taking office May 16), Lamothe remains foreign minister and Thierry Mayard-Paul interior minister, while Jean Rodolphe Joazile becomes defense minister and Marie-Carmelle Jean-Marie finance minister.
Nepal: The cabinet of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai resigns. Bhattarai subsequently forms a new cabinet. On May 20 Ishwor Pokhrel takes office as foreign minister. Krishna Prasad Sitaula, appointed defense minister, resigns again on May 24. Pokhrel also resigns on May 28.
Panama: Former foreign minister (1981-83) and president (1984) Jorge Illueca dies.


India: B.V. Wanchoo is sworn in as governor of Goa.
Iran: In the second round of parliamentary elections, with 65 of the 290 seats being decided, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's opponents win 41 seats, his supporters 13, and independents 11.
Tanzania: In a cabinet reshuffle, Shamsi Vuai Nahodha is appointed as defense minister, William Mgimwa as finance minister, and Emmanuel Nchimbi as home affairs minister. The new ministers are sworn in on May 7.


Russia: President Dmitry Medvedev nominates Aleksandr Drozdenko as governor of Leningrad oblast and incumbent president Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn as head of the republic of Buryatia. On May 12 Drozdenko is confirmed by the local Assembly (41-7); the same day Nagovitsyn is confirmed by the local parliament (54-3) and sworn in for his second term. Drozdenko is inaugurated on May 28.


Armenia: In parliamentary elections, the Republican Party wins 44.1% of the vote (69 of 131 seats), the Prosperous Armenia Party 30.2% (36), the Armenian National Congress 7.1% (7), the Heritage Party 5.8% (5), the Armenian Revolutionary Federation 5.7% (6), and the Rule of Law Party 5.5% (6). Turnout is 62.3%. The government of Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisyan resigns on May 31.
Estonia: Defense Minister Mart Laar resigns. Urmas Reinsalu is appointed defense minister on May 11 and sworn in on May 14.


France: In the presidential runoff, François Hollande wins 51.6% of the vote and Nicolas Sarkozy 48.4%. Turnout is 80.3%. On May 10 the government of Prime Minister François Fillon resigns. On May 15 Hollande is sworn in and names Jean-Marc Ayrault as new prime minister, who takes office May 16 with a government including Laurent Fabius as foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian as defense minister, Manuel Valls as interior minister, and Pierre Moscovici as finance minister.
Germany: In state elections in Schleswig-Holstein, the Christian Democratic Union wins 30.8% of the vote (22 of 69 seats), the Social Democratic Party 30.4% (22), the Greens 13.2% (10), the Free Democratic Party 8.2% (6), the Pirate Party 8.2% (6), the South Schleswig Voters Association 4.6% (3), and the Left 2.2% (0). Turnout is 60.1%.

Greece: In parliamentary elections, New Democracy wins 18.8% of the vote (108 of 300 seats), the Coalition of the Radical Left 16.8% (52), the Panhellenic Socialist Movement 13.2% (41), Independent Greeks 10.6% (33), the Communist Party 8.5% (26), Golden Dawn 7% (21), and the Democratic Left 6.1% (19). Turnout is 65.1%. On May 7, Antonis Samaras (New Democracy) is asked to form a cabinet but he fails on the same date; on May 8, Alexis Tsipras (Coalition of the Radical Left) is asked to form a cabinet but he fails on May 10, on which date Evangelos Venizelos (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) is given the task but he too, on May 12, hands back his mandate to the president, who then seeks to form a national unity government; these efforts fail on May 15, requiring new elections. On May 16 Panagiotis Pikrammenos is sworn in as interim prime minister. On May 17 his government is named with Petros Molyviatis as foreign minister, Frangos Frangoulis as defense minister, Antonios Manitakis as interior minister, and Giorgos Zanias as finance minister.

Serbia: In presidential elections, Boris Tadic (Democratic Party) wins 26.5% of the vote, Tomislav Nikolic (Serbian Progressive Party) 26.2%, Ivica Dacic (Socialist Party of Serbia) 14.9%, Vojislav Kostunica (Democratic Party of Serbia) 7.8%, Zoran Stankovic (United Regions of Serbia) 6.9%, and Cedomir Jovanovic (Liberal-Democratic Party) 5.3%; turnout is 57.8%. In the runoff held on May 20 Nikolic wins 51.2% of the vote and Tadic 48.8%; turnout is 46.3%. Nikolic takes office on May 31. In the parliamentary elections on May 6, the "Let's Get Serbia Moving" coalition (including the Serbian Progressive Party) wins 25.1% of the vote (73 of 250 seats), "Choice for Better Life" (including the Democratic Party) 23.1% (67), the coalition including the Socialist Party of Serbia 15.2% (44), the Democratic Party of Serbia 7.3% (21), "Overturn" (including the Liberal-Democratic Party) 6.8% (19), and United Regions of Serbia 5.8% (16).
Switzerland: Andrea Bettiga is elected Landammann of Glarus.


The Bahamas: In parliamentary elections, the Progressive Liberal Party wins 29 of 38 seats and the Free National Movement 9. Perry Christie is sworn in as prime minister and finance minister on May 8. On May 10 Bernard J. Nottage is sworn in as national security minister and on May 11 Fred Mitchell as foreign minister.
The Gambia: Ousman Sonko is appointed interior minister.
Russia: Vladimir Putin is inaugurated as president. He nominates his predecessor Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister and appoints Viktor Zubkov as acting prime minister until, on May 8, Medvedev is confirmed by the State Duma (299-144) and formally appointed. On May 21 a new government is named including Vladimir Kolokoltsev as interior minister, other key portfolios being unchanged. Oleg Govorun, who enters the government, is relieved as plenipotentiary of the president in Tsentralny federal district; on May 23 Aleksandr Beglov is appointed plenipotentiary.
San Marino: Former captain-regent (1952) Domenico Morganti dies.
Syria: In parliamentary elections, the National Progressive Front (led by the Ba`th Party) wins 167 of 250 seats. Turnout is 51.3%.


Sint Maarten: Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams tenders her cabinet's resignation. A new cabinet headed by her is sworn in on May 21, with Roland S. Tuitt as finance minister.
Spain: Former president of Asturias (1995-99) Sergio Marqués Fernández dies.
United States: Former attorney general (1964-66) Nicholas deB. Katzenbach dies.


Congo (Kinshasa): Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon's government wins an investiture vote in parliament (324-53). He takes office as prime minister on May 10.
Cook Islands: Sir Geoffrey Henry, former prime minister (1983, 1983, 1989-99), dies.


Algeria: In parliamentary elections, the National Liberation Front wins 220 of 462 seats, the National Rally for Democracy 68, the Green Algeria Alliance 48, the Front of Socialist Forces 21, and the Workers' Party 20. Turnout is 42.4%.
Peru: Interior Minister Daniel Lozada and Defense Minister Alberto Otárola resign. On May 14 Wilver Calle is named interior minister and José Urquizo defense minister.



Russia: President Vladimir Putin accepts the resignation of the head of the republic of Mordovia, Nikolay Merkushkin, and appoints the prime minister of the republic, Vladimir Volkov, as acting head of the republic. Putin appoints Merkushkin as acting governor of Samara oblast after accepting the resignation of Governor Vladimir Artyakov. On May 12 Putin nominates Volkov as head of the republic of Mordovia and Merkushkin as governor of Samara oblast and the latter is confirmed by the local Duma (37-7) and sworn in. On May 14 Volkov is endorsed by the local parliament and sworn in. On May 21 Vladimir Sushkov is confirmed as prime minister of Mordovia.


Belarus: Interior Minister Anatoly Kuleshov is dismissed and Ihar Shunevich appointed in his place.



Guinea-Bissau: Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo finally accepts his nomination as transitional president for one year. On May 16 he names Rui Duarte de Barros as transitional prime minister, who takes office May 17. On May 22 the government is named with Faustino Imbali as foreign minister, Celestino de Carvalho as defense minister, António Suka Ntchama as interior minister, and Abubacar Demba Dahaba as finance minister.

Russia: Sergey Shoigu takes office as governor of Moscow oblast. President Vladimir Putin accepts the resignation of the president of Buryatia, Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn, effective May 12, and that of the governor of Leningrad oblast, Valery Serdyukov, effective May 28. (See May 5.)


India: Margaret Alva is sworn in as governor of Rajasthan.
United States: In mayoral elections in Austin, incumbent Lee Leffingwell wins 52.1% of the vote, Brigid Shea 37.1%, and Clay Dafoe 10.9%.


Germany: In state elections in Nordrhein-Westfalen, the Social Democratic Party wins 39.1% of the vote (99 of 237 seats), the Christian Democratic Union 26.3% (67), the Greens 11.3% (29), the Free Democratic Party 8.6% (22), the Pirate Party 7.8% (20), and the Left 2.5% (0). Turnout is 59.6%.



Nicaragua: Maritza Pastora Membreño Morales takes office as secretary-general of the defense ministry.
Russia: The governor of Sverdlovsk oblast, Aleksandr Misharin, resigns and Yevgeny Kuyvashev is appointed as acting governor. Kuyvashev is relieved of the post of plenipotentiary of the president in Uralsky federal district. On May 18 Igor Kholmanskikh is named new plenipotentiary. On May 24 President Vladimir Putin nominates Kuyvashev as governor. On May 29 he is confirmed by the local Assembly (46-2) and sworn in.


Egypt: Former prime minister (1965-66) Zakaria Mohieddin dies.

Georgia: The parliament of South Ossetia confirms Rostislav Khugayev as prime minister. On May 30 David Sanakoyev is named foreign minister.
Grenada: Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and his cabinet win a vote on a no-confidence motion, which is defeated 8-5.

India: Aziz Qureshi takes the oath as governor of Uttarakhand.
Slovakia: Prime Minister Robert Fico's government wins a confidence vote in parliament with 82 votes (76 required).


Czech Republic: The governor of Stredoceský kraj, David Rath, resigns. Zuzana Moravcíková becomes acting governor.
Palestine: In a cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad gives up the finance portfolio to Nabil Kassis.



Grenada: Foreign Minister Karl Hood resigns. Prime Minister Tillman Thomas takes over the portfolio.
Russia: The head of the republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, dismisses the government of Prime Minister Odes Baisultanov. On May 21 Isa Tumkhadzhiyev is appointed as acting prime minister and on May 24 Abubakar Edelgeriyev as prime minister.



Bermuda: Governor Sir Richard Gozney leaves office. David B. Arkley becomes acting governor until the new governor, George Fergusson, is sworn in on May 23.


Mba Mokuy
Equatorial Guinea: The government of Prime Minister Ignacio Milam Tang resigns. On May 21 Vicente Ehate Tomi is named prime minister. Clemente Engonga Nguema Onguene is reappointed as interior minister. On May 22 Agapito Mba Mokuy is appointed foreign minister and Marcelino Owono Edu finance minister, while Antonio Mba Nguema is reappointed as defense minister.
Georgia: Aza Khabalova is appointed finance minister of South Ossetia.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin accepts the resignation of the governor of Irkutsk oblast, Dmitry Mezentsev, and appoints Sergey Yeroshchenko as acting governor. On May 24 Putin nominates Yeroshchenko as governor. On May 29 he is confirmed by the local Assembly (38-4) and sworn in.


Dominican Republic: In presidential elections, Danilo Medina (Dominican Liberation Party) wins 51.2% of the vote and Hipólito Mejía (Dominican Revolutionary Party) 47%. Medina is to take office August 16.
Norway: Former foreign minister (1970-71, 1981-86) Svenn Stray dies.

Timor-Leste: Taur Matan Ruak is sworn in as president.


Mexico: Former governor of Sonora (1985-91) Rodolfo Félix Valdés dies.
Papua New Guinea: The Supreme Court upholds its earlier ruling ordering Sir Michael Somare to be reinstated as prime minister. Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's government has the chief justice arrested and charged with sedition, and the parliament (recalled after having already been dissolved) votes on May 25 to nullify the court's decision; on May 29, however, the deputy speaker of parliament acknowledges the ruling only to declare that because Somare had missed three sittings of parliament, the prime minister's office is now vacant. A new prime minister is to be elected on May 30. O'Neill says he is acting prime minister until then. In the event, O'Neill is reelected unopposed, by 56 of the 109 members of parliament, and sworn in by Speaker Jeffery Nape (acting for the absent governor-general, Sir Michael Ogio).

Russia: The head of the republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Taimuraz Mamsurov, dismisses the government of Prime Minister Nikolay Khlyntsov. On May 22 Mamsurov nominates Sergey Takoyev as prime minister, who is approved by the parliament on May 24.


Barbados: Elliot Belgrave is named governor-general, effective June 1. Prior to his installation, he is replaced as acting governor-general on May 30 by Sandra Mason.
Congo (Kinshasa): President Joseph Kabila signs the ordinance appointing Jean Kamisendu Kutuka as governor of Bandundu.

Russia: President Vladimir Putin accepts the resignation of the head of the republic of Karelia, Andrey Nelidov, and appoints Aleksandr Khudilainen as acting head of the republic. On May 24 Putin nominates Khudilainen as head of the republic and he is confirmed by the local Assembly (39-8) and sworn in the same day.


Spain: Javier Fernández is elected president of Asturias. He takes office May 26.


Egypt: In the first round of presidential elections, held on May 23-24, Mohamed Morsy (Freedom and Justice Party) wins 24.8% of the vote, Ahmed Shafiq (independent) 23.7%, Hamdeen Sabahi (independent) 20.7%, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh (independent) 17.5%, and Amr Moussa (independent) 11.1%. The runoff is to be held on June 16-17.
Kuwait: Finance Minister Mustafa Jassem al-Shamali resigns. On May 28 his resignation is accepted and Nayef Falah al-Hajraf is appointed as acting finance minister.


Russia: President Vladimir Putin reappoints the plenipotentiaries of the head of state in four federal districts: Viktor Tolokonsky (Sibirsky), Vladimir Ustinov (Yuzhny), Nikolay Vinnichenko (Severo-Zapadny), and Mikhail Babich (Privolzhsky).


Japan: Former governor of Hiroshima (1973-81) Hiroshi Miyazawa dies.
Lesotho: In parliamentary elections, the Democratic Congress wins 48 of 120 seats, the All Basotho Convention 30, and the Lesotho Congress for Democracy 26. On May 30 Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili resigns.


Saint Kitts and Nevis: Former premier of Nevis (1983-92) Simeon Daniel dies.


Taiwan: Finance Minister Christina Liu resigns. She is replaced on May 31 by Chang Sheng-ford.


Albania: Parliament fails to elect a president, the first-round session expiring without a vote.
Malta: Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici is forced to resign as a no-confidence motion against him is approved (35-34). Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi takes over the portfolio.

Russia: Viktor Nazarov is inaugurated as governor of Omsk oblast.