December 2012


Argentina: Former governor of Córdoba (1982-83) Rubén Juan Pellanda dies.
Food and Agriculture Organization: Former director-general (1976-93) Édouard Saouma dies.
Kuwait: Parliamentary elections are boycotted by the opposition. Turnout is 39.7%. On December 3 the emir accepts the resignation of the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Jabir Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah, but on December 5 asks him to form a new government. On December 11 the new cabinet is announced with Mustafa al-Shamali as finance minister and no change in other key portfolios.

Peña Nieto

Mexico: Enrique Peña Nieto takes office as president. José Antonio Meade becomes foreign minister, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda defense minister, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong interior minister, and Luis Videgaray Caso finance minister.


Burkina Faso: In parliamentary elections, the Congress for Democracy and Progress wins 70 of 127 seats, the Union for Progress and Change 19, and the Alliance for Democracy and Federation-African Democratic Rally 18. Turnout is 45.6%. The government of Prime Minister Luc Adolphe Tiao resigns on December 27; Tiao is reappointed as prime minister on December 31.

Montenegro: The new government of Milo Djukanovic is named with Igor Luksic as foreign minister, Rasko Konjevic as interior minister, and Radoje Zugic as finance minister; Milica Pejanovic Djurisic is to remain as defense minister. Parliament approves the government (44-26) on December 4.
Slovenia: In the presidential runoff, Borut Pahor wins 67.4% of the vote and Danilo Türk 32.6%. Turnout is 42%. Pahor is sworn in on December 22 (term begins December 23).


Ukraine: President Viktor Yanukovych accepts the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. On December 9 he nominates Azarov again as prime minister. On December 13 the parliament approves Azarov (252 votes). On December 24 Yanukovych appoints the members of the new government including Leonid Kozhara as foreign minister and Pavlo Lebedev as defense minister, other key positions remaining unchanged.
United States: Bob Filner takes office as mayor of San Diego.


Namibia: In a cabinet reshuffle, Hage Geingob is named prime minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah foreign minister, Nahas Angula defense minister, and Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana home affairs minister.

São Tomé and Príncipe: President Manuel Pinto da Costa dismisses the cabinet of Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada. On December 10 he designates Gabriel Costa as prime minister. The new government takes office December 12, with Natália Pedro da Costa Umbelina Neto as foreign minister, Óscar Sousa as defense and interior minister, and Hélio Silva Vaz de Almeida as finance minister.
Switzerland: Former president of the government of Basel-Land (1975-76, 1980-81, 1985-86, 1988-89) Clemens Stöckli dies.


Mexico: Miguel Ángel Mancera takes office as chief of government of the Distrito Federal.

San Marino: The new government, including Pasquale Valentini as foreign minister (see November 11), is approved by parliament (33-22) and sworn in.
Switzerland: Ueli Maurer is elected as president for 2013, receiving 148 of 202 votes. Didier Burkhalter is elected vice president (205 of 219 votes).
Switzerland: Charles Beer becomes president of the Council of State of Genève.


Equatorial Guinea: Former prime minister (2004-06) Miguel Abia Biteo Boricó dies.
Uruguay: Former foreign minister (2009-10) Pedro Vaz dies.


Lithuania: President Dalia Grybauskaite approves the proposed cabinet of Algirdas Butkevicius (except two ministers), including Linas Linkevicius as foreign minister, Juozas Olekas as defense minister, Dailis Barakauskas as interior minister, and Rimantas Sadzius as finance minister. On December 13 the parliament approves the government program (83-39) and the government is sworn in.


Ghana: In presidential elections held December 7-8, incumbent John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) wins 50.7% of the vote and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) 47.7%. Turnout is 80.2%. In parliamentary elections, the NDC wins 148 of 275 seats and the NPP 123.
Mexico: Manuel Velasco Coello takes office as governor of Chiapas.


Romania: In parliamentary elections, the Social Liberal Union (including the Social Democratic Party and the National Liberal Party) wins 58.6% of the vote for the Chamber of Deputies (273 of 412 seats) and 60.1% for the Senate (122 of 176 seats), the Right Romania Alliance (including the Democratic Liberal Party) 16.5% (56) and 16.7% (24), the Popular Party-Dan Diaconescu 14% (47) and 14.7% (21), and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania 5.1% (18) and 5.2% (9). Turnout is 41.8%. On December 17 President Traian Basescu reappoints Victor Ponta as prime minister. On December 19 Ponta names his government, including Mircea Dusa as defense minister, Radu Stroe as interior minister, and Daniel Chitoiu as finance minister; Titus Corlatean is to remain foreign minister. On December 21 parliament confirms the government (402-120).


Bangladesh: Former president (2002-09) and chief adviser (2006-07) Iajuddin Ahmed dies.
Kiribati: Former governor of the Gilbert Islands (1978-79) Reginald James Wallace dies.
Malta: Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi's government falls when it is defeated in a budget vote, 35-34.
Vanuatu: Prime Minister Sato Kilman's government survives a no-confidence motion, which is defeated 27-23.


Libya: Ashur Shwayel, having been cleared (December 4) by the Integrity Commission on appeal, is sworn in as interior minister. Ali Aujali, who failed to appear for his swearing in as foreign minister on December 9, resigns on December 30.

Mali: The military junta forces Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra to resign. President Dioncounda Traoré names Diango Cissoko as new prime minister. On December 15 his government is named with no change in key portfolios.


Czech Republic: In a cabinet reshuffle, Karolína Peake becomes defense minister. On December 20, she is dismissed again. On December 21 Prime Minister Petr Necas is appointed acting defense minister.
India: Former chief minister of Uttaranchal (2000-01) Nityanand Swamy dies.


Congo (Kinshasa): Alex Kande Mupompa is elected governor of Kasaï Occidental (44 of 47 votes).
Spain: Iñigo Urkullu Renteria is elected president of the government of País Vasco/Euskadi (27 votes, against 21 for Laura Mintegi). He takes office December 15.
Switzerland: Former Landammann of Schwyz (1978-80) Rudolf Sidler dies.


Israel: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announces his resignation (tendered officially December 16, taking effect December 18). Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes over the portfolio.


Nigeria: The governor of Kaduna, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, is killed in a helicopter crash. On December 16 his deputy Mukhtar Ramalan Yero is sworn in as governor.


Japan: In parliamentary elections, the Liberal-Democratic Party wins about 28% of the vote (294 of 480 seats), the Japan Restoration Party about 20.5% (54), the Democratic Party of Japan about 15.5% (57), and New Komeito about 12% (31). Turnout is 59.3%. On December 26 Shinzo Abe is elected prime minister (328 votes, against 57 for Banri Kaieda, in the lower house; in the upper house, after a first round without a majority for any candidate, Abe defeats Kaieda in a runoff 107-96) and names his cabinet with Fumio Kishida as foreign minister, Itsunori Onodera as defense minister, Yoshitaka Shindo as internal affairs minister, and Taro Aso as finance minister.
Japan: In gubernatorial elections in Tokyo, Naoki Inose wins 67.3% of the vote, Kenji Utsunomiya 15%, and Shigefumi Matsuzawa 9.6%. Turnout is 62.6%. Inose takes office on December 18.
Venezuela: Results of gubernatorial elections (overall turnout 53.9%):


Bermuda: In parliamentary elections, the One Bermuda Alliance wins 51.7% of the vote (19 of 36 seats) and the Progressive Labour Party 46.1% (17). Turnout is 67.4%. On December 18 Craig Cannonier is sworn in as premier. On December 20 his cabinet is sworn in including Michael Fahy as home affairs minister and Bob Richards as finance minister.
Congo (Kinshasa): The provincial assembly of Équateur votes 70-2 to dismiss Governor Jean-Claude Baende.
India: In state assembly elections in Gujarat held December 13 and 17, the Bharatiya Janata Party wins 115 of 182 seats and the Indian National Congress 61.
Indonesia: Junaidi Hamsyah is sworn in as governor of Bengkulu to complete the term of Agusrin M. Najamudin.

Sierra Leone: Samura Kamara is appointed foreign minister and Kaifala Marah finance minister.


Cayman Islands: Parliament passes (11-3) a no-confidence motion against Premier McKeeva Bush. On December 19 Governor Duncan Taylor removes Bush from office and appoints Juliana O'Connor-Connolly as premier; she also becomes finance minister.
Mauritania: Former head of state (1978-79) Mustafa Ould Salek dies.


Austria: Former Landeshauptmann of Steiermark (1971-80) Friedrich Niederl dies.
South Korea: In presidential elections, Park Geun Hye (Saenuri Party) wins 51.6% of the vote and Moon Jae In (Democratic United Party) 48%. Turnout is 75.8%.
Tunisia: Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali appoints Elyes Fakhfakh as finance minister.


Monaco: Jean Castellini is named finance minister, effective December 26.


Falkland Islands: Colin Roberts is appointed governor, to take office in April 2014.
Italy: Prime Minister Mario Monti resigns.
New Caledonia: A motion of no confidence against the government of President Harold Martin is rejected by 34 of the 54 members of parliament.
Tuvalu: Finance Minister Lotoala Metia dies.
United States: President Barack Obama nominates John Kerry as secretary of state.


Egypt: Vice President Mahmoud Mekki resigns.


Sweden: Former governor of Kopparberg (1980-86) Ingvar Gullnäs dies.


India: Virbhadra Singh is sworn in as chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.
Pakistan: Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood is sworn in as governor of Punjab.
Saint Kitts and Nevis: The retirement of Governor-General Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, effective January 1, is announced. He is to be succeeded by Sir Edmund Lawrence.


Senegal: Parliament rejects a censure motion against Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye (14 votes in favour; 76 were required).


China: Chen Miner is appointed acting governor of Guizhou.


Curaçao: Daniel Hodge is sworn in as prime minister.