January 2015


Brazil: The new cabinet takes office including Mauro Vieira as foreign minister, Jaques Wagner as defense minister, and Joaquim Levy as finance minister. The following new governors take office: José Renan Vasconcelos Calheiros Filho (Alagoas), Antônio Waldez Góes da Silva (Amapá), Rui Costa dos Santos (Bahia), Camilo Sobreira de Santana (Ceará), Rodrigo Sobral Rollemberg (Distrito Federal), Paulo César Hartung Gomes (Espírito Santo), Flávio Dino de Castro e Costa (Maranhăo), José Pedro Gonçalves Taques (Mato Grosso), Reinaldo Azambuja Silva (Mato Grosso do Sul), Fernando Damata Pimentel (Minas Gerais), Paulo Henrique Saraiva Câmara (Pernambuco), José Wellington Barroso de Araújo Dias (Piauí), Robinson Mesquita de Faria (Rio Grande do Norte), José Ivo Sartori (Rio Grande do Sul), Maria Suely Silva Campos (Roraima), and Marcelo de Carvalho Miranda (Tocantins).
Italy: Former president of Sardegna (1967-70, 1973-76) Giovanni Del Rio dies.
Lebanon: Former prime minister (1990-92, 2004-05) Omar Karami dies.

Switzerland: Simonetta Sommaruga takes office as president. Urs Hofmann becomes Landammann of Aargau, Erwin Jutzet president of the Council of State of Fribourg, Martin Jäger president of the government of Graubünden, Michel Thentz president of the government of Jura, Reto Wyss president of the government of Luzern, Ernst Landolt president of the government of Schaffhausen, Roland Heim Landammann of Solothurn, and Heinz Tännler Landammann of Zug.
United States: Former governor of New York (1983-95) Mario Cuomo dies.


France: Former president of the Regional Council of Picardie (1976-78, 1985-2004) Charles Baur dies.
Guatemala: Former foreign minister (1970-72) Roberto Herrera Ibargüen dies.
Paraguay: The resignation of Finance Minister Germán Rojas is announced. On January 5 Santiago Peńa is sworn in as finance minister.
United States: Muriel Bowser is sworn in as mayor of the District of Columbia.


Switzerland: Former president of the Council of State of Fribourg (1977, 1984) Rémi Brodard dies.


Uzbekistan: In the second round of parliamentary elections, 5 more seats go to the Liberal Democratic Party (for a total of 52 of the 150 seats), 8 to the National Revival Democratic Party (for a total of 36), 6 to the People's Democratic Party (for a total of 27), and 3 to the Justice Social Democratic Party (for a total of 20). Turnout is 76.9%. On January 23 parliament approves incumbent Shavkat Mirziyayev as prime minister.


The Gambia: In a government reshuffle, Neneh MacDouall-Gaye is named foreign minister (sworn in January 6).
Tunisia: Habib Essid is designated prime minister. On January 23 he names a government including Taieb Baccouche as foreign minister, Farhat Horchani as defense minister, Najem Gharsalli as interior minister, and Lassaad Zarrouk as finance minister.
United States: Doug Ducey is sworn in as governor of Arizona and Jorge Elorza as mayor of Providence.

Virgin Islands (U.S.): Kenneth Mapp is sworn in as governor.


India: Keshari Nath Tripathi is sworn in as governor of Meghalaya.
Federated States of Micronesia: In the gubernatorial runoff in Kosrae, Lyndon H. Jackson wins 52.8% of the vote and Gibson T. Siba 47.2%.
United States: Gina Raimondo is sworn in as governor of Rhode Island and Steve Adler as mayor of Austin.


Botswana: Former foreign minister (1994-2008) Mompati Merafhe dies.
Canada: Former lieutenant governor of New Brunswick (1987-94) Gilbert Finn dies.
Lebanon: Parliament fails for the 17th time to elect a president due to lack of a quorum, the vote being postponed to January 28, and then, after the 18th failed attempt, to February 18.
United States: Former governor of West Virginia (1969-77, 1985-89) Arch A. Moore, Jr., dies.


Honduras: Arturo Corrales takes office as foreign minister.
India: Krishan Kant Paul is sworn in as governor of Uttarakhand.
Mali: Prime Minister Moussa Mara resigns. Modibo Keita is named prime minister, taking office January 9. On January 10 the government is named including Tieman Coulibaly as defense minister and Mamadou Diarra as finance minister; Abdoulaye Diop remains foreign minister and Sada Samaké internal security minister.

Sri Lanka: In presidential elections, Maithripala Sirisena wins 51.3% of the vote and incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse 47.6%. Turnout is 81.5%. Sirisena is sworn in on January 9 with Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister. The government is sworn in on January 12 with Mangala Samaraweera as foreign minister, Ravi Karunanayake as finance minister, and Ruwan Wijewardene as state minister of defense.
United States: Charlie Baker is sworn in as governor of Massachusetts and Pete Ricketts as governor of Nebraska.


India: Aziz Qureshi is sworn in as governor of Mizoram.
India: The state of Jammu and Kashmir is placed under president's rule.
Malaysia: Tun Abdul Rahman Yakub, former chief minister (1970-81) and head of state (1981-85) of Sarawak, dies.
Mozambique: President Armando Guebuza relieves Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina and several ministers including Finance Minister Manuel Chang of their duties so that they can take up seats in parliament.
Poland: Former prime minister (1995-96) Józef Oleksy dies.


Croatia: In the presidential runoff, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic wins 50.7% of the vote and Ivo Josipovic 49.3%. Turnout is 59.1%.
Japan: In gubernatorial elections in Saga, Yoshinori Yamaguchi wins 49.9% of the vote and Keisuke Hiwatashi 39.2%. Turnout is 54.6%. Yamaguchi takes office January 14.
Somalia: Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke names his government, in which Abdirahman Duale Bayle is to remain foreign minister, Mohamed Sheikh Hassan Hamud defense minister, and Hussein Abdi Halane finance minister, with Abdikarim Hussein Guled as interior minister. After opposition from lawmakers Sharmarke withdraws the cabinet on January 17. On January 27 he names a new one including Abdisalan Hadliye Omar as foreign minister, Abdulkadir Sheikh Ali Dini as defense minister, Abdirahman Mohamed Hussein as interior minister, and Mohamed Adan Fargeti as finance minister.


Afghanistan: President Ashraf Ghani nominates a cabinet including Salahuddin Rabbani as foreign minister, Sher Mohammad Karimi as defense minister, Nur ul-Haq Ulumi as interior minister, and Ghulam Jilani Popal as finance minister; Popal subsequently withdraws and Eklil Ahmad Hakimi is nominated in his place. On January 28 parliament approves Rabbani (151 votes), Ulumi (131), and Hakimi (128), but Karimi (96) is rejected (122 votes necessary).

Haiti: The term of parliament expires without it having confirmed Evans Paul as prime minister, who now automatically takes the post; he is installed January 16. In the cabinet named on January 18, Duly Brutus remains foreign minister and Lener Renauld defense minister, while Wilson Laleau becomes finance minister and Ariel Henry interior minister.


Madagascar: The government of Prime Minister Roger Kolo resigns. On January 14 Air Commodore Jean Ravelonarivo is appointed prime minister. He takes office January 17. The government named on January 25 includes Béatrice Atallah as foreign minister and Gervais Rakotoarimanana as finance minister; the defense and interior ministers keep their posts.
Federated States of Micronesia: Tony Ganngiyan is inaugurated as governor of Yap.
South Africa: Former head of state of Venda (1990-94) Gabriel Ramushwana dies.
South Sudan: President Salva Kiir removes Finance Minister Aggrey Tisa Sabuni and replaces him with David Deng Athorbei.
United States: Bruce Rauner is sworn in as governor of Illinois.


United States: Asa Hutchinson is sworn in as governor of Arkansas.


Italy: President Giorgio Napolitano resigns. Senate president Pietro Grasso becomes acting president. On January 29 the assembly of 1,009 members of parliament and regional delegates holds a first round of voting to elect a new president. Ferdinando Imposimato receives 120 votes, Vittorio Feltri 49, Luciana Castellina 37, Emma Bonino 25, Stefano Rodotŕ 23, Gabriele Albertini 14, Claudio Sabelli Fioretti 11; 538 votes are blank and 33 invalid. The required majority (673 votes) not being met, a second round is held on January 30, also inconclusive: Imposimato 123 votes, Feltri 51, Castellina 34, Bonino 23, Rodotŕ 22, Sabelli Fioretti 14, with 531 blank and 26 invalid. This is followed the same day by a third round: Imposimato 126, Feltri 56, Castellina 33, Bonino 23, Rodotŕ 22, Lucio Barani 21, Giuseppe Pagano 11; 513 blank and 27 invalid. In the fourth round on January 31 (505 votes now being sufficient), Sergio Mattarella is elected with 665 votes, while Imposimato receives 127, Feltri 46, and Rodotŕ 17; 105 are blank and 13 invalid.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin appoints Leonid Markelov, whose regular term has expired, as acting head of the republic of Mari El.
Sri Lanka: Harin Fernando is sworn in as chief minister of Uva.


India: Former governor of Orissa (2004-07), Andhra Pradesh (2006-07), Karnataka (2007-09), and Madhya Pradesh (2009-11) Rameshwar Thakur dies.


Mozambique: Filipe Nyusi is sworn in as president. The new government is announced on January 17 (sworn in January 19) with Carlos Agostinho do Rosário as prime minister, Atanásio Salvador Ntumuke as defense minister, Jaime Basílio Monteiro as interior minister, Adriano Maleiane as finance minister, and Oldemiro Balói continuing as foreign minister.
Sri Lanka: H.M.G.S. Palihakkara is appointed as governor of Northern province. He is sworn in on January 27, along with new governors Austin Fernando (Eastern), Marshal Perera (Sabaragamuwa), Surangani Ellawala (Central), P.B. Dissanayake (North Central), and M.P. Jayasinghe (Uva).


Brazil: Former acting governor of Amazonas (1990-91) Vivaldo Barros Frota dies.
Central African Republic: In a cabinet reshuffle, Marie-Noëlle Koyara is named defense minister, Samedi Nicaise Karinou public security minister, and Abdalla-Kadre Assane finance minister.
India: The governor of Haryana, Kaptan Singh Solanki, is given additional charge as governor of Punjab and administrator of Chandigarh, the tenure of Shivraj Patil coming to an end on January 21 (Solanki is sworn in January 22). The governor of Rajasthan, Kalyan Singh, receives the additional charge of Himachal Pradesh, Urmila Singh completing her tenure on January 24 (she actually leaves office January 26 and Kalyan Singh is sworn in January 28).

Mauritania: In a cabinet reshuffle, Vatma Vall Mint Soueina is named foreign minister and Moktar Ould Diay finance minister.


Japan: Former governor of Kagoshima (1996-2004) Tatsuro Suga dies.


Argentina: Former governor of Río Negro (1976-78) Aldo Luis Bachmann dies.
Maldives: President Abdulla Yameen sacks Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim and appoints Moosa Ali Jaleel in his place.
Sweden: A no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Stefan Löfven fails with only 45 votes (175 needed).
United States: Tom Wolf is sworn in as governor of Pennsylvania and Greg Abbott as governor of Texas.

Zambia: In presidential elections (extended in some areas to January 21), Edgar Lungu (Patriotic Front) wins 48.8% of the vote and Hakainde Hichilema (United Party for National Development) 47.2%. Turnout is 32.4%. Lungu is sworn in on January 25. On January 26 he names Inonge Wina as vice president and Davies Mwila as home affairs minister, while retaining Harry Kalaba as foreign minister and Alexander Chikwanda as finance minister.


United States: Larry Hogan is sworn in as governor of Maryland.


New Caledonia: A second attempt by the collegial government to elect its president fails (3 votes for Philippe Germain, 2 for Cynthia Ligeard, 6 abstentions).
United States: Former governor of Kentucky (1971-74) Wendell Ford dies.
Yemen: Prime Minister Khaled Bahah offers his government's resignation. Subsequently President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi himself resigns. The parliament rejects Hadi's resignation.


Bolivia: President Evo Morales names his new cabinet including Jorge Ledezma as defense minister and Hugo Moldiz as interior minister; David Choquehuanca remains foreign minister and Luis Arce finance minister.
Georgia: Interior Minister Aleksandre Chikaidze resigns. On January 26 Vakhtang Gomelauri is appointed interior minister.
South Korea: President Park Geun Hye nominates Lee Wan Koo as prime minister.

Saudi Arabia: King Abdullah dies. Crown Prince Salman becomes king. He names his son Muhammad ibn Salman to succeed him as defense minister.
Sri Lanka: K.C. Logeswaran is sworn in as governor of Western province, Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayake as governor of North Western province, and Hemakumara Nanayakkara as governor of Southern province.



Comoros: In the first round of parliamentary elections, independents win 24.8% of the vote (no seats), the Union for the Development of the Comoros 18.5% (2), Juwa 18% (1), and the Democratic Rally of the Comoros 10.4% (0). Turnout is 71.1%. The second round, for the remaining 21 seats, will be held on February 22.
Greece: In parliamentary elections, the Coalition of the Radical Left wins 36.3% of the vote (149 of 300 seats), New Democracy 27.8% (76), Golden Dawn 6.3% (17), The River 6% (17), the Communist Party 5.5% (15), the Independent Greeks 4.7% (13), and the Panhellenic Socialist Movement 4.7% (13). Turnout is 63.9%. On January 26 Alexis Tsipras is sworn in as prime minister. The cabinet is announced on January 27 with Nikos Kotzias as foreign minister, Panos Kammenos as defense minister, Nikos Voutsis as interior minister, and Gianis Varoufakis as finance minister.
Japan: In gubernatorial elections in Yamanashi, Hitoshi Goto wins 77.6% of the vote and Hitoshi Hanada 17.5%. Turnout is 41.9%.


Seychelles: In a cabinet reshuffle (to take effect February 1), Joel Morgan becomes foreign minister, Jean-Paul Adam finance minister, and Charles Bastienne home affairs minister.


Mexico: Former governor of Guanajuato (1985-91) Rafael Corrales Ayala dies.
Taiwan: Defense Minister Yen Ming resigns. Adm. Kao Kuang-chi is designated to succeed him (sworn in January 30).


Moldova: President Nicolae Timofti designates Prime Minister Iurie Leanca to form a new government.
Sri Lanka: Peshala Jayaratne is sworn in as chief minister of North Central province.


Jersey: William Bailhache is sworn in as bailiff.
Pakistan: The governor of Punjab, Mohammad Sarwar, resigns. Assembly speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan becomes acting governor.


African Union: Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe, is elected chairman.
Bulgaria: Former president (1990-97) Zhelyu Zhelev dies.


Australia: In parliamentary elections in Queensland, the Liberal National Party wins 41.3% of the vote (42 of 89 seats), the Australian Labor Party 37.5% (44), the Greens 8.4% (0), the Palmer United Party 5.1% (0), and Katter's Australian Party 1.9% (2).
Germany: Former governing mayor of West Berlin (1981-84) and president (1984-94) Richard von Weizsäcker dies.