January 2016


Switzerland: Johann Schneider-Ammann takes office as president. Susanne Hochuli becomes Landammann of Aargau, Marie Garnier president of the Council of State of Fribourg, Christian Rathgeb president of the government of Graubünden, Charles Juillard president of the government of Jura, Reto Dubach president of the government of Schaffhausen, and Roland Fürst Landammann of Solothurn.
United States: John B. King, Jr., becomes acting education secretary.
United States: Former governor of Arkansas (1971-75) Dale Bumpers dies.
United States: Dan Horrigan takes office as mayor of Akron, Andrew J. Ginther as mayor of Columbus, Luke Bronin as mayor of Hartford, and Joe Hogsett as mayor of Indianapolis.


Tokelau: Former administrator (1984-88) Harold Huyton Francis dies.
United States: Sylvester Turner is sworn in as mayor of Houston.


Lebanon: Former foreign minister (1968, 1976-82) Fouad Boutros dies.


Moldova: The prime minister-designate, Ion Sturza, nominates his government including Victor Chirila as foreign minister, Viorel Cibotaru as defense minister, Alexandru Stoianoglo as interior minister, and Ion Munteanu as finance minister. On January 4, however, parliament fails to confirm the new government due to lack of a quorum. Sturza renounces his mandate on January 5. On January 14 President Nicolae Timofti nominates Ion Paduraru as prime minister, but on January 15 he withdraws his candidacy and Timofti nominates Pavel Filip instead. Filip is voted in on January 20 (57 votes). His government includes Andrei Galbur as foreign minister, Alexandru Jizdan as interior minister, and Octavian Armasu as finance minister; Anatol Salaru remains defense minister.


France: Philippe Richert is elected president of the Regional Council of Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, Alain Rousset of Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes, Laurent Wauquiez of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Marie-Guite Dufay of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Carole Delga of Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées, Xavier Bertrand of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, and Hervé Morin of Normandie.


Guinea: The new government is named with Makalé Camara as foreign minister, Mohamed Diané as defense minister, Abdoul Kabèlè Camara as security minister, and Malado Kaba as finance minister.


Marshall Islands: Parliament elects Casten Nemra as president; he defeats Alvin Jacklick 17-16. Nemra takes office January 11, with Kessai H. Note as foreign minister, Daisy A. Momotaro as internal affairs minister, and Jack Ading remaining finance minister. On January 26, however, Nemra is toppled in a no-confidence vote (21-12). The next day Hilda C. Heine is elected president with 24 votes; she is sworn in January 28.
Monaco: Serge Telle is named minister of state, to take office February 1.
United States: Jim Kenney takes office as mayor of Philadelphia and Jackie Biskupski as mayor of Salt Lake City.



Côte d'Ivoire: The government of Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan resigns. President Alassane Ouattara reappoints Duncan as prime minister. On January 12 the new government is named including Albert Toikeusse Mabri as foreign minister and Alain Richard Donwahi as minister to the president in charge of defense, other key posts being unchanged.
Liberia: In a cabinet reshuffle, Marjon Kamara is nominated as foreign minister and Henrique Tokpah as internal affairs minister.

Tunisia: In a cabinet reshuffle, Khemaies Jhinaoui becomes foreign minister and Hédi Majdoub interior minister.
Venezuela: In a cabinet reshuffle, Aristóbulo Istúriz is named vice president and Rodolfo Medina finance minister. Nelson Moreno succeeds Istúriz as governor of Anzoátegui on January 7; the same day Reinaldo Castañeda takes office as governor of Portuguesa. On January 11 Daniel Aponte becomes chief of government of the Distrito Capital.



Burkina Faso: Paul Kaba Thieba is named prime minister (decree dated January 6). On January 13 his government is announced (decree dated January 12) with Alpha Barry as foreign minister, Simon Compaoré as interior minister, and Rosine Sori-Coulibaly as finance minister; the president keeps the defense portfolio.
India: The chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, dies. On January 9 the state is placed under governor's rule.
Lebanon: The election of a president fails again due to lack of a quorum, and is adjourned to February 8.
Papua New Guinea: The National Court reinstates Anderson Agiru as governor of Hela.


Italy: Former president of Sardegna (1979-80) Alessandro Ghinami dies.


Canada: Former lieutenant governor of Manitoba (2004-09) John Harvard dies.
Georgia: Former prime minister of South Ossetia (1998-2001) Merab Chigoyev is killed in a car accident.
Nigeria: Supplementary elections are held for the governorship of Bayelsa, as a result of which the incumbent Henry Seriake Dickson (People's Democratic Party) is reelected with 59.9% of the vote, against 38.5% for Timipre Sylva (All Progressives Congress).



India: Former governor of Haryana (1988-90) Hari Anand Barari dies.
Israel: Aryeh Deri is appointed interior minister (approved by the Knesset on January 11).
Spain: Carles Puigdemont is elected president of the Generalitat of Catalonia (70-63). He takes office January 12. On January 14 Raül Romeva takes office as foreign minister.
Syria: Former prime minister (1965-66, 1966-68) Yusuf Zuaiyin dies.


French Guiana: Martin Jaeger takes office as prefect.

United Kingdom: Arlene Foster is elected first minister of Northern Ireland.
United States: Patrick Murphy becomes acting Army secretary.
United States: John Bel Edwards is sworn in as governor of Louisiana.


India: Former governor of Goa (1998-99) and Punjab (1999-2003) J.F.R. Jacob dies.
South Korea: Yoo Il Ho takes office as finance minister and Hong Yun Sik as interior minister.
Latvia: President Raimonds Vejonis nominates Maris Kucinskis as prime minister.


J. Morales
Guatemala: Jimmy Morales takes office as president, retaining Carlos Raúl Morales as foreign minister and Williams Mansilla Fernández as defense minister; Francisco Rivas becomes interior minister and Julio Héctor Estrada finance minister.


Macedonia: Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski resigns. On January 18 parliament approves (72-0) Emil Dimitriev as interim prime minister until early elections in April; the other ministers remain in place.
Mali: Boubou Cissé is named finance minister in a government reshuffle.


Taiwan: In presidential elections, Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wins 56.1% of the vote, Eric Chu of the Kuomintang (KMT) 31%, and James Soong of the People First Party (PFP) 12.8%. Tsai is to take office May 20. In parliamentary elections, the DPP wins 44.1% of the vote (68 of 113 seats), the KMT 26.9% (35), the PFP 6.5% (3), and the New Power Party 6.1% (5). On January 18, Premier Mao Chi-kuo tenders his resignation, which is rejected by President Ma Ying-jeou. Mao then takes a leave of absence and his deputy Simon Chang becomes acting premier. On January 25 Ma appoints Chang as prime minister, effective February 1.


India: Former governor of Sikkim (2002-07) V. Rama Rao dies.
Mexico: In gubernatorial elections in Colima, José Ignacio Peralta (Institutional Revolutionary Party) wins 43.2% of the vote and Jorge Luis Preciado (National Action Party) 39.5%. Turnout is 56.2%.


Bolivia: Former foreign minister (2005-06) Armando Loaiza dies.


Ghana: Prosper Douglas Bani is appointed interior minister.

Gibraltar: Lieut.Gen. Edward Davis is sworn in as governor.
Libya: Agreement on a Government of National Accord is announced, to be headed by Fayez al-Sarraj and with Marwan Abusrewil as foreign minister, Mahdi al-Barghathi as defense minister, and al-Aref al-Khoja as interior minister. However, on January 25 the Tobruk-based parliament rejects the government (89-15).


Lithuania: Former first secretary of the Communist Party (CPSU Platform) (1989-91) Mykolas Burokevicius dies.
Saint Helena: Lisa Phillips is appointed governor, to take office in April.


Congo (Kinshasa): Former foreign minister of Zaire (1982-83, 1995-96, 1996-97) Gérard Kamanda wa Kamanda dies (night of January 20/21).


Croatia: Prime minister-designate Tihomir Oreskovic nominates Miro Kovac as foreign minister, Josip Buljevic as defense minister, Vlaho Orepic as interior minister, and Zdravko Maric as finance minister. Parliament approves the government (83-61) on January 22.


China: The resignation of the governor of Sichuan, Wei Hong, is accepted and Yin Li named acting governor; he is elected governor on January 29.
Laos: Vice President Boungnang Vorachith is elected general secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party.
Spain: Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy declines an invitation by King Felipe VI to try to form a new government.
Vanuatu: In parliamentary elections, the Union of Moderate Parties wins 6 of 52 seats, the Vanua'aku Pati 6, the Graon mo Jastis Pati 6, the Iauko Group 4, the National United Party 4, the Reunification of Movement for Change 3, Nagriamel 3, the Vanuatu National Development Party 2, and the Vanuatu Green Confederation 2.


Portugal: In presidential elections, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa wins 52% of the vote, António Sampaio da Nóvoa 22.9%, Marisa Matias 10.1%, and Maria de Belém Roseira 4.2%. Turnout is 48.7%.


Austria: Hans Peter Doskozil is sworn in as defense minister.
India: The state of Arunachal Pradesh is placed under president's rule.
Pakistan: Former foreign minister (1982-87, 1988-91, 1996-97) Sahabzada Yaqub Khan dies.


Nigeria: Yahaya Bello is sworn in as governor of Kogi.

Qatar: In a cabinet reshuffle, Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abdul Rahman Al Thani is named foreign minister.


China: Shi Taifeng is elected governor of Jiangsu.


Guinea: Former prime minister (2010) Jean-Marie Doré dies.


African Union: Idriss Déby Itno, president of Chad, is elected chairman.
El Salvador: Former president (1999-2004) Francisco Flores dies.
India: Former governor of Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura (1984-89), and Jammu and Kashmir (1989-90, 1993-98) K.V. Krishna Rao dies.