May 2016


Switzerland: Rolf Widmer becomes Landammann of Glarus, Esther Waeber-Kalbermatten president of the Council of State of Valais, and Mario Fehr president of the government of Zürich.


Canada: Brian Pallister is sworn in as premier of Manitoba.
Philippines: Former foreign secretary (1995-2001) Domingo Siazon dies.


Burundi: Former president (1976-87) Jean-Baptiste Bagaza dies.


French Polynesia: René Bidal is appointed as high commissioner. High Commissioner Lionel Beffre departs on May 25; Marc Tschiggfrey then becomes acting high commissioner until Bidal takes office on May 30.

St. Pier
Guernsey: Gavin St. Pier is elected president of the Policy and Resources Committee, the position replacing the chief minister in a new government structure.
Mayotte: Frédéric Veau is appointed prefect. Prefect Seymour Morsy leaves on May 17 and Bruno André acts in the interim until Veau takes office May 23.


India: In state elections in West Bengal held on April 4, 11, 17, 21, 25, 30 and May 5, the All India Trinamool Congress wins 44.9% of the vote (211 of 294 seats), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) 19.7% (26), the Indian National Congress 12.3% (44), and the Bharatiya Janata Party 10.2% (3).
United Kingdom: In parliamentary elections in Scotland, the Scottish National Party wins 41.7% of the vote (63 of 129 seats), the Conservative Party 22.9% (31), the Labour Party 19.1% (24), the Green Party 6.6% (6), and the Liberal Democrats 5.2% (5); turnout is 55.6%. In Wales, the Labour Party wins 31.5% of the vote (29 of 60 seats), Plaid Cymru 20.8% (12), the Conservative Party 18.8% (11), the U.K. Independence Party 13% (7), and the Liberal Democrats 6.5% (1); turnout is 45.3%. In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party wins 29.2% of the vote (38 of 108 seats), Sinn Féin 24% (28), the Ulster Unionist Party 12.6% (16), the Social Democratic and Labour Party 12% (12), and the Alliance Party 7% (8); turnout is 54.2%.


Argentina: Former governor of Mendoza (1980-82) Rolando José Ghisani dies.
Ireland: Enda Kenny is reelected prime minister (59-49). His cabinet includes himself as defence minister (with Paul Kehoe as minister of state for defence), while Charlie Flanagan remains foreign minister and Michael Noonan finance minister.
United States: Former governor of Oklahoma (1971-75) David Hall dies.


Malaysia: In parliamentary elections in Sarawak, Barisan Nasional wins 63.7% of the vote (72 of 82 seats), the Democratic Action Party 18.2% (7), and the Parti Keadilan Rakyat 9.3% (3). Turnout is 70.0%.


Switzerland: Former Landammann of Sankt Gallen (1993-94) Alex Oberholzer dies.


Austria: Chancellor Werner Faymann resigns. Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner is named acting chancellor. On May 17 Christian Kern is sworn in as new chancellor.
Philippines: In presidential elections, Rodrigo Duterte wins with 39% of the vote, while Mar Roxas wins 23.4%, Grace Poe 21.4%, and Jejomar Binay 12.7%. Leni Robredo wins the vice presidential election with 35.1% of the vote against 34.5% for Bongbong Marcos. On May 31 Duterte (to take office June 30) names his cabinet including Perfecto Yasay, Jr., as foreign secretary, Delfin Lorenzana as defense secretary, Ismael Sueno as interior secretary, and Carlos Dominguez III as finance secretary.


India: The Uttarakhand state assembly, as requested by the Supreme Court of India, holds a vote to verify if former chief minister Harish Rawat still has a majority, and the vote is conclusive to that effect (33-28). Consequently, on May 11, president's rule in the state is revoked and Rawat's government revived.
Indonesia: The Legislative Assembly of Kepulauan Riau appoints Nurdin Basirun as governor. He is sworn in on May 25, along with other new governors: Sugianto Sabran (Kalimantan Tengah), Arsyadjuliandi Rachman (Riau), and Tengku Erry Nuradi (Sumatera Utara).
South Korea: Former prime minister (1988-90) Kang Young Hoon dies.
Lebanon: Parliament fails again to elect a president for lack of a quorum, the vote being postponed to June 2.



Brazil: The Senate follows the Chamber of Deputies in voting for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff (55-22). Accordingly she is suspended for 180 days and replaced by Vice President Michel Temer, who names a new cabinet including José Serra as foreign minister, Raul Jungmann as defense minister, and Henrique Meirelles as finance minister.

Comoros: In partially re-run presidential elections, Azali Assoumani is confirmed as winner; he is sworn in on May 26. The re-vote for governor of Anjouan, however, turns the initial result around in favour of Abdou Salami Abdou; he is installed on May 23, when also Hassani Hamadi takes office as governor of Grande Comore and Mohamed Said Fazul as governor of Mohéli. On May 31 the new Comoros government is named, including Mohamed Bacar Dossar as foreign minister, Mohamed Daoudou as interior minister, and Said Ali Said Chayhane as finance minister.
Switzerland: Former Schultheiss of Luzern (1965, 1971, 1977) Anton Muheim dies.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: Former prime minister (2001) Bozidar Matic dies.
Djibouti: In a new government, Ali Hassan Bahdon is named defense minister, other key ministers being unchanged.
France: The government of Prime Minister Manuel Valls survives a no-confidence vote in parliament (246 votes in favour of the motion, 288 were required).
Guinea-Bissau: President José Mário Vaz dismisses the government of Prime Minister Carlos Correia. On May 26 Vaz names Baciro Djá as prime minister; he is sworn in on May 27.
Montenegro: In a cabinet reshuffle, Goran Danilovic is named interior minister and Rasko Konjevic finance minister. Parliament approves the changes on May 19.
San Marino: Former captain-regent (1955-56, 1982) Giuseppe Maiani dies.


Dominican Republic: In presidential elections, incumbent Danilo Medina (Dominican Liberation Party) wins 61.7% of the vote and Luis Abinader (Modern Revolutionary Party) 35%; turnout is 69.6%. In parliamentary elections, the Dominican Liberation Party wins 41.8% of the vote (106 of 190 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 28 of 32 in the Senate), the Modern Revolutionary Party 20.4% (42 and 2), the Social Christian Reformist Party 9.2% (18 and 1), and the Dominican Revolutionary Party 7.8% (16 and 0); turnout is 70.3%.


India: In state elections in Kerala, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) wins 26.5% of the vote (58 of 140 seats), the Indian National Congress (INC) 23.7% (22), the Bharatiya Janata Party 10.5% (1), the Communist Party of India 8.1% (19), and the Indian Union Muslim League 7.4% (18); Chief Minister Oommen Chandy resigns on May 20 and on May 25 Pinarayi Vijayan is sworn in as chief minister. In Tamil Nadu, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) wins 40.8% of the vote (134 of 234 seats), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) 31.6% (89), and the INC 6.4% (8). In the union territory of Puducherry, the INC wins 30.6% of the vote (15 of 30 seats), the All India N.R. Congress 28.1% (8), AIADMK 16.8% (4), and DMK 8.9% (2).
Syria: Jawad Abu Hatab is elected prime minister of the rebels' interim government.


North Korea: The appointment of Ri Yong Ho as foreign minister is announced.
United States: Eric Fanning is confirmed by the Senate as Army secretary. He is sworn in on May 18.
United States: In mayoral elections in Portland, Ted Wheeler wins about 55% of the vote, Jules Bailey about 16.5%, and Sarah Iannarone about 12%.


Burundi: Domitien Ndihokubwayo is appointed finance minister.
Macedonia: Parliament elects Mitko Cavkov as interior minister. He takes office May 19.


India: The chief minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi, resigns. On May 24 Sarbananda Sonowal is sworn in as chief minister.
Israel: Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon resigns. On May 30 Avigdor Lieberman is sworn in as defense minister.
North Korea: Former acting foreign minister (2007) Kang Sok Ju dies.



Taiwan: Tsai Ing-wen is sworn in as president, with the new government of Premier Lin Chuan (including David Lee as foreign minister, see April 15).
Tanzania: Home Affairs Minister Charles Kitwanga is dismissed.


Austria: In the presidential runoff, Alexander Van der Bellen wins 50.3% of the vote and Norbert Hofer 49.7%. Turnout is 72.7%.
Cyprus: In parliamentary elections, the Democratic Rally (DISY) wins 30.7% of the vote (18 of 56 seats), the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) 25.7% (16), the Democratic Party (DIKO) 14.5% (9), the Movement of Social Democrats (EDEK) 6.2% (3), the Citizens' Alliance 6% (3), and the Solidarity Movement 5.2% (3). Turnout is 66.7%.

India: Kiran Bedi is appointed lieutenant governor of Puducherry. She is sworn in on May 29.

Turkey: Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu resigns and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asks Binali Yildirim to form a new government. On May 24 Erdogan approves the new cabinet including Fikri Isik as defense minister, while Mevlüt Çavusoglu remains foreign minister, Efkan Ala interior minister, and Naci Agbal finance minister. On May 29 the government wins a vote of confidence in parliament (315-138).
Vietnam: In parliamentary elections, 500 members are elected out of 870 candidates. Turnout is 98.8%.


Grenada: Former governor-general (1992-96) Sir Reginald Palmer dies.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin accepts the resignation of the head of the republic of Tuva, Sholban Kara-ool, and appoints him as acting head of the republic until elections.
Serbia: President Tomislav Nikolic asks Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to form a new government.

W. Mchunu
South Africa: The premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Senzo Mchunu, resigns. Willies Mchunu (no relation) is sworn in as acting premier on May 24 and as premier on May 25.


China: Lin Duo is elected governor of Gansu.


Mauritius: Pravind Jugnauth is appointed finance minister (sworn in May 26).
New Caledonia: Thierry Lataste is named high commissioner, effective June 20.
Nigeria: Former governor of Kaduna (1990-92) Tanko Ayuba dies.


Isle of Man: Sir Richard Gozney is sworn in as lieutenant governor.


Jordan: King Abdullah II appoints Hani Mulki as prime minister.


Kyrgyzstan: Interior Minister Melis Turganbayev is dismissed. Kashkar Dzhunushaliyev is appointed acting minister.


Dominican Republic: Former president (1965) Antonio Imbert Barrera dies.

Western Sahara: The president of the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, dies. Khatri Addouh becomes acting president.