December 2016


The Gambia: In presidential elections, Adama Barrow (opposition coalition) is elected with 43.3% of the vote; incumbent Yahya Jammeh (Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction) wins 39.6% and Mamma Kandeh (Gambia Democratic Congress) 17.1%.
Mexico: Martín Orozco Sandoval takes office as governor of Aguascalientes, Alejandro Murat Hinojosa as governor of Oaxaca, and Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares as governor of Veracruz.

Saint Helena: Sean Burns is sworn in as administrator of Tristan da Cunha.

Thailand: Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn is proclaimed king.
United States: President-elect Donald Trump nominates Gen. (ret.) James Mattis as secretary of defense. On December 5 he nominates Ben Carson as secretary of housing and urban development, on December 7 Gen. (ret.) John F. Kelly as secretary of homeland security and Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, on December 8 Andrew Puzder as secretary of labor, and on December 13 Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, Rick Perry as secretary of energy, and Ryan Zinke as secretary of the interior.


Bulgaria: Prime Minister Boyko Borisov receives the mandate to form a new government but immediately returns it. On December 7 Korneliya Ninova (Bulgarian Socialist Party) likewise is given but immediately returns a mandate. On December 13 Rumen Hristov (Reformist Bloc) receives the mandate; he returns it on December 21, triggering early elections.
Iceland: President Gudni Jóhannesson gives Birgitta Jónsdóttir (Pirate Party) the mandate to form a government. She returns it on December 12. On December 30 Bjarni Benediktsson (Independence Party) is again given the mandate.


Canada: Sandy Silver is sworn in as premier of Yukon.
India: Former governor of Madhya Pradesh (1998-2003) Bhai Mahavir dies.


Austria: In the repeat presidential runoff, Alexander Van der Bellen wins 53.8% of the vote and Norbert Hofer 46.2%. Turnout is 74.2%. Van der Bellen is to take office January 26.
San Marino: In the runoff election between the two leading coalitions, wins 57.9% of the vote (15 additional seats, for a total of 35) and San Marino First 42.1% (losing 9 seats, being left with 16); the Democracy in Motion coalition loses 6 seats, being left with 9. On December 27 parliament confirms the new government with Nicola Renzi as secretary of state for foreign and political affairs, Guerrino Zanotti as secretary of state for internal affairs, and Simone Celli as secretary of state for finance.

Uzbekistan: In presidential elections, Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyayev (Liberal Democratic Party) wins 88.6% of the vote. Turnout is 87.8%. On December 12 the party nominates Abdulla Aripov for prime minister. On December 14 Mirziyayev is sworn in as president and the parliament confirms Aripov. On December 15 Batyr Khojayev is named finance minister.



Bermuda: John Rankin is sworn in as governor.
China: Xu Dazhe is elected governor of Hunan.
Ethiopia: Former foreign minister (1989-91) and prime minister (1991) Tesfaye Dinka dies.
France: Prime Minister Manuel Valls announces his resignation, effective December 6, on which date Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is named prime minister. Bruno Le Roux is named interior minister. The government wins a confidence vote on December 13 (305-239).
India: The chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayaram Jayalalitha, dies. On December 6 O. Paneerselvam is sworn in as chief minister.

Italy: Prime Minister Matteo Renzi offers his resignation; he agrees to a request by President Sergio Mattarella to stay on until the passage of a budget, which occurs December 7, when the resignation is officially accepted. On December 11 Mattarella asks Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni to form a government. On December 12 his government is named with Angelino Alfano as foreign minister and Marco Minniti as interior minister, other key ministers being unchanged. The government wins confidence votes in the Chamber of Deputies (368-105) on December 13 and in the Senate (169-99) on December 14.

New Zealand: Prime Minister John Key announces his resignation, effective December 12, when Bill English is sworn in as prime minister. On December 18 a new cabinet is named (formally appointed December 20), including Steven Joyce (already acting since December 12) as finance minister.
Peru: Jorge Nieto is sworn in as defense minister.
United States: G.T. Bynum is sworn in as mayor of Tulsa.


United States: Catherine Pugh is sworn in as mayor of Baltimore.


Congo (Kinshasa): The provincial assembly of Kongo Central rejects a motion of no confidence in Governor Jacques Mbadu.
Ghana: In presidential elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo wins 53.8% of the vote and incumbent John Dramani Mahama 44.4%. Turnout is 68.6%.
Switzerland: Doris Leuthard is elected president for 2017 (188 of 207 votes). Alain Berset is elected vice president (187 of 206 votes).


Anguilla: Former chief minister (1976-77, 1980-84) Ronald Webster dies.
Brazil: Former governor of Espírito Santo (1975-79) Élcio Álvares dies.
South Korea: Parliament votes 234-56 to impeach President Park Geun Hye. She is suspended from office and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo Ahn becomes acting president.


Kuwait: A new government is announced with Sheikh Muhammad Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah as defense minister and Sheikh Khaled Al Jarrah Al Sabah as interior minister, other key posts being unchanged.
United States: In runoffs in Louisiana, the Republicans win another seat in the Senate (for a total of 52) and two in the House of Representatives (for a total of 241). (See November 8.)
United States: Former labor secretary (1976-77) W.J. Usery, Jr., dies.


Brazil: Former governor of Maranhão (1979-82) João Castelo Ribeiro Gonçalves dies.
Macedonia: In parliamentary elections, the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE) coalition wins 38.1% of the vote (51 of 120 seats), the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) coalition 36.7% (49), the Democratic Union for Integration 7.3% (10), and the BESA Movement 4.9% (5). Turnout is 66.9%.


Moldova: In presidential elections in Transnistria, Vadim Krasnoselsky wins about 62% of the vote and incumbent Yevgeny Shevchuk about 28%. Turnout is 59.2%. Krasnoselsky takes office December 16 and on December 17 appoints Aleksandr Martynov as prime minister.
Romania: In elections to the Chamber of Deputies, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) wins 45.5% of the vote (154 of 329 seats), the National Liberal Party (PNL) 20% (69), the Save Romania Union (USR) 8.9% (30), the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) 6.2% (21), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) 5.6% (20), and the People's Movement Party (PMP) 5.3% (18). In the elections to the Senate, the PSD wins 45.7% of the vote (67 of 136 seats), PNL 20.4% (30), USR 8.9% (13), UDMR 6.2% (9), ALDE 6% (9), and PMP 5.7% (8). Turnout is 39.5%. Sevil Shhaideh is nominated for prime minister on December 21 but rejected by President Klaus Johannis on December 27; on December 28 Sorin Grindeanu is nominated instead, and accepted by the president as prime minister-designate on December 30.


China: Liu Guozhong is appointed acting governor of Jilin.
Congo (Kinshasa): Charles Mwando Nsimba, former governor of Kivu (1980-86), dies.

Guinea-Bissau: Prime Minister Umaro Sissoco Embaló names his government (taking office December 13) with Jorge Malú as foreign minister and João Aladje Mamadu Fadia as finance minister; Eduardo Costa Sanhá remains defense minister and Botche Candé interior minister.


China: Ruan Chengfa is appointed acting governor of Yunnan.
Lithuania: The government of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis takes office (see November 15).

Malaysia: Muhammad V ibni Sultan Ismail Petra takes office as yang di-pertuan agong.
United States: Darrell Steinberg is sworn in as mayor of Sacramento.


Indonesia: Anwar Adnan Saleh's term as governor of Sulawesi Barat ends and the provincial secretary, Ismail Zainuddin, becomes acting governor. On December 30 Carlo Brix Tewu is sworn in as acting governor.
World Health Organization: Former director-general (1973-88) Halfdan T. Mahler dies.


Cartwright R.
Turks and Caicos Islands: In parliamentary elections, the People's Democratic Movement wins 47.3% of the vote (10 of 15 elected seats) and the ruling Progressive National Party 35.4% (5). Turnout is 80.4%. On December 20 Sharlene Cartwright Robinson is sworn in as premier. She is also finance minister and Vaden D. Williams is home affairs minister.
United States: Doug Burgum is sworn in as governor of North Dakota.


Sint Maarten: The composition of the new government of Prime Minister William Marlin is announced (sworn in December 20), with Richard Gibson, Sr., continuing as finance minister.


Ecuador: Patricio Rivera is appointed finance minister.


Côte d'Ivoire: In parliamentary elections, the Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace wins 167 of 255 seats, independents 75, the Union for Democracy and Peace in Côte d'Ivoire 6, the Ivorian Popular Front 3, and the Union for Peace in Côte d'Ivoire 3. Turnout is 34.1%.
Lebanon: The new cabinet under Prime Minister Saad Hariri is announced (taking office December 20), including Yacoub Sarraf as defense minister, while Gebran Bassil remains foreign minister, Nouhad Machnouk interior minister, and Ali Hassan Khalil finance minister. On December 28 it wins a parliamentary confidence vote (87-4).


Congo (Kinshasa): The new government of Prime Minister Samy Badibanga is named, with Léonard She Okitundu as foreign minister and Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari as interior minister; Crispin Atama Tabe remains defense minister and Henri Yav Mulang finance minister. Badibanga takes office December 20.
San Marino: Former captain-regent (1981) Gastone Pasolini dies.
United Kingdom: The Assembly of Northern Ireland votes 39-36 on a motion of no confidence in First Minister Arlene Foster, but she is not forced to resign because the vote falls short of the required level of cross-community support.


China: Wang Jianjun is appointed acting governor of Qinghai.
Jersey: Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton is designated lieutenant governor, to be sworn in on March 13, 2017.


India: The lieutenant governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung, resigns. On December 28 Anil Baijal is appointed to replace him (sworn in December 31).



Curaçao: The government of Prime Minister Hensley Koeiman is sworn in.
Moldova: Igor Dodon is sworn in as president. On December 27 he dismisses Defense Minister Anatol Salaru. Gheorghe Galbura becomes acting defense minister.


Armenia: Former acting foreign minister (1991) Ashot Yegiazaryan dies.


Argentina: President Mauricio Macri sacks Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay. The ministry is to be divided in two, the new ministers being Luis Caputo (finanzas) and Nicolás Dujovne (hacienda).


Sri Lanka: Former prime minister (2000-01, 2005-10) Ratnasiri Wickremanayake dies.


India: Former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh (1980, 1990-92) Sunderlal Patwa dies.

Kazakhstan: Kayrat Abdrakhmanov is appointed foreign minister.
Uruguay: Former president (1981-85) Gregorio Álvarez dies.


Macedonia: Agim Nuhiu takes office as interior minister.


Austria: Former Landeshauptmann of Steiermark (1980-96) Josef Krainer dies.
China: Ma Xingrui is appointed acting governor of Guangdong and Zhang Guoqing acting mayor of Chongqing.


Denmark: Former foreign minister (1978-79) Henning Christophersen dies.