January 2018


Switzerland: Alain Berset takes office as president. Alex Hürzeler becomes Landammann of Aargau, Georges Godel president of the Council of State of Fribourg, Mario Cavigelli president of the government of Graubünden, David Eray president of the government of Jura, Christian Amsler president of the government of Schaffhausen, and Roland Heim Landammann of Solothurn.
Syria: In a cabinet reshuffle, Gen. Ali Abdullah Ayyoub is appointed defense minister.
United States: Ben Walsh takes office as mayor of Syracuse.
Yemen: In a cabinet reshuffle, Abdullah Ali Kabbouli is appointed finance minister.


China: Tang Dengjie is appointed acting governor of Fujian, Jing Junhai acting governor of Jilin, Tang Liangzhi acting mayor of Chongqing, and Zhang Guoqing acting mayor of Tianjin. Zhang Guoqing is elected mayor on January 29; Tang Liangzhi is elected mayor and Tang Dengjie and Jing Junhai are elected governors on January 31.
Ecuador: Vice President Jorge Glas, who has been in detention for three months, is removed from office. On January 6 the National Assembly designates María Alejandra Vicuña as vice president (70-17).
Montserrat: Governor Elizabeth Carriere departs. Lyndell Simpson becomes acting governor.
Nigeria: Former governor of Kaduna (1983) Lawal Kaita dies.
United States: Keisha Lance Bottoms is sworn in as mayor of Atlanta, Jacob Frey as mayor of Minneapolis, Melvin Carter as mayor of St. Paul, and Wade Kapszukiewicz as mayor of Toledo.


Congo (Kinshasa): An instruction of President Joseph Kabila nullifies the December 30 no-confidence motion against the governor of Lomami, Patrice Kamanda.

Peru: Defense Minister Jorge Nieto resigns. On January 9 Cayetana Aljovín is sworn in as foreign minister and Jorge Kisic as defense minister.


China: Liu Guozhong is appointed acting governor of Shaanxi. He is elected governor on January 30.


Saint Lucia: Neville Cenac is appointed governor-general (sworn in January 12).
Somalia: In a cabinet reshuffle, Ahmed Isse Awad is named as foreign minister and Abdi Mohamed Sabriye as interior minister.
United States: Former governor of New Jersey (1974-82) Brendan T. Byrne dies.


Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi of Brunei takes office as secretary-general.
Philippines: Eduardo Año is named officer-in-charge of the Interior Department.


Cyprus: In parliamentary elections in North Cyprus, the National Unity Party wins 35.6% of the vote (21 of 50 seats), the Republican Turkish Party 20.9% (12), the People's Party 17.1% (9), the Communal Democracy Party 8.6% (3), the Democratic Party 7.8% (3), and the Rebirth Party 7% (2). Turnout is 66.2%. On January 24 President Mustafa Akinci asks Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün to form a new government. On January 30 Özgürgün returns the mandate and Akinci asks Tufan Erhürman to form a government.
World Trade Organization: Former director-general (1993-95) Peter Sutherland dies.


Barbados: Sandra Mason takes office as governor-general.
The Gambia: Ebrima Mballow is appointed interior minister.
Nigeria: Former governor of Katsina (1989-92) John Madaki dies.
Trinidad and Tobago: Former president (2003-13) George Maxwell Richards dies.

Zambia: Joe Malanji is appointed and sworn in as foreign minister.


Norway: Former prime minister (1976-81) and governor of Hedmark (1981-93) Odvar Nordli dies.


Pakistan: The chief minister of Balochistan, Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri, resigns. On January 13 the provincial assembly elects Abdul Quddus Bizenjo as chief minister. He receives 41 votes, against 13 for Agha Syed Liaqat Ali. Bizenjo is sworn in the same day.
Poland: In a cabinet reshuffle, Jacek Czaputowicz is appointed foreign minister, Mariusz Blaszczak defense minister, Joachim Brudzinski interior minister, and Teresa Czerwinska finance minister.
South Africa: Former premier of Western Cape (1998-2001) Gerald Morkel dies.


Cameroon: Former foreign minister (1980-83) Paul Dontsop dies.
Mexico: Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong resigns. Alfonso Navarrete is named to succeed him.

Moldova: The ministers nominated on December 19, including Tudor Ulianovschi as foreign minister, are sworn in by parliament chairman Andrian Candu, exercising the functions of the president, Igor Dodon, who has been temporarily suspended for twice rejecting the appointments.


Sint Maarten: The formateur of the interim government announces its composition with Leona Romeo-Marlin as prime minister and Michael Ferrier as finance minister. It is appointed and sworn in on January 15.


Czech Republic: In the first round of presidential elections, held January 12-13, incumbent Milos Zeman (Party of Civic Rights) wins 38.6% of the vote, Jirí Drahos (independent) 26.6%, Pavel Fischer (independent) 10.2%, Michal Horácek (independent) 9.2%, Marek Hilser (independent) 8.8%, and Mirek Topolánek (independent) 4.3%; turnout is 61.9%. The runoff is held January 26-27, Zeman winning 51.4% of the vote and Drahos 48.6%; turnout is 66.6%.
Guinea-Bissau: It is announced that Prime Minister Umaro Sissoco Embaló has submitted his resignation to President José Mário Vaz. Vaz accepts the resignation on January 16. On January 30 he appoints Artur Silva as prime minister, who takes office January 31.
United States: Ralph Northam is sworn in as governor of Virginia.


India: Former lieutenant governor of Arunachal Pradesh (1983-85) and governor of Sikkim (1985-89), West Bengal (1989-90), Uttar Pradesh (2004-09), and Rajasthan (2004) Thanjavelu Rajeshwar dies.


Indonesia: Doddy Riyadmadji takes office as acting governor of Kalimantan Barat after the term of Governor Cornelis expired on January 14.

Romania: Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigns. Paul Stanescu is proposed as interim prime minister but on January 16 President Klaus Johannis rejects him and names Mihai Fifor to the position. Later on January 16 the Social Democratic Party proposes Viorica Dancila as new prime minister; she is accepted as prime minister-designate by Johannis on January 17. Dancila nominates her cabinet on January 26, including Eugen Teodorovici as finance minister, other key ministers remaining in place. On January 29 the parliament approves the government (282-136) and it is sworn in.
United States: Former governor of Washington (1981-85) John Spellman dies.


Czech Republic: Prime Minister Andrej Babis's government loses a confidence vote in parliament (117-78). It resigns on January 17. The resignation is accepted by President Milos Zeman on January 24.
Russia: Former head of the administration of Smolensk oblast (1993-98) Anatoly Glushenkov dies.
United States: Phil Murphy is sworn in as governor of New Jersey.


Comoros: Former president of Anjouan (1997-99) Foundi Abdallah Ibrahim dies.

Saint-Pierre and Miquelon: Thierry Devimeux takes office as prefect.
Tonga: It is announced that King Tupou VI appointed (on January 5) the new cabinet of Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. The ministers sworn in on January 18 include 'Akosita Havili Lavulavu as internal affairs minister. Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, appointed as finance minister, is absent. The foreign affairs and defense portfolios are only allocated on January 20, to 'Akilisi Pohiva and Ma'afu Tuku'i'aulahi respectively.


Guernsey: Former chief minister (2004-07) Laurie Morgan dies.
South Africa: Former chief minister (1972-77) and president (1977-94) of Bophuthatswana Lucas Mangope dies.
United States: Former CIA director (1977-81) Stansfield Turner dies.


India: Anandiben Patel is appointed governor of Madhya Pradesh (sworn in January 23).
Tajikistan: Fayziddin Qahhorzoda is appointed finance minister.
Trinidad and Tobago: Paula-Mae Weekes, the sole candidate, is declared president-elect (to take office in March).
Venezuela: Former foreign minister (1958-59) René De Sola dies.


Canada: W. Thomas Molloy is named as next lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan.

Liberia: George Weah is sworn in as president. He appoints (subject to Senate confirmation) Gbehzohngar Findley as foreign minister, Daniel Dee Ziankahn as defense minister, and Samuel Tweah as finance minister, while Varney Sirleaf is directed to continue as internal affairs minister.


Bolivia: Javier Zavaleta is sworn in as defense minister.
Chile: President-elect Sebastián Piñera names his cabinet including Roberto Ampuero as foreign minister, Alberto Espina as defense minister, Andrés Chadwick as interior minister, and Felipe Larraín as finance minister.
United States: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors elects Mark Farrell as interim mayor.


Costa Rica: Former foreign minister (1970-76, 1977-78) Gonzalo J. Facio Segreda dies.
United States: The Senate confirms Alex Azar as secretary of health and human services (55-43). He is sworn in on January 29.


Pitcairn Island: Laura Clarke is sworn in as governor.
United States: Sam Brownback resigns as governor of Kansas, effective January 31 when Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer is sworn in as governor.


Chad: In a cabinet reshuffle, Ahmat Mahamat Bachir is appointed as public security minister.
Guatemala: Enrique Degenhart is sworn in as interior minister following the resignation of Francisco Rivas.
Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta nominates his new cabinet with Monica Juma as foreign minister and Fred Matiang'i as interior minister; Raychelle Omamo is to remain defense minister and Henry Rotich treasury minister.
Montserrat: Former administrator (1971) and governor (1971-74) Willoughby Harry Thompson (also commissioner of Anguilla 1969-71) dies.
Timor-Leste: President Francisco Guterres dissolves parliament and orders new elections because Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri's government was unable to get its policy program passed.


Canada: The Saskatchewan Party chooses Scott Moe as its leader and next premier of Saskatchewan, replacing Brad Wall.
Honduras: After being sworn in for a second term, President Juan Orlando Hernández reshuffles his cabinet, Rocío Tábora becoming finance minister.


African Union: Rwandan president Paul Kagame becomes chairman.
Austria: In state elections in Niederösterreich, the Austrian People's Party wins 49.6% of the vote (29 of 56 seats), the Social Democratic Party 23.9% (13), the Freedom Party 14.8% (8), the Greens 6.4% (3), and New Austria 5.2% (3). Turnout is 66.6%.
Cyprus: In the first round of presidential elections, incumbent Nikos Anastasiadis wins 35.5% of the vote, Stavros Malas 30.2%, Nikolas Papadopoulos 25.7%, and Christos Christou 5.7%. Turnout is 71.9%.
Finland: In presidential elections, incumbent Sauli Niinistö wins 62.7% of the vote, Pekka Haavisto 12.4%, Laura Huhtasaari 6.9%, Paavo Väyrynen 6.2%, and Matti Vanhanen 4.1%. Turnout is 66.7%.


Argentina: Former acting foreign minister (1981) Norberto M. Couto dies.
Moldova: Former prime minister (1997-99) Ion Ciubuc dies.


China: Shen Yiqin is elected governor of Guizhou.


Burkina Faso: In a cabinet reshuffle, Clément Sawadogo is appointed as security minister.
China: Tang Yijun is elected governor of Liaoning.