December 2018


Bahrain: The second round of parliamentary elections is held. On December 2 the government resigns as required by the constitution. On December 4 the king reappoints Sheikh Khalifa ibn Salman Al Khalifa as prime minister who then forms a cabinet with a new finance minister, Sheikh Salman ibn Khalifa Al Khalifa, but no other changes to key portfolios.
Mexico: Andrés Manuel López Obrador takes office as president with a cabinet including Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubón as foreign minister, Gen. Luis Cresencio Sandoval González as defense minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero as interior minister, and Carlos Manuel Urzúa Macías as finance minister.


Maldives: Home Affairs Minister Imran Abdulla resigns but is reappointed the same day.
São Tomé and Príncipe: The cabinet of Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus is announced, with Elsa Teixeira Pinto as foreign minister, Óscar Sousa as defense and interior minister, and Osvaldo Vaz as finance minister. The government takes office December 3.
Spain: In parliamentary elections in Andalucía, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party wins 28.4% of the vote (33 of 109 seats), the Popular Party 21.1% (26), Ciudadanos 18.6% (21), Forward Andalucía 16.4% (17), and Vox 11.1% (12). Turnout is 58.7%.


Canada: Ed Holder is sworn in as mayor of London.
Iraq: Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi nominates Falih al-Fayadh as interior minister and Faisal al-Jarba as defense minister.
Sri Lanka: The Court of Appeal issues a stay order barring Mahinda Rajapakse from acting as prime minister. On December 12 the 225-member parliament votes 117-0 to express confidence in the dismissed prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. On December 13, the Supreme Court rules that the November 9 dissolution of parliament was unconstitutional. On December 15 Rajapakse resigns. On December 16 Wickremesinghe is reappointed and sworn in as prime minister.
United States: Mike Dunleavy is sworn in as governor of Alaska.


Ecuador: Vice President María Alejandra Vicuña resigns. On December 11 Congress elects Otto Sonnenholzner as vice president (94-27).
Vanuatu: Prime Minister Charlot Salwai survives a no-confidence motion in parliament (rejected 31-19).


Argentina: Former governor of Chubut (1981-83) Niceto Echauri Ayerra dies.
Laos: In a cabinet reshuffle, Maj.Gen. Vilay Lakhamfong is appointed minister of public security.
Luxembourg: Prime Minister Xavier Bettel's new government takes office with François Bausch as defense minister and Taina Bofferding as interior minister; Jean Asselborn remains foreign minister and Pierre Gramegna finance minister.
Mexico: Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo takes office as chief of government of Ciudad de México.
Switzerland: Ueli Maurer is elected president for 2019 (201 of 209 votes) and Simonetta Sommaruga as vice president (196 of 216 votes). Viola Amherd and Karin Keller-Sutter are elected to the government to replace Doris Leuthard and Johann Schneider-Ammann effective January 1. Portfolios are assigned on December 10; Amherd is to become defense minister.


Brazil: Former governor of Roraima (2007-14) José de Anchieta Júnior dies.
Kyrgyzstan: Finance Minister Adylbek Kasymaliyev resigns. On December 12 parliament approves Baktygul Jeenbayeva as finance minister; she is appointed by the president on December 13.


Brazil: Governor-elect Antônio Olivério Garcia de Almeida is named federal interventor in Roraima, effective December 10.
Colombia: Former president (1982-86) Belisario Betancur Cuartas dies.
India: In parliamentary elections in Rajasthan, the Indian National Congress wins 39.3% of the vote (99 of 200 seats), the Bharatiya Janata Party 38.8% (73), independents 9.5% (13), and the Bahujan Samaj Party 4.0% (6); Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje resigns on December 11 and Ashok Gehlot is sworn in as chief minister on December 17. In Telangana, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi wins 46.9% of the vote (88 of 119 seats), the Indian National Congress 28.4% (19), the Bharatiya Janata Party 7.0% (1), the Telugu Desam Party 3.5% (2), independents 3.3% (1), and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen 2.7% (7); on December 13 Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao is again sworn in as chief minister.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin appoints Valery Limarenko as acting governor of Sakhalin oblast.
Slovakia: Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcák withdraws his resignation.
United States: President Donald Trump nominates William P. Barr as attorney general and Heather Nauert as UN ambassador.


Mexico: Rutilio Escandón Cadenas takes office as governor of Chiapas.


Armenia: In parliamentary elections, the My Step Alliance wins 70.4% of the vote (88 of 132 seats), Prosperous Armenia 8.3% (26), Bright Armenia 6.4% (18), and the Republican Party of Armenia 4.7% (0). Turnout is 48.6%.
Belgium: In a cabinet reshuffle following the resignation of the ministers of the New Flemish Alliance, Didier Reynders becomes defense minister, Pieter De Crem interior minister, and Alexander De Croo finance minister.
United States: Former agriculture secretary (1977-81) Bob Bergland dies.


Latvia: President Raimonds Vejonis announces the withdrawal of the nomination of Aldis Gobzems for prime minister.


Costa Rica: Foreign Minister Epsy Campbell resigns. Lorena Aguilar Revelo becomes acting minister.
India: The chief minister of Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh, resigns. On December 17 Bhupesh Baghel is sworn in as chief minister.
India: The chief minister of Mizoram, Lal Thanhawla, resigns. Zoramthanga is sworn in as chief minister on December 15.
United Kingdom: The first minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, resigns. On December 12 Mark Drakeford (Labour) is elected first minister, winning 30 votes against 12 for Paul Davies (Conservative) and 9 for Adam Price (Plaid Cymru). Drakeford is sworn in on December 13.


India: The chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, resigns. On December 17 Kamal Nath is sworn in as chief minister.
Poland: The government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wins a confidence vote in parliament (231-181).


France: The government of Prime Minister Édouard Philippe survives a parliamentary no-confidence vote, which receives 70 votes in favour (289 required).


Central African Republic: Foreign Minister Charles Armel Doubane is dismissed and replaced by Sylvie Baïpo-Temon.
Sweden: Parliament rejects Stefan Löfven as prime minister (200-116 with 28 abstentions).


Belgium: Former minister-president of the French Community (1981-85, 1988) Philippe Moureaux dies.
Ethiopia: Former president (2001-13) Girma Wolde-Giorgis dies.
United States: President Donald Trump announces that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will leave office at the end of the year.


Australia: David Hurley is named as the next governor-general, to take office in June 2019.
Georgia: Salome Zurabishvili is sworn in as president.
Japan: In gubernatorial elections in Saga, incumbent Yoshinori Yamaguchi wins 84.7% of the vote and Masato Imada 15.3%. Turnout is 35.3%.
Russia: In repeat gubernatorial elections in Primorsky kray, acting incumbent Oleg Kozhemyako (independent) wins 64.5% of the vote and Andrey Andreychenko (Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia) 26.2%. Turnout is 39.6%.


Belgium: Prime Minister Charles Michel resigns.
Nepal: Former first minister (1960-63), foreign minister (1960-62, 1962-63), and prime minister (1963, 1964-65, 1975-77) Tulsi Giri dies.