January 2019




Brazil: Jair Bolsonaro takes office as president. Hamilton Mourão is vice president, Ernesto Araújo foreign minister, Fernando Azevedo e Silva defense minister, and Paulo Guedes economy minister. The following new governors take office: Gladson de Lima Cameli (Acre), Wilson Miranda Lima (Amazonas), Ibaneis Rocha Barros Júnior (Distrito Federal), José Renato Casagrande (Espírito Santo), Ronaldo Ramos Caiado (Goiás), Mauro Mendes Ferreira (Mato Grosso), Romeu Zema Neto (Minas Gerais), Helder Zahluth Barbalho (Pará), João Azevêdo Lins Filho (Paraíba), Carlos Roberto Massa Júnior (Paraná), Wilson José Witzel (Rio de Janeiro), Maria de Fátima Bezerra (Rio Grande do Norte), Eduardo Figueiredo Cavalheiro Leite (Rio Grande do Sul), Marcos José Rocha dos Santos (Rondônia), Antônio Olivério Garcia de Almeida (Roraima), Carlos Moisés da Silva (Santa Catarina), João Agripino da Costa Doria Júnior (São Paulo).
Congo (Kinshasa): Former foreign minister (2004-07) Raymond Ramazani Baya dies.
Mexico: Adán Augusto López takes office as governor of Tabasco.
Switzerland: Ueli Maurer takes office as president and Viola Amherd as defense minister. Urs Hofmann becomes Landammann of Aargau, Jean-Pierre Siggen president of the Council of State of Fribourg, Jon Domenic Parolini president of the government of Graubünden, Jacques Gerber president of the government of Jura, Ernst Landolt president of the government of Schaffhausen, Roland Fürst Landammann of Solothurn, and Stephan Schleiss Landammann of Zug.
United States: Patrick Shanahan becomes acting defense secretary.
United States: Gretchen Whitmer is sworn in as governor of Michigan and Michelle Lujan Grisham as governor of New Mexico.


Haiti: Former foreign minister (2009-11) Marie Michèle Rey dies.
United States: David Bernhardt becomes acting interior secretary.
United States: Janet Mills is sworn in as governor of Maine.


Bangladesh: President Abdul Hamid invites Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed to form a new cabinet. In the cabinet named on January 6 (sworn in January 7), Abulkalam Abdul Momen is foreign minister and A.H.M. Mustafa Kamal finance minister; Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal remains home minister.
Nigeria: Former governor of Kano (1984-85) and minister of the Federal Capital Territory (1986-89) Hamza Abdullahi dies.


Dion Ngute
Cameroon: Joseph Dion Ngute is appointed prime minister. The new government is unchanged in key portfolios.
Sri Lanka: The following provincial governors are appointed and sworn in: Satendra Maithri Gunaratne (Central), M.L.A.M. Hizbullah (Eastern), Sarath Ekanayake (North Central), Peshala Jayarathna Bandara (North Western), and Azath Salley (Western).
Togo: Prime Minister Komi Selom Klassou resigns. He is reappointed on January 24 with a government unchanged in key positions.
United States: Former defense secretary (1977-81) Harold Brown dies.


United States: Kristi Noem is sworn in as governor of South Dakota.


Malaysia: Tuanku Muhammad V ibni Sultan Ismail Petra resigns as yang di-pertuan agong. His deputy, the sultan of Perak, Tuanku Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah ibni al-Marhum Sultan Azlan Muhibuddin Shah, becomes acting head of state. (See January 12.)


Leon Guerrero

Guam: Lou Leon Guerrero is sworn in as governor.
Israel: Former foreign minister (1988-90) Moshe Arens dies.
Latvia: President Raimonds Vejonis invites Krisjanis Karins to form a government. On January 23 the Saeima confirms the Karins government (61-39), including Artis Pabriks as defense minister, Sandis Girgens as interior minister, and Janis Reirs as finance minister; Edgars Rinkevics remains foreign minister.
Sri Lanka: The following provincial governors are appointed and sworn in: Suren Raghavan (Northern), Dhamma Dissanayake (Sabaragamuwa), and Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon (Uva). On January 9 Tennakoon is sworn in as governor of Southern province, swapping posts with Marshal Perera, who is sworn in as governor of Uva.

United States: Gavin Newsom is sworn in as governor of California, Brad Little as governor of Idaho, Tim Walz as governor of Minnesota, Steve Sisolak as governor of Nevada, Tony Evers as governor of Wisconsin, and Mark Gordon as governor of Wyoming.
Virgin Islands (U.S.): Albert Bryan is sworn in as governor.
World Bank: President Jim Yong Kim resigns, effective February 1.


Costa Rica: Manuel Ventura is sworn in as foreign minister.
Federated States of Micronesia: Carson K. Sigrah is sworn in as governor of Kosrae.

Somalia: In a third round of voting, Said Abdullahi Deni is elected president of Puntland with 35 votes, against 31 for Asad Osman Abdullahi. Deni is sworn in the same day.
United States: Jared Polis is sworn in as governor of Colorado and Ron DeSantis as governor of Florida.


Cuba: In a cabinet reshuffle, Meisi Bolaños is appointed as finance minister.
Macedonia: Former secretary of the Central Committee of the League of Communists (1984-86) Milan Pancevski (also president of the Presidium of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia 1989-90) dies.
Russia: Former head of the administration of Vladimir oblast (1991-96) Yury Vlasov dies.
United States: President Donald Trump nominates Andrew Wheeler as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
United States: Ned Lamont is sworn in as governor of Connecticut.


Mexico: Former governor of México (1981-86) Alfredo del Mazo González dies.
Taiwan: Premier Lai Ching-te announces the resignation of his government. On January 11 Su Tseng-chang is appointed premier. The new government, unchanged in key portfolios, takes office January 14.
Wallis and Futuna: Thierry Queffelec takes office as administrator-superior.



Gabon: Julien Nkoghe Bekale is named prime minister. His cabinet is announced with Abdu Razzaq Guy Kambogo as foreign minister, other key portfolios being unchanged. The government is sworn in on January 15. In a reorganization on January 30, Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda is appointed as defense minister.

Malaysia: The abdication of the sultan of Pahang, Ahmad Shah al-Mustain Billah ibni al-Marhum Sultan Abu Bakar Riayatuddin al-Muadzam Shah, is announced. Crown Prince Tengku Abdullah is proclaimed sultan (Abdullah Riayatuddin al-Mustafa Billah Shah ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah) on January 15. On January 24 he is chosen as yang di-pertuan agong of Malaysia, being installed on January 31.


Australia: Margaret Beazley is appointed governor of New South Wales, to take office in May.
Greece: Defense Minister Panos Kammenos resigns. On January 14 Adm. Evangelos Apostolakis is named defense minister (taking office January 15).


Armenia: Nikol Pashinyan is reappointed as prime minister. On January 19 a cabinet is appointed with no change in key positions. The government is sworn in on January 30.
Federated States of Micronesia: Henry S. Falan is sworn in as governor of Yap.
United States: Brian Kemp is sworn in as governor of Georgia, J.B. Pritzker as governor of Illinois, Laura Kelly as governor of Kansas, Mike DeWine as governor of Ohio, and Kevin Stitt as governor of Oklahoma.


Albania: Parliament approves a cabinet reshuffle (see Dec. 28, 2018), with Prime Minister Edi Rama named foreign minister after President Ilir Meta rejected Rama's nominee, Gent Cakaj. The new ministers are sworn in on January 17, except Rama who takes office as foreign minister on January 23 but immediately delegates the post to deputy minister Cakaj.
Greece: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wins a confidence vote in parliament (151-148).

Spain: Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla is elected (59-50) as president of the Junta of Andalucía. He takes office January 18.
Sweden: The speaker of parliament nominates Stefan Löfven as prime minister. He is approved by parliament on January 18 with 115 votes (153 against, 77 abstentions; a majority of 175 would have been needed to block him). On January 21 his new government is announced with Mikael Damberg as interior minister, other key positions remaining unchanged.
United Kingdom: Prime Minister Theresa May survives a no-confidence vote, which is rejected 325-306.


Spain: Former president of Asturias (1999-2011) Vicente Álvarez Areces dies.
The Sudan: Former prime minister (1969) and foreign minister (1969-70) Babiker Awadalla dies.


Burkina Faso: Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba resigns. On January 21 Christophe Dabiré is named prime minister. He takes office on January 24, his cabinet including Moumina Chériff Sy as defense minister, Ousséni Compaoré as security minister, and Lassané Kaboré as finance minister; Alpha Barry remains foreign minister.
Germany: The Landtag of Hessen reelects Volker Bouffier as minister-president (69-66).

Madagascar: Andry Rajoelina takes office as president (ahead of being sworn in on January 19). The government of Prime Minister Christian Ntsay resigns on January 19 but Rajoelina reappoints Ntsay on January 21. The new government, named January 24, includes Naina Andriantsitohaina as foreign minister, Gen. Léon Jean Richard Rakotonirina as defense minister, and Richard Randriamandrato as finance minister; Interior Minister Tianarivelo Razafimahefa keeps his post.


Afghanistan: Acting Interior Minister Amrullah Saleh resigns. The activities of the ministry are subsequently overseen by National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib.
United States: Bill Lee is sworn in as governor of Tennessee.


Mexico: The parliament of the state of Puebla elects Guillermo Pacheco Pulido as interim governor.

Tonga: In a cabinet reshuffle, Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Sika is appointed as acting foreign minister and Health Minister Saia Piukala as acting internal affairs minister.


Norway: In a cabinet reshuffle, Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde is appointed to the new post of public security minister.
Switzerland: Former Landammann of Solothurn (1978, 1982, 1986) Gottfried Wyss dies.


Bolivia: Luis Arce is sworn in as finance minister.


Congo (Kinshasa): Félix Tshisekedi is sworn in as president. He takes office January 25.
Italy: The president of Basilicata, Marcello Pittella, resigns. Flavia Franconi has already been acting president since Pittella was suspended in July 2018.
Portugal: Former president of the Regional Junta of the Azores (1975-76) Altino Pinto de Magalhães dies.


Japan: In gubernatorial elections in Yamanashi, Kotaro Nagasaki is elected with 49.7% of the vote, while incumbent Hitoshi Goto wins 41.8%. Turnout is 57.9%.


Algeria: Former foreign minister (2007-13) Mourad Medelci dies.

Fiji: Defense Minister Inia Seruiratu is also appointed as foreign minister.
Palestine: Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah offers to resign. On January 29 President Mahmoud Abbas accepts the resignation of Hamdallah's government.


Saint Lucia: Prime Minister Allen Chastanet survives a no-confidence vote in parliament (rejected 11-6).


Lebanon: A new government is named under Prime Minister Saad Hariri, including Elias Bou Saab as defense minister and Raya al-Hassan as interior minister; Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil keep their posts.
Niger: Mamadou Diop is named finance minister.