January 2020


China: Former mayor of Beijing (1981-83) Jiao Ruoyu dies.
Malaysia: Tan Sri Peter Lo Su Yin, former chief minister of Sabah (1965-67), dies.

Pitcairn Island: Charlene Warren-Peu takes office as mayor.
Switzerland: Simonetta Sommaruga takes office as president. Markus Dieth becomes Landammann of Aargau, Anne-Claude Demierre president of the Council of State of Fribourg, Christian Rathgeb president of the government of Graubünden, Martial Courtet president of the government of Jura, Martin Kessler president of the government of Schaffhausen, and Brigit Wyss Landammann of Solothurn.


Algeria: The new government is announced with Abderrahmane Raouya as finance minister (taking office January 4) while Sabri Boukadoum remains foreign minister and Kamel Beldjoud interior minister; President Abdelmadjid Tebboune retains the defense portfolio.
Algeria: Former foreign minister (1993-96) Mohamed Salah Dembri dies.
Austria: The Austrian People's Party and the Greens agree on a government with Sebastian Kurz as chancellor, Klaudia Tanner as defense minister, Karl Nehammer as interior minister, Gernot Blümel as finance minister, and Alexander Schallenberg to remain foreign minister. The government is sworn in on January 7.
Bahrain: It is announced that Abdul Latif ibn Rashid al-Zayani will become foreign minister when his term as secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council ends.
Tunisia: Prime minister-designate Habib Jemli announces his government, including Khaled Shili as foreign minister, Imed Derouiche as defense minister, Sofiene Selliti as interior minister, and Abderrahmen Khachtali as finance minister. In the confidence vote on January 10, however, parliament rejects the government (134-72). On January 20 President Kaďs Saďed asks Elyes Fakhfakh to form a government.


North Macedonia: Prime Minister Zoran Zaev resigns. President Stevo Pendarovski asks Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski to form a caretaker government, which is approved the same day by 101 votes in the 120-seat parliament. It includes Nake Culev as interior minister.
Spain: The Central Electoral Board disqualifies the president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Quim Torra, from being a member of the regional parliament (a requirement to be elected president of the Generalitat). Torra rejects the decision.


Croatia: In the presidential runoff, Zoran Milanovic wins 52.7% of the vote and incumbent Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic 47.3%. Turnout is 55.0%.
Georgia: Former prime minister of Abkhazia (2001-02) Anri Djergenia dies.
India: Former chief commissioner of Chandigarh (1976-78) and governor of Karnataka (2002-07) and Kerala (2004) T.N. Chaturvedi dies.

Spain: Parliament fails to confirm Pedro Sánchez as prime minister (166 votes for, 165 against, 18 abstentions; 176 votes needed). A second vote is held on January 7, with a simple majority sufficient, and he is confirmed 167-165. On January 10 Arancha González Laya is nominated as foreign minister. The full composition of the new government is submitted to the king on January 12; the defense, interior, and finance ministers remain in place. The government is sworn in on January 13.
Uzbekistan: The second round of parliamentary elections (turnout 62.8%) leads to the following total result: Liberal Democratic Party 53 of 150 seats, National Revival 36, Justice Social Democratic Party 24, People's Democratic Party 22, Ecological Party 15. The government of Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov resigns on January 20. On January 21 Aripov is renominated as prime minister by President Shavkat Mirziyayev and approved by parliament. On January 22 his cabinet is approved, with no change in key portfolios.


Marshall Islands: Parliament elects David Kabua as president. He defeats incumbent Hilda Heine 20-12. Kabua is sworn in on January 13, with a cabinet including Casten Nemra as foreign minister, Jemi Nashion as interior minister, and Alfred Alfred, Jr., as finance minister.
United States: Erin Mendenhall is sworn in as mayor of Salt Lake City.


Pakistan: Former governor of Sindh (1989-90) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim dies.
United States: Lauren McLean is sworn in as mayor of Boise.


San Marino: The new government (see Dec. 8, 2019) is approved by parliament (42-14) and sworn in.


Mozambique: President Filipe Nyusi dismisses Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosário and Interior Minister Basílio Monteiro so that they can take up seats in parliament. After being sworn in for his second term on January 15, however, Nyusi on January 17 confirms do Rosário as prime minister. Verónica Macamo Dlhovo is named foreign minister, Jaime Bessa Neto defense minister, and Amade Miquidade interior minister; Adriano Maleiane remains finance minister. The government is sworn in on January 18.
Sint Maarten: In parliamentary elections, the National Alliance wins 35.2% of the vote (6 of 15 seats), the United People's Party 24.2% (4), the United Sint Maarten Party 13.2% (2), the Party for Progress 10.6% (2), and the United Democrats 8.7% (1). Turnout is 59.4%. The interim government of Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs resigns on January 10. On January 16 Governor Eugene Holiday appoints Jacobs as formateur of a new government.


Canada: Former lieutenant governor of Newfoundland and Labrador (2008-13) John Crosbie dies.
Georgia: The Supreme Court of Abkhazia annuls the results of the Sept. 8, 2019, presidential runoff and orders a new election. President Raul Khadjimba plans to appeal the decision, but resigns on January 12 when the Central Election Commission schedules new elections (allowing new candidates to be nominated) for March 22. On January 13 parliament accepts the resignation and authorizes Prime Minister Valery Bganba to act as president.

Oman: Sultan Qabus ibn Sa`id dies. On January 11 his cousin Haitham ibn Tariq is announced and sworn in as the new sultan.
San Marino: Former captain-regent (1979, 1984-85, 1995, 1999-2000) Marino Bollini dies.


Taiwan: In presidential elections, incumbent Tsai Ing-wen (Democratic Progressive Party) wins 57.1% of the vote and Han Kuo-yu (Kuomintang) 38.6%. Turnout is 73.8%. In parliamentary elections, the DPP wins 34.0% of the vote (61 of 113 seats), the Kuomintang 33.4% (38), and the Taiwan People's Party 11.2% (5).
United Kingdom: The restored Northern Ireland Assembly appoints Arlene Foster as first minister.


South Korea: Parliament endorses Chung Sye Kyun as prime minister (164-109). He is formally appointed and sworn in on January 14.


Malta: Robert Abela is sworn in as prime minister. His government is sworn in on January 15, including Evarist Bartolo as foreign minister and Byron Camilleri as home affairs minister; Edward Scicluna remains finance minister.
Federated States of Micronesia: Reed B. Oliver takes office as governor of Pohnpei.
Western Sahara: The president of the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic, Ibrahim Ghali, names Bouchraya Beyoun as prime minister.



Australia: The premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman, announces his resignation. On January 20 Peter Gutwein is sworn in as premier.


Guatemala: Alejandro Giammattei takes office as president. Pedro Brolo becomes foreign minister, Édgar Godoy Samayoa interior minister, and Álvaro González Ricci finance minister; Albin Enrique Dubois Ramírez at first remains defense minister but on January 15 Giammattei names Juan Carlos Alemán Soto in his place.
Kenya: In a cabinet reshuffle, Raychelle Omamo is named foreign minister, Monica Juma defense minister, and Ukur Yattani treasury minister.
Nigeria: The Supreme Court nullifies the March 9, 2019, election of Emeka Ihedioha (People's Democratic Party) as governor of Imo and declares Hope Uzodinma (All Progressives Congress) as the duly elected governor. Uzodinma is sworn in as governor on January 15.
United States: Tate Reeves is sworn in as governor of Mississippi.


Congo (Kinshasa): The Constitutional Court confirms the Nov. 8, 2019, destitution by the provincial assembly of the governor of Haut-Lomami, Marcel Lenge Masangu Mpoyo.


Russia: Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev resigns. President Vladimir Putin nominates Mikhail Mishustin as prime minister. On January 16 the parliament approves Mishustin (383-0 with 41 abstentions) and he is formally appointed. On January 21 his cabinet is appointed with no change of the foreign, defense, interior, or finance ministers. On January 22 Yury Chaika is appointed plenipotentiary of the president in Severo-Kavkazsky federal district.


Lesotho: Prime Minister Tom Thabane announces his intention to resign.


Bolivia: Parliament extends its own term and that of interim president Jeanine Áńez, which were due to end on January 22. (New elections have been scheduled for May 3.) On January 26 Áńez asks for the resignation of the cabinet. A new one is sworn in on January 28, with no change in key portfolios.
Ukraine: Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk submits a letter of resignation to the president, who rejects it.


China: Lin Wu is elected governor of Shanxi.
Slovenia: Defense Minister Karl Erjavec announces his resignation.


Comoros: In the first round of parliamentary elections, the Convention for the Renewal of the Comoros wins 16 of 19 seats allocated. Turnout is 61.5%. The remaining 5 of the 24 seats will be decided in a second round on February 23.

North Korea: It is reported that Ri Son Gwon has been appointed foreign minister. On January 22 Kim Jong Gwan is referred to in state media as defense minister; observers assume he replaced No Kwang Chol around Dec. 22, 2019.


Belarus: Maj.Gen. Viktar Khrenin is appointed defense minister.
Kosovo: President Hashim Thaçi nominates Albin Kurti as prime minister.
Nigeria: The Supreme Court confirms the March 2019 elections of Simon Bako Lalong as governor of Plateau, Bala Mohammed as governor of Bauchi, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as governor of Kano, and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as governor of Sokoto. On January 21 the court also upholds the elections of Samuel Ortom as governor of Benue and Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri as governor of Adamawa.
Norway: Finance Minister Siv Jensen resigns, withdrawing her Progress Party from the government. In a cabinet reshuffle on January 24, Jan Tore Sanner is appointed finance minister. There is no replacement for Public Security Minister Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde.


Australia: Former chief minister of the Northern Territory (1984-86) Ian Tuxworth dies.
Georgia: Former prime minister (1990-91, 1992-93) Tengiz Sigua dies.


Lebanon: The new government led by Hassan Diab is appointed with Nassif Hitti as foreign minister, Zeina Akar as defense minister, Mohammad Fahmi as interior minister, and Ghazi Wazni as finance minister.
Tunisia: Former prime minister (1987-89) Hédi Baccouche dies.


Afghanistan: Haroon Chakhansuri is appointed acting foreign minister (taking office January 23).
Greece: Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou is elected president, receiving 261 votes in the 300-member parliament.


Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Former governor-general (2002-19) Sir Frederick Ballantyne dies.
Tanzania: Home Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola is dismissed. George Simbachawene is appointed to replace him.
Tokelau: In parliamentary elections, 22 nonpartisan members are elected.


Guinea-Bissau: Foreign Minister Suzi Barbosa resigns.
Saint Helena: Fiona Kilpatrick is sworn in as administrator of Tristan da Cunha, taking the role for the first three months in a system of alternation with Steve Townsend.

Sint Eustatius: The Dutch government appoints Marnix van Rij as government commissioner, effective February 15.


Zimbabwe: Former foreign minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia (1979) David Mukome dies.


Austria: In state elections in Burgenland, the Social Democratic Party wins 49.9% of the vote (19 of 36 seats), the Austrian People's Party 30.6% (11), the Freedom Party 9.8% (4), and the Greens 6.7% (2). Turnout is 74.9%.
Azerbaijan: Former foreign minister (1992-93) Tofik Gasymov dies.
Italy: In presidential elections in Emilia-Romagna, incumbent Stefano Bonaccini (centre-left) wins 51.4% of the vote, Lucia Borgonzoni (centre-right) 43.6%, and Simone Benini (Five Star Movement) 3.5%. Turnout is 67.7%. In Calabria, Jole Santelli (centre-right) wins 55.3% of the vote, Filippo Callipo (centre-left) 30.1%, Francesco Aiello (Five Star Movement) 7.4%, and Carlo Tansi (civic list) 7.2%. Turnout is 44.3%.
Federated States of Micronesia: Former governor of Kosrae (2007-11) Robert J. Weilbacher dies.
Peru: In parliamentary elections, Popular Action wins 10.3% of the vote (24 of 130 seats), the Agricultural People's Front of Peru 8.2% (16), the Alliance for Progress 8.1% (18), Podemos Perú 8.0% (10), the Purple Party 7.4% (9), Popular Force 7.2% (12), Union for Peru 6.9% (17), Broad Front 6.2% (12), We are Peru 6.1% (7), and Together for Peru 4.8% (5).


Canada: The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wins a confidence vote in parliament (181-139).
Russia: The prime minister of Ingushetia, Konstantin Surikov, resigns. Vladimir Slastenin is named acting prime minister.
Slovenia: The resignation of Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj is followed almost immediately by that of Prime Minister Marjan Sarec. Parliament takes note of Sarec's resignation, relegating the government to caretaker status, on January 29.



Qatar: Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah ibn Nasser ibn Khalifa Al Thani resigns. The emir, Sheikh Tamim ibn Hamad Al Thani, accepts the resignation and appoints Sheikh Khalid ibn Khalifa ibn Abdul Aziz Al Thani as prime minister, who will also take on the post of interior minister.


Bulgaria: The government of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov survives a no-confidence vote, which is defeated 124-102.

Madagascar: In a cabinet reshuffle, Djacoba Liva Tehindrazanarivelo is named foreign minister.

Russia: The head of the republic of Chuvashia, Mikhail Ignatyev, is dismissed and Oleg Nikolayev appointed as acting head of the republic. On January 31 Nikolayev announces the resignation of the government of Prime Minister Ivan Motorin.


China: Former governor of Zhejiang (1990-93) Ge Hongsheng dies.


Belgium: The king ends the task of the informateurs Georges-Louis Bouchez and Joachim Coens and asks Koen Geens to carry out talks with a view to forming a new government.
Colombia: Alicia Arango is appointed interior minister.

Costa Rica: Rodolfo Solano is named as foreign minister (to take office February 3).