March 2020


Guinea-Bissau: Cipriano Cassamá renounces the position of interim president.
Iraq: Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi withdraws his candidacy for prime minister. On March 17 President Barham Salih names Adnan al-Zurfi as prime minister-designate.


Malaysia: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is sworn in as prime minister. On March 9 he names his cabinet (sworn in March 10) with Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as foreign minister, Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as senior minister overseeing defense, Dato' Seri Hamzah Zainuddin as home minister, and Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz as finance minister.
Tajikistan: In parliamentary elections, the People's Democratic Party wins 50.4% of the vote (47 of 63 seats), the Party of Economic Reforms 16.6% (5), the Agrarian Party 16.5% (7), the Socialist Party 5.2% (1), the Democratic Party 5.1% (1), and the Communist Party 3.1% (2). Turnout is 86.1%.


Uruguay: Luis Lacalle Pou takes office as president with his cabinet (including Ernesto Talvi as foreign minister; see Dec. 16, 2019).


Guinea-Bissau: Prime Minister Nuno Gomes Nabiam releases his government list, including Suzi Barbosa as foreign minister, Sandji Fati as defense minister, Botche Candé as interior minister, and João Aladje Mamadu Fadia as finance minister. The government takes office the same day.
Guyana: In parliamentary and presidential elections, A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change, led by President David Granger, wins 49.9% of the vote (33 of 65 seats) and the People's Progressive Party/Civic, led by Irfaan Ali, 48.2% (32). Turnout is 72.6%.


Haiti: President Jovenel Moïse names Joseph Jouthe as prime minister. On March 4 his cabinet is announced with Claude Joseph as foreign minister, Jean Dorneval as defense minister, Audain Bernadel as interior minister, and Michel Patrick Boisvert as finance minister. The government is sworn in on the same date.
Israel: In parliamentary elections, Likud wins 29.5% of the vote (36 of 120 seats), Blue and White 26.6% (33), the Joint List 12.6% (15), Shas 7.7% (9), United Torah Judaism 6.0% (7), Labor-Gesher-Meretz 5.8% (7), Yisrael Beiteinu 5.7% (7), and Yamina 5.2% (6). Turnout is 71.3%. On March 16 President Reuven Rivlin asks Benny Gantz to form a government.
Malaysia: The governor of Malacca, Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob, removes Chief Minister Adly Zahari from office. On March 9 Datuk Sulaiman Md Ali is appointed and sworn in as chief minister.


France: Two no-confidence motions against Prime Minister Édouard Philippe's government fail, receiving only 148 and 91 votes respectively (289 needed).
Poland: Former first secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party (1980-81) Stanislaw Kania dies.

Slovenia: Janez Jansa is elected (52-31) and sworn in as prime minister. On March 6 he nominates his cabinet with Anze Logar as foreign minister, Matej Tonin as defense minister, Ales Hojs as interior minister, and Andrej Sircelj as finance minister. On March 13 it is approved by parliament (52-31).


Ukraine: Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk submits a letter of resignation to parliament. On March 4 parliament votes to accept it (353-0 with 49 abstentions) and to appoint Denys Shmyhal as prime minister (291-59 with 46 abstentions), Dmytro Kuleba as foreign minister, Andriy Taran as defense minister, and Ihor Umansky as finance minister; Arsen Avakov remains interior minister. The new government is sworn in the same day.
United States: In mayoral elections in Sacramento, incumbent Darrell Steinberg wins 77.3% of the vote and Mac Arteaga 13.7%.


Germany: The Landtag of Thüringen elects Bodo Ramelow as minister-president (42-23 in a third round of voting).

Slovakia: President Zuzana Caputová asks Igor Matovic to lead talks on forming a government. On March 18 Matovic announces a government including Ivan Korcok as foreign minister, Jaroslav Nad as defense minister, Roman Mikulec as interior minister, and Eduard Heger as finance minister. The government is appointed and sworn in on March 21 (except Korcok who is abroad, Richard Sulík becoming acting foreign minister).
United Nations: Former secretary-general (1982-91) Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (also prime minister and foreign minister of Peru 2000-01) dies.


Belize: Prime Minister Dean Barrow's government survives a no-confidence vote, which is defeated 18-11.


Panama: Janaina Tewaney Mencomo is named interior minister.


India: Former governor of Karnataka (2009-14) and acting governor of Kerala (2012-13, 2014) Hansraj Bhardwaj dies.


Afghanistan: Ashraf Ghani is sworn in for another term as president. Abdullah Abdullah, who has disputed the election results, holds a parallel ceremony in which he takes the oath as self-proclaimed president.
Bolivia: President Jeanine Áñez dismisses Defense Minister Fernando López Julio after parliament censured him. Ramiro Peñaloza is named acting minister. On March 10, however, Áñez reappoints López as defense minister.
Canada: Former commissioner of the Northwest Territories (1979-89) John Havelock Parker dies.

Spain: The foreign minister of Catalonia, Alfred Bosch, resigns. Agriculture Minister Teresa Jordà becomes acting foreign minister. On March 20 Bernat Solé is named new foreign minister (taking office March 21).


Malaysia: The chief minister of Perak, Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, resigns. He is reappointed by the sultan on March 13.


Romania: Florin Cîtu withdraws as prime minister-designate. On March 13 President Klaus Johannis again asks Ludovic Orban to form a new government; Orban proposes an unchanged cabinet. On March 14 it is approved by parliament (286-23).

South Sudan: President Salva Kiir names a cabinet including Beatrice Khamisa Wani-Noah as foreign minister, Angelina Teny as defense minister, and Paul Mayom Akech as interior minister; Salvatore Garang Mabiordit remains finance minister.



Greece: Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou is sworn in as president.
Malawi: President Peter Mutharika dissolves his cabinet, assuming all ministerial powers himself. On March 19 he appoints a new cabinet with himself remaining defense minister, Nicholas Dausi reappointed as homeland security minister and Joseph Mwanamvekha as finance minister, and Kondwani Nankhumwa becoming foreign minister.


San Marino: Former captain-regent (1961, 1969-70) and foreign minister (1972-73, 1976-78) Giancarlo Ghironzi dies.


Pakistan: Former governor of the North-West Frontier Province (2000-05) Iftikhar Hussain Shah dies.
Saint Helena: Sean Burns is sworn in as administrator of Ascension.


Belgium: King Philippe puts an end to the mission of Sabine Laruelle and Patrick Dewael and asks Sophie Wilmès to form a government. On March 17 her government is sworn in, with no change in key positions. On March 19 it wins a confidence vote in the Chamber of Representatives (84-44).
Moldova: In a cabinet reshuffle, Oleg Tulea becomes foreign minister and Alexandru Pînzari defense minister.


Guinea-Bissau: Former transitional president (2012-14) Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo dies.
Switzerland: Former Landammann of Solothurn (1973, 1977, 1981) Rudolf Bachmann dies.


Kosovo: Prime Minister Albin Kurti dismisses Interior Minister Agim Veliu. Xhelal Sveçla becomes acting interior minister.
Namibia: President Hage Geingob reappoints Vice President Nangolo Mbumba, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, and Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah for his second term. On March 22 the cabinet is announced with Rear Adm. Peter Hafeni Vilho as defense minister and Ipumbu Shiimi as finance minister, while Nandi-Ndaitwah remains international relations minister and Frans Kapofi home affairs minister.


Côte d'Ivoire: Foreign Minister Marcel Amon Tanoh resigns. On March 20 Ally Coulibaly is named acting foreign minister.
Switzerland: Former president of the government of Graubünden (1983) Bernardo Lardi dies.
Vanuatu: In parliamentary elections (in some northern islands extended to March 20), the Leaders Party of Vanuatu wins 12.7% of the vote (5 of 52 seats), the Vanua'aku Pati 12.3% (7), the Reunification Movement for Change 11.5% (7), the Land and Justice Party 10.1% (9), the Union of Moderate Parties 7.7% (5), and the National United Party 4.2% (4). Turnout is 51.3%.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sefik Dzaferovic becomes chairman of the Presidency.
India: The chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath, resigns. On March 23 Shivraj Singh Chauhan is sworn in as chief minister.
Organization of American States: Luis Almagro (Uruguay) is reelected secretary-general, defeating María Fernanda Espinosa (Ecuador) by 23 votes to 10.


Japan: Former governor of Ehime (1999-2010) Moriyuki Kato dies.


Cameroon: In the delayed parliamentary elections held in 11 constituencies, the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement wins all 13 seats (for a total of 152).
Georgia: In presidential elections in Abkhazia, Aslan Bzhania wins 58.9% of the vote and Adgur Ardzinba 36.9%. Turnout is 71.6%.
Guinea: In parliamentary elections, the Rally of the Guinean People-Rainbow wins 57.5% of the vote (79 of 114 seats), the Democratic Union of Guinea 5.3% (4), the Democratic Popular Movement of Guinea 4.1% (3), and the New Democratic Forces 2.8% (3). Turnout is 58.0%.
Japan: In gubernatorial elections in Kumamoto, incumbent Ikuo Kabashima wins 66.9% of the vote and Seishi Koyama 33.1%. Turnout is 45.0%.


China: Gong Zheng is appointed acting mayor of Shanghai.
Sri Lanka: Mahipala Herath is appointed and sworn in as governor of North Central province, and on March 24 Roshan Goonetileke as governor of Western province.


Germany: Former minister-president of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (1990-92) Alfred Gomolka dies.


Kosovo: The government of Prime Minister Albin Kurti is defeated in a no-confidence vote (82-32).
The Sudan: Defense Minister Jamal al-Din Omar dies.


Russia: Vladimir Slastenin is approved as prime minister of Ingushetia by the local parliament (21 votes).
Sint Maarten: The formateur, Silveria Jacobs, nominates a government with herself remaining prime minister and Ardwell Irion finance minister. It is sworn in on March 28.


Tunisia: Former prime minister (1989-99) Hamed Karoui dies.


Comoros: Former foreign minister (1998) Salim Himidi dies.


Mali: In the first round of parliamentary elections (turnout 35.6%), the Rally for Mali wins 10 of 22 allocated seats, the Union for the Republic and Democracy 4, and the Democratic Alliance for Peace-Mali 3. The remaining 125 of the 147 seats will be decided in the second round on April 19.


Congo (Brazzaville): Former head of state (1977-79) and prime minister (1993-96) Joachim Yhombi-Opango dies.
Taiwan: Former premier (1990-93) Hau Pei-tsun dies.
Ukraine: Parliament approves Serhiy Marchenko as new finance minister.


Afghanistan: President Ashraf Ghani appoints Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal as acting finance minister.
Azerbaijan: In presidential elections in Artsakh, Araik Arutyunyan (Free Fatherland bloc) wins 49.3% of the vote, Masis Mayilyan (Mayilyan-New Artsakh) 26.4%, and Vitaly Balasanyan (Justice Party) 14.7%. Turnout is 73.5%. A runoff is scheduled for April 14. In parliamentary elections, the Free Fatherland bloc wins 40.4% of the vote (16 of 33 seats), United Fatherland 23.6% (9), the Justice Party 7.9% (3), the Armenian Revolutionary Federation 6.4% (3), and the Democratic Party of Artsakh 5.8% (2).
Syria: Former foreign minister (1970-84) and acting president (2000) Abdul-Halim Khaddam dies.