January 2021


Belize: Former governor-general (1981-93) Dame Minita Gordon dies.
Switzerland: Guy Parmelin takes office as president. Stephan Attiger becomes Landammann of Aargau, Jean-François Steiert president of the Council of State of Fribourg, Mario Cavigelli president of the government of Graubünden, Nathalie Barthoulot president of the government of Jura, Walter Vogelsanger president of the government of Schaffhausen, Susanne Schaffner Landammann of Solothurn, and Martin Pfister Landammann of Zug.
Uganda: Former acting foreign minister (1973) Paul Etiang dies.


India: Former governor of Bihar (2004-06) Buta Singh dies.
Mali: Former foreign minister (1986-89) and prime minister (2002, 2015-17) Modibo Keita dies.
Puerto Rico: Pedro Pierluisi is sworn in as governor.
United States: Rick Blangiardi is sworn in as mayor of Honolulu.


American Samoa: Lemanu Peleti Mauga is sworn in as governor.


Greece: In a cabinet reshuffle, Makis Voridis is named interior minister (sworn in January 5).
Guinea: The government of Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana resigns. On January 15 President Alpha Condé accepts the resignation but reappoints Fofana.
United States: Greg Gianforte is sworn in as governor of Montana and Spencer Cox as governor of Utah.


Burkina Faso: President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré reappoints Christophe Dabiré as prime minister. Dabiré announces his government on January 10, mostly unchanged from his previous one.
Tunisia: Interior Minister Taoufik Charfeddine is dismissed by Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, who becomes acting interior minister. In a cabinet reshuffle on January 16, Walid Dhahbi is appointed as interior minister.
United States: In runoffs in Georgia, Democrats win 2 more Senate seats, giving them and the Republicans 50 seats each.
United States: Oscar Leeser is sworn in as mayor of El Paso.


Russia: Former head of the administration (1991-96) and governor (1996-2000) of Kamchatka oblast Vladimir Biryukov dies.
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon: Christian Pouget is appointed as prefect.


Ghana: President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo begins his second term. He subsequently appoints some of the ministers of his previous term, including Dominic Nitiwul (defence), Ambrose Dery (interior), and Ken Ofori-Atta (finance), as acting ministers pending substantive appointments.
United States: Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigns, effective January 11, when Steven G. Bradbury becomes acting secretary. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos does likewise, effective January 8, Mick Zais becoming acting secretary.
United States: President-elect Joe Biden nominates Merrick Garland as attorney general. On January 8 Biden nominates Gina Raimondo as commerce secretary and Martin J. Walsh as labor secretary, and on January 11 William Burns as CIA director.


Congo (Kinshasa): The Constitutional Court rejects an appeal by Martin Kabuya Mulamba Kabitanga against his removal as governor of Kasaï Central by a no-confidence motion on June 24, 2020.
Germany: Former acting minister-president of Saarland (1979) Werner Klumpp dies.


India: Former chief minister of Gujarat (1976-77, 1980-85, 1989-90) and foreign minister (1991-92) Madhavsinh Solanki dies.


Kazakhstan: In parliamentary elections (turnout 63.3%), Nur Otan wins 71.1% of the vote (76 of 98 directly elected seats), the Ak Zhol Democratic Party 11.0% (12), the People's Party 9.1% (10), and the Auyl People's Democratic Patriotic Party 5.3% (0). (With 9 indirectly elected members, the total is 107.) On January 15 President Kasymzhomart Tokayev reappoints, and parliament approves, Askar Mamin as prime minister.
North Korea: Kim Jong Un is named general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea.
Kyrgyzstan: In presidential elections, Sadyr Japarov wins 79.5% of the vote and Adakhan Madumarov 6.5%.
Mexico: Former governor of Durango (1998-2004) Ángel Sergio Guerrero Mier dies.
Nigeria: Former administrator of Benue (1996-98) and Kano (1998-99) Aminu Isah Kontagora dies.


United States: The acting secretary of homeland security, Chad Wolf, resigns, effective the end of the day. The administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Peter T. Gaynor, then becomes acting secretary.
Wallis and Futuna: Hervé Jonathan takes office as administrator-superior.


Canada: In a cabinet reshuffle, Marc Garneau is sworn in as foreign minister.
Canada: Eva Aariak is appointed commissioner of Nunavut, effective January 14.
Kuwait: The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah resigns (formally submitted to the emir January 13).
Tonga: Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa survives a no-confidence vote (defeated 13-9).
United States: The House of Representatives adopts (223-205) a resolution asking Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare President Donald Trump unable to discharge his duties and to assume his powers as acting president. Pence refuses to do so. The House then votes on January 13 one article of impeachment (incitement of insurrection) against Trump (232-197).


Brazil: Former governor of Goiás (1995-98) Luiz Alberto Maguito Vilela dies.
Estonia: Prime Minister Jüri Ratas resigns. President Kersti Kaljulaid asks Kaja Kallas to form a government.
Ethiopia: Former foreign minister (1991-2010) Seyoum Mesfin is killed by federal forces in the Tigray conflict.
Nigeria: Former governor of Imo (1976-77) and Lagos (1977-78) Ndubuisi Kanu dies.
Palau: President-elect Surangel Whipps, Jr., nominates Kaleb Udui, Jr., as finance minister.


Mexico: Former governor of Sonora (1973-75) Carlos Armando Biebrich Torres dies.
Uganda: In presidential elections, incumbent Yoweri Museveni (National Resistance Movement) wins 58.6% of the vote and Bobi Wine (National Unity Platform) 34.8%. Turnout is 57.2%.


Congo (Kinshasa): Marie Clémentine Sole Ekungola is appointed acting governor of Mongala.
Laos: Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith is elected general secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party.
The Netherlands: The government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte resigns.