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.


Azerbaijan: David Babayan is appointed foreign minister of Artsakh. Minister of State Grigory Martirosyan also becomes finance minister.
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. On January 19 a new government is named including Ibrahima Kalil Kaba as foreign minister, other key posts being unchanged.
Federated States of Micronesia: Former governor of Kosrae (1991-95) Thurston K. Siba dies.
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; he is approved by parliament (138-50) on January 26. President Kaïs Saïed, however, indicated on January 25 that he would reject the reshuffle.
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. He takes office January 30.


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. On January 21 he reappoints the aforementioned as well as Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway.
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. The cabinet formed on January 18 is unchanged in key positions.
North Korea: Kim Jong Un is named general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea.
Kyrgyzstan: In presidential elections, Sadyr Japarov wins 79.2% of the vote and Adakhan Madumarov 6.8%. Turnout is 39.2%. On January 21 Japarov resigns as prime minister. Acting President Talant Mamytov accepts the resignation and maintains the acting prime minister, Artem Novikov, in his office. Japarov takes office as president on January 28.
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.


Benin: Former foreign minister of Dahomey (1967-68, 1969-70) Benoît Sinzogan 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.



Cabo Verde: Foreign and Defense Minister Luís Filipe Tavares resigns. On January 14 the minister of regional integration, Rui Figueiredo Soares, is additionally given the two portfolios.
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 and accepted by him January 18). On January 24 the emir reappoints Sheikh Sabah as prime minister.
Russia: Former head of the administration of Sakhalin oblast (1991-93) and prime minister of Sakha (1997-98) Valentin Fyodorov dies.
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. On January 24 the new government is announced with Eva-Maria Liimets to be foreign minister, Kalle Laanet defense minister, Kristian Jaani interior minister, and Keit Pentus-Rosimannus finance minister. On January 25 parliament approves Kallas (70-30), and her government is appointed and sworn in on January 26.
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. Whipps is inaugurated on January 21, with Uduch Sengebau Senior as vice president, who has also been named minister of state (this position does not require Senate confirmation).


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.


Argentina: Former governor of Misiones (1987) Luis María Cassoni dies.
North Korea: In a cabinet reshuffle, Ko Jong Bom is appointed as finance minister.


Anguilla: Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam is sworn in as governor.
Colombia: Daniel Palacios takes office as interior minister.
Italy: Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wins a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies (321-259). On January 19 he also wins in the Senate (154-140). Nevertheless he resigns on January 26. On January 29 President Sergio Mattarella gives the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Roberto Fico, an exploratory mandate to verify whether there is a parliamentary majority for a government.


India: Former governor of Arunachal Pradesh (1993-99) Mata Prasad dies.
South Korea: In a cabinet reshuffle, Chung Eui Yong is named foreign minister.
Lesotho: Former chairman of the Military Council (1986-91) Justin Metsing Lekhanya dies.




United States: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are inaugurated as president and vice president. Biden names acting secretaries, including Daniel Smith as acting secretary of state, pending confirmation of his regular nominees. The Senate confirms Avril Haines as director of national intelligence (84-10); she is sworn in on January 21. On January 22 Lloyd Austin is confirmed (93-2) and sworn in as defense secretary. On January 25 Janet Yellen is confirmed (84-15) as treasury secretary (sworn in January 26). On January 26 Antony Blinken is confirmed (78-22) and sworn in as secretary of state.

Zimbabwe: Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo dies. Amon Murwira, the minister of higher and tertiary education, subsequently serves as acting foreign minister.


Canada: Governor General Julie Payette resigns. Chief Justice Richard Wagner is sworn in as administrator (acting governor general) on January 23.
Denmark: In a cabinet reshuffle, Kaare Dybvad becomes interior minister.


Mongolia: Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khürelsükh resigns. Parliament accepts the resignation (60 votes). On January 22 the ruling Mongolian People's Party nominates Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene as prime minister. He is approved by parliament (58 votes) on January 27. On January 29 his government is appointed and sworn in, including Batmunkh Battsetseg as foreign minister and Boldyn Javkhlan as finance minister; Gursed Saikhanbayar remains defense minister and Khishgeegiyn Nyambaatar interior minister.


British Virgin Islands: David D. Archer, Jr., is sworn in as acting governor, serving until the new governor, John Rankin, is sworn in on January 29.


Afghanistan: President Ashraf Ghani dismisses Finance Minister Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal and appoints Mohammad Khalid Payenda as acting minister.


Japan: In gubernatorial elections in Gifu, incumbent Hajime Furuta is reelected with 49.2% of the vote, while Yoshihide Esaki wins 40.4%; turnout is 48.0%. In Yamagata, incumbent Mieko Yoshimura wins 70.3% of the vote and Rika Ouchi 29.7%; turnout is 62.9%.
Portugal: In presidential elections, incumbent Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa wins 60.7% of the vote, Ana Gomes 13.0%, and André Ventura 11.9%. Turnout is 39.5%.
Sweden: Former governor of Örebro (1989-94) Sigvard Marjasin dies.


China: Lan Tianli is elected chairman of the government of Guangxi.

Paraguay: Euclides Acevedo is sworn in as foreign minister and Arnaldo Giuzzio as interior minister.
Trinidad and Tobago: In elections to the Tobago House of Assembly, the People's National Movement wins 50.4% of the vote (6 of 12 seats) and the Progressive Democratic Patriots 48.5% (6). Turnout is 51.8%.


Chile: Rodrigo Cerda is appointed finance minister.
Colombia: Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo (also foreign minister 2018-19) dies. Gen. Luis Fernando Navarro becomes acting defense minister.


China: Han Jun is elected governor of Jilin.
Congo (Kinshasa): Parliament passes a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilukamba (367-7). On January 28 the informateur, Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, submits his report to the president, identifying a new parliamentary majority (391 of 500 members). On January 29 Ilunga resigns.
Indonesia: Former governor of Sulawesi Tengah (2001-06) Aminuddin Ponulele dies.
Moldova: President Maia Sandu nominates Natalia Gavrilita as prime minister.
Trinidad and Tobago: The national security minister, Stuart Young, survives a no-confidence motion in parliament (defeated 20-18).


China: Ren Zhenhe is elected governor of Gansu and Feng Fei governor of Hainan.


China: Li Bingjun is elected governor of Guizhou, Mao Weiming governor of Hunan, and Wang Yubo governor of Yunnan.


Vietnam: Nguyen Phu Trong is reelected as general secretary of the Communist Party.