February 1998


Costa Rica: Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Echeverría of the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC) is elected president with 47% of the vote, defeating José Miguel Corrales Bolaños of the National Liberation Party (PLN) with 44.6%. In parliamentary elections, the PUSC wins 41.2% of the vote (27 of 57 seats), followed by the PLN with 34.8% (23) and the Democratic Force with 5.8% (3). Turnout is 70%.


Armenia: Foreign Minister Alexander Arzumanyan resigns. The next day President Levon Ter-Petrosyan resigns. Prime Minister Robert Kocharyan becomes acting president.
Monaco: In parliamentary elections, the National and Democratic Union wins all 18 seats in the National Council.
Uruguay: Didier Opertti takes office as foreign minister.


Morocco: King Hassan II appoints Abderrahmane Youssoufi, leader of the Socialist Union of People's Forces, as prime minister.
Taiwan: Huang Chu-wen is appointed interior minister, replacing Yeh Ching-feng.


Yugoslavia: Filip Vujanovic is confirmed as prime minister of Montenegro.


Romania: Constantin Dudu Ionescu is appointed defense minister. He takes office February 11.
Slovakia: Parliament fails to elect a president when neither Stefan Markus of the Slovak Democratic Coalition nor Juraj Hrasko of the Party of the Democratic Left pick up the necessary three-fifths majority. A second vote is set for March 5.
Syria: Former president (1961-63) Nazim al-Kudsi dies.


Cyprus: In presidential elections, former foreign minister Georgios Iakovou (independent) wins 40.6% of the vote, incumbent Glafkos Kliridis (Democratic Rally) 40.1%, Vassos Lyssaridis (Socialist Party) 10.6%, Alexis Galanos (independent) 4%, and Georgios Vassiliou (United Democrats) 3%. A runoff between Iakovou and Kliridis held on February 15 is won by Kliridis with 50.8% against Iakovou's 49.2%.


France: Former foreign minister (1969-73) Maurice Schumann dies.
Germany: Former first secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Thüringen (1949-52), Erfurt (1952-53), and Frankfurt (1961-71) Erich Mückenberger dies.


Sierra Leone: Nigerian-led ECOMOG forces take control of the capital, Freetown, ousting the ruling junta.


Russia: Nikolay Merkushkin is reelected president of Mordovia with 90.8% of the vote.


Jordan: Jawad Anani becomes foreign minister.


The Sudan: Mustafa Osman Ismail becomes foreign minister.


Kazakhstan: In a cabinet reshuffle, Sauat Mynbayev becomes finance minister.
Nepal: Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa survives a no-confidence vote (103-100).


Australia: The Liberal Party wins elections in the Australian Capital Territory.
Spain: Former foreign minister (1975-76) José María de Areilza dies.
United States: Former governor of Connecticut (1955-61) and secretary of health, education and welfare (1961-62) Abraham A. Ribicoff and former South Carolina governor (1963-65) Donald S. Russell die.


Laos: The National Assembly elects Premier Khamtai Siphandon as new president and Sisavath Keobounphanh as new prime minister.



South Korea: Kim Dae Jung takes office as president.
Slovenia: Defense Minister Tit Turnsek resigns.


Lithuania: Valdas Adamkus takes office as president.


Cyprus: Giannakis Omirou becomes defense minister and Ntinos Michailidis interior minister.
India: In parliamentary elections held on February 16, 22, and 28, the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies win 251 seats, the Congress Party and its allies 166, and the United Front 96. Turnout is 62%. The BJP wins back power in state elections in Gujarat, and Keshubhai Patel is to become chief minister.