December 2001


Taiwan: In parliamentary elections, President Chen Shui-bian's Democratic Progressive Party wins 36.6% of the vote (87 of 225 seats), the Nationalist Party 31.3% (68), the People First Party 20.3% (46), the Taiwan Solidarity Union 8.5% (13), and the New Party 2.9% (1). Turnout is 66.2%.
United States: In the mayoral runoff in Houston, Lee P. Brown is reelected with 52% of the vote against 48% for Orlando Sanchez.


Mexico: Former Chiapas governor (1970-76) Manuel Velasco Suárez dies.
United Arab Emirates: The Federal Supreme Council reelects Sheikh Zaid ibn Sultan Al Nahayan as president.


Albania: Several ministers including Finance Minister Anastas Angjeli resign. On December 14 President Rexhep Meidani appoints new ministers, including Gjergj Teneqexhiu as finance minister, but on December 24 parliament votes against the appointments.
Saint Lucia: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Kenny Anthony's Saint Lucia Labour Party wins 14 of the 17 seats and the United Workers Party 3.

Switzerland: Micheline Calmy-Rey becomes president of the Council of State of Genève.



Isle of Man: Richard Corkill is elected as new chief minister with 21 votes against 10 for Edgar Quine.




Afghanistan: At the end of UN talks in Königswinter, Germany, a new Interim Administration is agreed on, which takes office on December 22. Hamid Karzai is chairman, Abdullah Abdullah foreign minister, Mohammad Fahim defense minister, Yunus Qanuni interior minister, and Hedayat Amin Arsala finance minister.
Norfolk Island: Geoffrey Robert Gardner is elected chief minister.


Solomon Islands: In parliamentary elections, the People's Alliance Party wins 20 seats, the Association of Independent Members 13, former prime minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu's Solomon Islands Alliance for Change coalition 12, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare's People's Progressive Party 3, and the Labour Party 1. On December 17 Sir Allan Kemakeza is elected new prime minister, securing 29 of 50 votes in the parliament. His government, sworn in on December 19, includes Alex Bartlett as foreign minister, Michael Maina as finance minister, and Benjamin Una as national security minister.

South Africa: Peter Marais becomes premier of Western Cape.


Georgia: In the presidential runoff in South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoyty is elected with 53% of the vote against 40% for Stanislav Kochiyev. He takes office on December 18.
Indonesia: The provincial assembly of Banten elects Djoko Munandar governor.


Guinea-Bissau: President Kumba Ialá sacks Prime Minister Faustino Imbali. On December 8 he appoints Interior Minister Alamara Nhassé as prime minister, who is sworn in on December 9. In the new government formed on December 12, Filomena Mascarenhas Tipote becomes foreign minister, Brum Sith Namone defense minister, Carlos Sousa finance minister, and Marcelino Simoes Lopes Cabral interior minister.
Kazakhstan: Defense Minister Sat Tokpakbayev is dismissed and replaced by Mukhtar Altynbayev.


Sri Lanka: In parliamentary elections, the United National Party wins 47.6% of the vote (109 of 225 seats), the People's Alliance 38.9% (77), and the People's Liberation Front 9.4% (16). Turnout is 80.1%. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake tenders his resignation to President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who invites UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss a new government. Wickremesinghe is sworn in as prime minister on December 9. His new cabinet, sworn in on December 12, includes Tyronne Fernando as foreign minister, Tilak Marapana as defense minister, K.N. Choksy as finance minister, and John Amaratunga as interior minister.


India: F.A. Khonglam is sworn in as chief minister of Meghalaya.


Cyprus: Former foreign minister (1972-74, 1974-78) Ioannis Christophidis dies.
Gabon: In the first round of parliamentary elections, President Omar Bongo's Gabonese Democratic Party wins 53 of 120 seats, the National Woodcutters' Rally 2, the Gabonese Party of Progress 1, the Social Democratic Party 1, and the People's Unity Party 1. Turnout is 44.1%. In the second round, held on December 23, the Gabonese Democratic Party wins 32 seats, the National Woodcutters' Rally 4, the Gabonese Party of Progress 2, and the Social Democratic Party 1.
Moldova: Igor Smirnov is reelected president of the breakaway Dniester Republic, collecting nearly 82% of the vote against 6.7% for Tom Zenovich and 4.6% for Aleksandr Radchenko. Turnout is over 64%.


Syria: The government resigns and President Bashar al-Assad asks Prime Minister Muhammad Mustafa Mero to form a new government, which he does on December 13; it includes Muhammad al-Atrash as finance minister and Ali Hammoud as interior minister, while Mustafa Talas is retained as defense minister and Farouk al-Sharaa as foreign minister.

Trinidad and Tobago: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Basdeo Panday's United National Congress and the opposition People's National Movement each win 18 seats. Turnout is 61.5%. On December 24 Patrick Manning (PNM) is sworn in as prime minister. His new cabinet, sworn in on December 26, includes himself as finance minister and Knowlson Gift as foreign minister.


Saint Lucia: Sarah Flood-Beaubrun is sworn in as new home affairs minister.
Zambia: Former prime minister (1973-75, 1977-78) Mainza Chona dies.


Malaysia: The raja of Perlis, Syed Sirajuddin ibni al-Marhum Syed Putra Jamalullail, is elected new yang di-pertuan agong of Malaysia, and takes office the next day.


Tuvalu: Parliament elects Koloa Talake as new prime minister after Faimalaga Luka's government lost a no-confidence vote on December 7. Talake is sworn in on December 14.
Yugoslavia: Ibrahim Rugova fails to win enough support to be elected president of Kosovo in a first round of voting; 49 deputies vote for him and 69 against.


Canada: Former lieutenant governor of Ontario (1974-80) Pauline Mills McGibbon dies.


Chile: In elections to the Chamber of Deputies, President Ricardo Lagos' Coalition for Democracy wins 47.9% of the votes against 44.3% for the Alliance for Chile coalition; in elections to renew half of the Senate the president's coalition wins 51.4% against 44% for the Alliance.
Madagascar: In presidential elections, Marc Ravalomanana wins 46.2% of the vote, Didier Ratsiraka 40.9%, Albert Zafy 5.4%, and Herizo Razafimahaleo 4.2%. Turnout is 66.7%. A second round is to be held on Feb. 24, 2002.
Russia: In presidential elections in the republic of Altay, Mikhail Lapshin wins 23% of the votes, incumbent Semyon Zubakin 15.2%, Vladimir Petrov 14.1%, Sergey Krechetov 13.2%, Viktor Romashkin 12%, and Aleksandr Berdnikov 9.6%; a second round will be held on January 6. In Chuvashia, President Nikolay Fyodorov is reelected with 40.4% of the vote compared with 37.4% for his closest rival Valentin Shurchanov and 11.8% for Stanislav Voronov. In Komi, Vladimir Torlopov is elected as new president with 40.3% of the vote against 35% for incumbent Yury Spiridonov; 10% of voters vote against all candidates.


Mexico: Former foreign minister (1976-79) Santiago Roel García dies.
Portugal: Prime Minister António Guterres resigns.


Colombia: Former foreign minister (1970-74) Alfredo Vásquez Carrizosa dies.





Argentina: President Fernando de la Rúa resigns. As the vice-presidency is vacant, the head of the Senate, Ramón Puerta, becomes acting president (for a maximum of 48 hours) on December 21 when Congress accepts de la Rúa's resignation. Puerta names Humberto Schiavoni as cabinet chief, Miguel Ángel Toma as interior minister, Jorge Capitanich as economy minister, and Oscar Lamberto as finance secretary. On December 23 Adolfo Rodríguez Saá, governor of San Luis, takes over as interim president, to serve until April 5, 2002, new elections (for a president who would serve until the end of de la Rúa's term in 2003) being scheduled for March 3, 2002. Luis Lusquiños becomes acting cabinet chief, José María Vernet foreign and acting defense minister, Rodolfo Gabrielli interior minister, and Rodolfo Frigeri economy and finance secretary. On December 24 Alicia Lemme becomes governor of San Luis. After only a week in office Rodríguez Saá resigns on December 30; Puerta immediately resigns as Senate leader to avoid being forced to reassume the presidency, so that the president of the lower house, Eduardo Camaño, becomes next in line to act as president when the office becomes vacant. On December 31, although the resignation of Rodríguez Saá has not yet been accepted, Camaño is sworn in as acting president, supposedly on account of Rodríguez Saá taking a leave of absence for health reasons; Antonio Cafiero becomes cabinet chief.
Senegal: Former president (1960-80) Léopold Sédar Senghor dies.


Georgia: Avtandil Jorbenadze is approved as minister of state by a unanimous vote of 183 deputies; President Eduard Shevardnadze proposed him for that post four days earlier.
Romania: Prime Minister Adrian Nastase survives a no-confidence vote (283-178).


The Netherlands: Former prime minister (1966-67) Jelle Zijlstra dies.
Nigeria: Justice Minister Bola Ige, former governor of Oyo (1979-83), is shot dead.
Russia: None of six candidates wins a majority in presidential elections in Sakha.


Dominica: Finance Minister Ambrose George is removed. Prime Minister Pierre Charles takes over the finance portfolio, and hands his foreign affairs portfolio to Osborne Riviere.

Philippines: Parouk Hussin takes office as governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Ukraine: Ihor Yushko is appointed finance minister.
Yugoslavia: Former president of the Executive Council of Montenegro (1978-82) Momcilo Cemovic dies.
Zambia: In presidential elections, Levy Mwanawasa wins under the first-past-the-post system with only 28.7% of the vote, ahead of Anderson Mazoka with 26.7%. In parliamentary elections Mwanawasa's Movement for Multiparty Democracy wins 69 seats, the United Party for National Development 49, the United National Independence Party 13, and the Forum for Democracy and Development 12.


Russia: In Ingushetia, Prime Minister Akhmed Malsagov becomes interim president following the resignation of President Ruslan Aushev.


Argentina: Former foreign minister (1991-99) Guido Di Tella dies.
Vanuatu: Former chief minister (1977-78) George Kalsakau dies.