April 2006


Cambodia: Former prime minister (1973) In Tam dies.
San Marino: Gian Franco Terenzi and Loris Francini (both Christian Democrats) take office as captains-regent.
Switzerland: Kurt Wernli becomes Landammann of Aargau.


Guinea-Bissau: Former governor of Portuguese Guinea (1974) Carlos Fabião dies.
Thailand: In parliamentary elections boycotted by the main opposition parties, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Thai Rak Thai party wins about 56% of the vote (460 of 500 seats), with 33.1% choosing "no vote." Turnout is 64.8%. By-elections are scheduled for April 23 in 40 constituencies. On April 4 Thaksin says he will step down as prime minister. On April 5 he takes a leave of absence and his deputy Chidchai Vanasatidya becomes acting prime minister. The by-elections on April 23 still fail to fill all the parliamentary seats, with Thai Rak Thai candidates running uncontested but failing to reach the required 20% threshold of registered voters.


New Zealand: Anand Satyanand is appointed as the next governor-general, to take office in August.
Papua New Guinea: In a cabinet reshuffle, Patrick Pruaitch is appointed as finance minister.


Guinea: A cabinet reshuffle is announced, in which Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo receives the finance portfolio and Almamy Kabèlè Camara becomes interior minister. However, in the morning of April 5, the presidential decree is cancelled and another decree dismisses Prime Minister Diallo in the afternoon.
Switzerland: Luigi Pedrazzini becomes president of the Council of State of Ticino.
United States: Kathy Taylor (Democrat) is elected mayor of Tulsa, defeating incumbent Bill LaFortune (Republican) 51%-47%. She assumes office on April 10.


Solomon Islands: In parliamentary elections, independents win 30 of 50 seats, the National Party 4, the Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement 4, the People's Alliance Party 3, the Solomon Islands Christian Democratic Party 3, the Solomons Social Credit Party 2, the Lafari Party 2, and the Liberal Party 2. On April 18 the new parliament elects a prime minister. In the first vote, Job Duddley Tausinga wins 22 votes, Deputy Prime Minister Snyder Rini 17, and former prime minister Manasseh Sogavare 11. In the second vote, Rini is elected with 27 votes against 23 for Tausinga. An outbreak of rioting causes Rini's swearing in, originally scheduled for April 19, to be deferred until April 20. He announces his cabinet on April 21; Laurie Chan is to remain foreign minister and Peter Boyers finance minister, while Patrick Vahoe is named home affairs minister but rejects the appointment. On April 26 Rini resigns ahead of a planned no-confidence vote.



Benin: Yayi Boni takes office as president. On April 8 he names his government (taking office April 10), including Mariam Aladji Boni Diallo as foreign minister, Issifou Kogui N'Douro as defense minister, Pascal Koupaki as finance minister, and Edgar Alia as security minister.


Australia: David de Kretser is sworn in as governor of Victoria.
Latvia: Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis accepts the resignations of the ministers of the New Era party, including Defense Minister Linda Murniece. Health Minister Gundars Berzins assumes the defense portfolio temporarily. On April 8 the parliament approves new ministers, including Atis Slakteris as defense minister.
Spain: A cabinet reshuffle is announced (effective April 11) in which Interior Minister José Antonio Alonso Suárez replaces José Bono Martínez as defense minister and Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba replaces Alonso as interior minister.


Serbia and Montenegro: Former president of the People's Assembly of Montenegro (1963-67) Andrija Mugosa dies.


Gabon: Former foreign minister (1971-74) Georges Rawiri dies.
Hungary: In the first round of parliamentary elections, the Socialist Party wins 43.2% of the vote (105 seats), the Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Union 42% (97), the Alliance of Free Democrats 6.5% (4), and the Hungarian Democratic Forum 5% (2). Turnout is 67.8%. The remaining 174 seats are decided in the second round on April 23. The Socialists will have 190 of the total 386 seats, Fidesz 164, the Free Democrats 20, and the Hungarian Democratic Forum 11.
Peru: In the first round of presidential elections, Ollanta Humala (Union for Peru) wins 30.6% of the vote, former president Alan García (Peruvian Aprista Party) 24.3%, and Lourdes Flores (National Unity) 23.8%. Turnout is 88.7%. A runoff between Humala and García is to be held on June 4. In the parliamentary elections, the Union for Peru wins 21.2% of the vote (45 of 120 seats), the Peruvian Aprista Party 20.6% (36), National Unity 15.3% (17), and the Alliance for the Future 13.1% (13).


India: In elections in Assam on April 3 and 10, the Indian National Congress wins 53 of 126 seats, the Asom Gana Parishad 24, the Bharatiya Janata Party 10, and the Assam United Democratic Front 10. Turnout is 75.7%.
Italy: In parliamentary elections held April 9-10, the Union coalition led by Romano Prodi wins 49.8% of the vote for the Chamber of Deputies (348 of 630 seats) and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's House of Liberties coalition 49.7% (281); turnout is 83.6%. In the Senate (turnout 83.5%), the Union, with 49% of the vote, wins 158 of 315 elective seats and the House of Liberties, with 50.2%, 156; there are also seven life senators. (Vote percentages and turnout figures refer to voters in Italy only, while seat totals also include those elected by Italians abroad.)
Kenya: Former foreign minister (1998-2001) Bonaya Godana is killed in a plane crash.
Tunisia: Former foreign minister (1977-80) Mohamed Fitouri dies.


Belize: Eamon Courtenay is appointed foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle.


Papua New Guinea: Former governor of Western Highlands (1997-2002) Robert Lak dies.


Argentina: Former foreign minister (1976) Raúl Quijano dies.
Israel: After the maximum 100 days of incapacitation, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is considered permanently unable to exercise his duties and Ehud Olmert becomes officially prime minister.
Serbia and Montenegro: Former secretary of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Kosovo (1971-81) Mahmut Bakalli dies.


Comoros: In the first round of presidential elections (held only on Anjouan according to the system of rotating the presidency among the three islands), Ahmed Abdallah Sambi wins 23.7% of the vote, Mohamed Djaanfari 13.1%, Ibrahim Halidi 10.4%, and Caabi El-Yachroutu 9.6%. Turnout is 54.9%. The three top candidates qualify for the second round on May 14 (which will be open to voters on all islands).


Azerbaijan: President Ilham Aliyev dismisses Finance Minister Avaz Alekperov and names Samir Sharifov to replace him.

British Virgin Islands: David Pearey is sworn in as governor.


Bulgaria: The government survives a no-confidence motion, which is rejected 166-61.
French Polynesia: Vice President and Finance Minister Jacqui Drollet's resignation is announced. He is confirmed in his positions on April 21.

South Korea: Parliament approves Han Myung Sook as prime minister (182-77).


Afghanistan: Parliament approves the ministers nominated on March 22.


Haiti: The second round of parliamentary elections is held. President-elect René Préval's Lespwa party will have 12 of 27 Senate seats decided, the Struggling People's Organization 4, and the Fusion of Haitian Social Democrats 3. In the Chamber of Deputies, Lespwa will have 20 of 87 decided seats, the Fusion of Haitian Social Democrats 14, the Democratic Alliance 11, the Struggling People's Organization 8, and the Lavalas Family 7. (3 Senate and 10 Chamber seats are to be filled in new elections in jurisdictions where the vote was cancelled.)

Vera Cruz
São Tomé and Príncipe: A new government takes office with Tomé Vera Cruz as prime minister, Carlos Gustavo dos Anjos as foreign minister, and Maria Tebus as finance minister. Óscar Sousa remains as defense and interior minister.


Iraq: The parliament reelects Jalal Talabani as president, with Tariq al-Hashimi and Adel Abdul Mahdi as vice presidents. Talabani then nominates Jawad al-Maliki as prime minister (who on April 26 reverts to his original name Nuri al-Maliki).
Samoa: The new cabinet list is released, including Niko Lee Hang as finance minister.
United States: In mayoral elections in New Orleans, incumbent Ray Nagin (Democrat) receives 38.4% of the vote, Mitch Landrieu (Democrat) 29.1%, Ron Forman (Democrat) 17.3%, and Rob Couhig (Republican) 9.5%. Turnout is 36.3%. A runoff is scheduled for May 20.


Malaysia: Former chief minister of Malacca (1959-67) Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba dies.


Sweden: Jan Eliasson takes office as foreign minister.


Qatar: Former British political agent (1955-58) Derrick Charles Carden dies.


Ghana: Albert Kan-Dapaah becomes interior minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
Nepal: King Gyanendra appoints Girija Prasad Koirala as prime minister. He is sworn in on April 30.
United States: Former commerce secretary (1967-68) Alexander B. Trowbridge dies.


Canada: Gordon Barnhart is nominated as the next lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan.
Panama: In a cabinet reshuffle, Carlos Vallarino replaces Ricaurte Vásquez as finance minister.
Poland: Foreign Minister Stefan Meller announces his resignation, effective May 5.


Laos: In parliamentary elections, the ruling Lao People's Revolutionary Party wins 113 of 115 seats and independents 2.
Switzerland: Bruno Koster becomes Regierender Landammann of Appenzell Innerrhoden.