February 2008


African Union: Jean Ping (Gabon) is elected as chairman of the Commission with 31 of 46 votes, defeating Abdulai Osman Conteh (Sierra Leone) and Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika (Zambia).
French Polynesia: President Oscar Temaru rejects the resignation of his cabinet (although one minister is replaced).
Switzerland: Guy Morin becomes president of the government of Basel-Stadt.


Monaco: In parliamentary elections, the Union for Monaco wins 52.2% of the vote (21 of 24 seats) and the Rally for Monaco 40.5% (3). Turnout is 76.9%.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates incumbent Nikolay Dudov as governor of Magadan oblast. On February 4 Dudov is confirmed by the local Duma (25-0).
Serbia: In the presidential runoff, Boris Tadic wins 51.2% of the vote and Tomislav Nikolic 48.8%. Turnout is 68.1%.


Canada: John Crosbie is sworn in as lieutenant governor of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Gabon: Laure Olga Gondjout is named foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle. She takes office February 6.
Italy: Franco Marini informs President Giorgio Napolitano that he is unable to form a government. On February 6 Napolitano dissolves parliament and new elections are called for April 13.
Poland: Former foreign minister (2005-06) Stefan Meller dies.


Faeroe Islands: Prime Minister Jóannes Eidesgaard announces his new cabinet with Høgni Hoydal as foreign minister and Karsten Hansen as finance minister.
Russia: Ravil Geniatullin is confirmed as governor of Zabaikalsky kray by the legislatures of Chita oblast (38-2) and Agin-Buryat autonomous okrug (16-2).


Nigeria: The Court of Appeal nullifies the April 2007 election of the governor of Kogi, Ibrahim Idris. The speaker of the state parliament, Clarence Olafemi, is immediately sworn in as acting governor.

Thailand: Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej presents his cabinet to the king who endorses it and the new ministers are immediately sworn in. Samak himself is defense minister, Noppadon Pattama foreign minister, Surapong Suebwonglee finance minister, and Chalerm Yoobamrung interior minister.



Belize: In parliamentary elections, the United Democratic Party wins 57% of the vote (25 of 31 seats) and the People's United Party 41% (6). Turnout is 74.5%. Dean Barrow is sworn in as prime minister on February 8. On February 11 he announces his cabinet (sworn in February 12) including himself as finance minister, Wilfred Elrington as foreign minister, and Carlos Perdomo as minister of national security.
Sovereign Military Order of Malta: Grand Master Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie dies. Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto will act as lieutenant until the election of a new grand master.
Peru: Former prime minister (1999-2000) Alberto Bustamante Belaúnde dies.

São Tomé and Príncipe: Prime Minister Tomé Vera Cruz announces his resignation. On February 14, Patrice Trovoada is appointed prime minister and announces his cabinet (sworn in the same day) with Raul Cravid as finance minister and Ovídio Pequeno remaining foreign minister and Óscar Sousa defense and interior minister.

Tanzania: Prime Minister Edward Lowassa resigns. On February 8 Mizengo Pinda is appointed by the president and endorsed by parliament as new prime minister; he is sworn in on February 9. On February 12 the new cabinet is announced (sworn in February 13) with Hussein Mwinyi as defense minister, Mustafa Mkulo as finance minister, and Lawrence Masha as home affairs minister; Bernard Membe remains foreign minister.


Czech Republic: Parliament fails to elect a president when incumbent Václav Klaus wins in the Senate (47-32) while Jan Svejnar wins in the Chamber of Deputies (106-92). A victory in both houses is necessary to be elected in the first two rounds. The second round is also inconclusive, Klaus winning 48-31 in the Senate and Svejnar 104-94 in the lower house. A third round, with both houses voting together and an overall absolute majority being sufficient, is held on February 9. Klaus wins 139 votes (one short of the 140 required) and Svejnar 113. A new vote is scheduled for February 15. Again the first two rounds fail to produce a winner: in the first, Klaus wins the Senate 48-32, Svejnar the Chamber 104-93; in the second, Klaus again wins 48-32 in the Senate, while Svejnar wins the Chamber 94-93. In the third round, Klaus is elected by the whole parliament, defeating Svejnar 141-111.
Djibouti: In parliamentary elections, boycotted by the opposition, the Union for the Presidential Majority wins 94.1% of the vote and all 65 seats. Turnout is 72.6%.


Lebanon: The parliamentary vote to choose a new president, scheduled for February 11, is postponed to February 26. On February 25 it is postponed to March 11 (the 15th such delay).


French Polynesia: In the second round of parliamentary elections, the Our Home alliance (To Tatou Aia) wins 45.2% of the vote and a total of 27 of the 57 seats (including seats won in the first round), while the Union for Democracy alliance wins 37.2% (20) and the Popular Rally (Tahoeraa Huiraatira) 17.2% (10). Turnout is 76.9%. On February 23 the Territorial Assembly elects Gaston Flosse (Tahoeraa Huiraatira) as president; he receives 29 votes and Gaston Tong Sang (To Tatou Aia) 27. On February 28 the new cabinet is announced, including Édouard Fritch as vice-president and Teva Rohfritsch as finance minister.


Trinidad and Tobago: President George Maxwell Richards is declared reelected by the Electoral College, being the only candidate.
Uruguay: A cabinet reshuffle is announced, with Gonzalo Fernández appointed as foreign minister and José Bayardi as defense minister.


Cook Islands: Brian Donnelly is appointed high commissioner. He takes office February 21.


Bermuda: Former governor (1988-92) Sir Desmond Langley dies.
The Sudan: In a cabinet reshuffle, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamed is appointed interior minister and Awad al-Gaz finance minister.


Mexico: Leonel Godoy Rangel takes office as governor of Michoacán.
Russia: Former chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian S.F.S.R. (1971-83) Mikhail Solomentsev dies.


Cyprus: In presidential elections, Ioannis Kasoulidis wins 33.5% of the vote, Dimitris Christofias 33.3%, and incumbent Tassos Papadopoulos 31.8%. Turnout is 89.6%. A runoff is held February 24, Christofias winning 53.4% and Kasoulidis 46.6%. Turnout is 90.8%. Christofias is sworn in on February 28 and announces his cabinet, including Markos Kyprianou as foreign minister, Kostas Papakostas as defense minister, Neoklis Silikiotis as interior minister, and Charilaos Stavrakis as finance minister. The ministers, except Kyprianou, are sworn in on February 29.
Japan: Former governor of Yamaguchi (1976-96) Toru Hirai dies.


Indonesia: Nur Alam is sworn in as governor of Sulawesi Tenggara.

Lee Myung Bak
South Korea: President-elect Lee Myung Bak announces his proposed cabinet, including Yu Myung Hwan as foreign minister, Lee Sang Hee as defense minister, and Kang Man Soo as finance minister. Lee Myung Bak takes office on February 25. On February 29 the parliament endorses (174-94) Han Seung Soo as prime minister; the government takes office the same day.
Pakistan: In parliamentary elections, the Pakistan People's Party wins 120 of 331 decided seats, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz 90, the Pakistan Muslim League 51, and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement 25; 11 of the 342 seats remain undecided.


Armenia: In presidential elections, Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisyan wins about 52% of the vote and former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan about 21%. Sarkisyan is to take office April 9.
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon: Former governor (1958-60) René Pont dies.


Montenegro: Milo Djukanovic is asked to form a government. He is elected prime minister on February 29, with a mostly unchanged cabinet.


Czech Republic: The assembly of Pardubický kraj elects Ivo Toman as new governor.
Egypt: Former acting president (1981) Sufi Abu Taleb dies.
United States: Former Arizona governor (1987-88) Evan Mecham dies.


India: In parliamentary elections in Tripura, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) wins 46 of 60 seats, the Indian National Congress 10, and the Revolutionary Socialist Party 2. Turnout is 92.3%.
Indonesia: Former governor of Jawa Tengah (1982-92) Ismail dies.
Slovenia: Former prime minister (1992-2000, 2000-02) and president (2002-07) Janez Drnovsek dies.
Taiwan: Defense Minister Lee Tien-yu resigns. Michael Tsai is sworn in as the new defense minister on February 25.


Cuba: The National Assembly of People's Power elects Raúl Castro as president of the Council of State and of the Council of Ministers. José Ramón Machado Ventura is elected first vice president. Gen. Julio Casas Regueiro becomes armed forces (defense) minister.
Germany: In state elections in Hamburg, the Christian Democratic Union wins 42.6% of the vote (56 of 121 seats), the Social Democratic Party 34.1% (45), the Greens 9.6% (12), the Left 6.4% (8), and the Free Democratic Party 4.8% (0). Turnout is 63.4%.


Tonga: Finance Minister Siosiua 'Utoikamanu resigns. Prime Minister Feleti Sevele becomes acting finance minister on February 26.


Nigeria: An Appeal Court nullifies the April 2007 election of the governor of Adamawa, Murtala Nyako, and orders the speaker of the state House of Assembly, James Barka, to be immediately sworn in as acting governor.
Sri Lanka: Former foreign minister (2001-04) and governor of North Eastern province (2004-06) Tyronne Fernando dies.


Pakistan: Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi is appointed governor of Balochistan. He is sworn in on February 28.


Denmark: Former foreign minister (1973-75) Ove Guldberg dies.