May 2008


Guernsey: Lyndon Trott is elected chief minister.
Malta: Former governor-general (1971-74) and president (1974-76) Sir Anthony Mamo dies.
Switzerland: Jean-Michel Cina becomes president of the Council of State of Valais and Markus Notter president of the government of Zürich.


Spain: Former prime minister (1981-82) Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo dies.


Equatorial Guinea: In parliamentary elections, the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea and the allied "Democratic Opposition" win 99 of 100 seats and the Convergence for Social Democracy 1.
Switzerland: The Landsgemeinde of Glarus elects Marianne Dürst as Landammann.



Congo (Kinshasa): Former governor of Bas-Congo (2001-06) César Tsasa-di-Ntumba dies.
Georgia: Eka Tkeshelashvili is named foreign minister.


Ireland: Prime Minister Bertie Ahern tenders his resignation. On May 7 Brian Cowen is elected prime minister by the Dáil (88-76). Mary Coughlan becomes deputy prime minister, Micheál Martin foreign minister, and Brian Lenihan finance minister.

El Waghef
Mauritania: Prime Minister Zeine Ould Zeidane resigns and is replaced by Yahya Ould Ahmed El Waghef. The latter names a new cabinet on May 11, including Cheikh El Avia Ould Mohamed Khouna as foreign minister and Mohamed Yehdhih Ould Moctar El Hacen as interior minister.
Taiwan: Foreign Minister James Huang resigns.


Haiti: The Senate ratifies (17-0) the nomination of Ericq Pierre as prime minister. On May 12, however, he is rejected (51-35) by the Chamber of Deputies. On May 25 President René Préval names Robert Manuel as his new candidate for the post.


Russia: Dmitry Medvedev is sworn in as president and nominates his predecessor Vladimir Putin as prime minister. Putin is confirmed by the State Duma (392-56) on May 8. On May 12 he announces his cabinet, with no change in the key positions. On May 14 Medvedev appoints Grigory Rapota as his plenipotentiary in Privolzhsky federal district and Vladimir Ustinov to replace Rapota in Yuzhny federal district.


Italy: Silvio Berlusconi is sworn in as prime minister with a cabinet including Franco Frattini as foreign minister, Ignazio La Russa as defense minister, Roberto Maroni as interior minister, and Giulio Tremonti as economy minister. The government receives the confidence of the Chamber of Deputies (335-275) on May 14 and of the Senate (173-137) on May 15.


Serbia: In parliamentary elections, President Boris Tadic's coalition, For a European Serbia, wins 38.7% of the vote (103 of 250 seats), the Serbian Radical Party 29.1% (77), the Democratic Party of Serbia-New Serbia coalition 11.3% (30), the coalition led by the Socialist Party of Serbia 7.9% (20), and the Liberal Democratic Party 5.2% (13). Turnout is 60.7%.


Lebanon: The presidential election, scheduled for May 13, is postponed to June 10. On May 21, however, the country's factions reach an agreement by which Gen. Michel Suleiman is elected president on May 25; he receives 118 votes, 6 votes are blank, and 3 go to other candidates. Suleiman is immediately sworn in and the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora is deemed to have resigned on the same date. Having been proposed to President Suleiman by 68 of the 127 members of parliament, Siniora is asked to form a new government on May 28.
Pakistan: The ministers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, including Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, resign. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani declines to accept the resignations, hoping the ministers will take up their posts again, but on May 15 the minister for privatization and industries, Syed Naveed Qamar, is given the additional charge of the finance ministry.

Russia: Murat Kumpilov becomes acting prime minister of Adygeya. He is appointed prime minister on May 28.


Jamaica: In a cabinet reshuffle, Col. Trevor MacMillan replaces Derrick Smith as minister of national security.
Kuwait: Former prime minister (1978-2003) and emir (2006) Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah Al Salim Al Sabah dies.


Switzerland: Former Schultheiss of Luzern (1974, 1980) Carl Mugglin dies.


Pakistan: Khalid Maqbool resigns as governor of Punjab and Salman Taseer is appointed in his place (sworn in May 16).


Cocos Islands: Former administrator (1950-51) Roderick MacLean dies.
Dominican Republic: In presidential elections, incumbent Leonel Fernández (Dominican Liberation Party) wins 53.8% of the vote, Miguel Vargas (Dominican Revolutionary Party) 40.5%, and Amable Aristy (Social Christian Reformist Party) 4.6%.

Russia: President Dmitry Medvedev accepts the resignation of the governor of Stavropol kray, Aleksandr Chernogorov, and appoints Valery Gayevsky as acting governor. On May 20 Medvedev nominates Gayevsky as governor. The local Duma confirms him (45-0) on May 23.
Sri Lanka: Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan is sworn in as chief minister of Eastern province.


Brunei: Former chief minister (1972-81) Pengiran Dipa Negara Laila Diraja Pengiran Abdul Mumin dies.
Kuwait: In parliamentary elections, Sunni Islamists win 21 of the 50 elective seats, Shi`ite Islamists 5, the National Action Bloc (liberals) 7, and independents 17. Turnout is about 65%. On May 20 Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Muhammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah is asked to form a new government. The new cabinet is announced on May 28, with no change in the key portfolios.


Yemen: In a cabinet reshuffle, Mutahar Rashad al-Masri is appointed interior minister.


Guinea: Prime Minister Lansana Kouyaté is sacked and Ahmed Tidiane Souaré is appointed to replace him. Souaré is sworn in on May 23. On May 27 the defense minister, Gen. Mamadou Bailo Diallo, is sacked.
Indonesia: Former governor of Jakarta (1966-77) Ali Sadikin dies.
São Tomé and Príncipe: A censure motion is passed (30-23) against Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada's government.



Taiwan: Ma Ying-jeou takes office as president. Vincent Siew becomes vice president, Liu Chao-shiuan premier, Francisco Ou foreign minister, Chen Chao-min defense minister, Liao Liao-yi interior minister, and Lee Sush-der finance minister.
United States: In mayoral elections in Portland, Sam Adams defeats Sho Dozono, 59%-33%.


Georgia: In parliamentary elections, President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement wins 59.2% of the vote and about 120 of 150 seats.


India: In parliamentary elections in Karnataka held May 10, 16, and 22, the Bharatiya Janata Party wins 110 of 224 seats, Congress 80, and the Janata Dal-Secular 28. B.S. Yeddyurappa is sworn in as chief minister on May 30.


Guadeloupe: Former prefect (1965-67) Pierre Bolotte dies.


Iceland: With no challengers nominated by the deadline, President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson wins a new term without an election (which would have taken place on June 28).
Nigeria: The previous winners are confirmed in two re-run gubernatorial elections. In Bayelsa, Timipre Sylva (People's Democratic Party) defeats Prince Ebitimi Amgbare (Action Congress) 94%-4%; turnout is 61.5%. In Sokoto, Aliyu Wamakko (People's Democratic Party) defeats Maigari Dingyadi (Democratic People's Party) 81%-18%; turnout is 56.3%. Sylva is sworn in on May 27 and Wamakko on May 28.
Switzerland: Former president of the Council of State of Neuchâtel (1981-82, 1986-87) André Brandt dies.



Australia: Paul Lennon resigns as premier of Tasmania and is replaced by David Bartlett.

Canada: Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier resigns. David Emerson, the minister for international trade, is assigned the foreign affairs portfolio on an interim basis.
Indonesia: In the first direct election for governor of Kalimantan Timur, Awang Faroek Ishak wins 28.9% of the vote, Achmad Amins 26.9%, Jusuf Serang Kasim 25.2%, and Nusyirwan Ismail 19%. A new law requires a candidate to receive at least 30% of the vote to win an election, accordingly a second round between the first two candidates is scheduled for October 23.
Kyrgyzstan: Bakytbek Kalyev is appointed defense minister.

Monaco: Franck Biancheri is appointed foreign minister, effective June 20.


Germany: The Landtag of Sachsen elects Stanislaw Tillich as minister-president, following the resignation of Georg Milbradt.
Nepal: The Constituent Assembly votes 560-4 to declare the republic, thus unseating King Gyanendra.


Sri Lanka: Former governor of Sabaragamuwa (2005-08) Reggie Ranatunga dies.