March 2009


Austria: In state elections in Kärnten, the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) wins 44.9% of the vote (17 of 36 seats), the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) 28.8% (11), the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) 16.8% (6), the Greens 5.1% (2), and the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) 3.8% (0); turnout is 81.3%. In Salzburg, the SPÖ wins 39.4% of the vote (15 of 36 seats), the ÖVP 36.6% (14), the FPÖ 13% (5), the Greens 7.4% (2), and the BZÖ 3.7% (0); turnout is 74.4%.
Spain: In elections in País Vasco/Euskadi, the Basque Nationalist Party wins 38.6% of the vote (30 of 75 seats), the Socialist Party of the Basque Country 30.7% (24), the Popular Party 14.1% (13), Aralar 6% (4), Eusko Alkartasuna 3.7% (2), Ezker Batua 3.5% (1), and Unity, Progress, and Democracy 2.1% (1); turnout is 65.9%. In Galicia, the Popular Party wins 47.9% of the vote (39 of 75 seats), the Socialist Party 30.5% (24), and the Galician Nationalist Bloc 16.9% (12); turnout is 70.5%.


Cuba: In a cabinet reshuffle, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla is appointed as foreign minister and Lina Pedraza Rodríguez as finance minister.
French Polynesia: Former president of the government (1987-91) Alexandre Léontieff dies.

Guinea-Bissau: President Joăo Bernardo Vieira is assassinated. The president of the National People's Assembly, Raimundo Pereira, is sworn in as interim president on March 3.
United States: President Barack Obama nominates Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of health and human services.


Afghanistan: Parliament approves Omar Zakhilwal as finance minister.
Federated States of Micronesia: In congressional elections, only nonpartisans are elected. In gubernatorial elections in Chuuk, incumbent Wesley W. Simina wins 36.6% of the vote, Gillian N. Doone 32%, and Redley Killion 31.4%. A runoff will be held between Simina and Doone.
South Africa: Cassel Mathale is appointed acting premier of Limpopo following the resignation of Sello Moloto. Mathale is elected as new premier on March 24.

Ukraine: Parliament votes (by 250 votes out of 429) no confidence in Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko, and Volodymyr Khandohiy becomes acting foreign minister. On March 17 President Viktor Yushchenko nominates Oleh Shamshur as foreign minister.
United States: Antonio Villaraigosa is reelected mayor of Los Angeles, defeating Walter Moore 56%-26%.
Venezuela: In a cabinet reshuffle, Ramón Carrizalez is appointed acting defense minister.


Libya: Mussa Kussa is named foreign minister and Abdulhafid Zlitni finance minister in a government reshuffle. Mubarak Abdallah al-Shamikh is named secretary of the General People's Congress (sworn in March 5).


Zambia: Former foreign minister (1995-96) Christon Tembo dies.


Palestine: Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resigns, effective "as soon as a unity government is formed with a time limit to the end of March."


North Korea: In parliamentary elections, 687 candidates are elected without opposition. Turnout is 99.98%.


Serbia: Former chairman of the Executive Council of Vojvodina (1974-82) Nikola Kmezic dies.


Madagascar: Defense Minister Mamy Ranaivoniarivo resigns.


Anguilla: Governor Andrew George departs. Deputy Governor Stanley Reid becomes acting governor until the arrival of new governor Alistair Harrison, expected in April.
India: The chief minister of Orissa, Naveen Patnaik, wins a vote of confidence in the state assembly (by voice vote).
Indonesia: Former governor of Irian Jaya (1982-88) Izaac Hindom dies.



Antigua and Barbuda: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer's United Progressive Party wins 50.9% of the vote (9 of 17 seats), the Antigua Labour Party 47.2% (7), and the Barbuda People's Movement 1.1% (1). Turnout is 80.3%. In the cabinet announced and sworn in on March 16, Harold Lovell becomes finance minister and Errol Cort national security minister; Spencer retains the foreign affairs portfolio.
Chile: Mariano Fernández is appointed foreign minister and Francisco Vidal Salinas defense minister.
Latvia: The Saeima confirms (67-21) the new government led by Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis. It includes Imants Liegis as defense minister, Linda Murniece as interior minister, and Einars Repse as finance minister; Maris Riekstins remains foreign minister.

Russia: Aleksey Gordeyev is sworn in as governor of Voronezh oblast.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: Valentin Inzko (Austria) is appointed as international high representative. He takes office on March 26.
United States: Former transportation secretary (1973-75) Claude S. Brinegar dies.


Syria: Former prime minister (1971-72, 1976-78) Abdul Rahman Khleifawi dies.


El Salvador: In presidential elections, Mauricio Funes (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front) wins 51.3% of the vote and Rodrigo Ávila (Nationalist Republican Alliance) 48.7%. Turnout is 61.9%.


Kuwait: The prime minister, Sheikh Nasser Muhammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah, submits his cabinet's resignation, which is accepted by the emir.
Saint Helena: Former governor (1981-84) John Dudley Massingham dies.


France: The government of Prime Minister François Fillon wins a vote of confidence in the National Assembly (329-238).
India: The Meghalaya government of Chief Minister Donkupar Roy wins a confidence vote in the state assembly (28-27). On March 19, however, president's rule is imposed in the state.



Madagascar: President Marc Ravalomanana resigns and transfers presidential powers to a military directorate headed by Vice-Adm. Hyppolite Ramaroson, which in turn hands over power to Andry Rajoelina, who had declared himself president of a High Authority of Transition on February 7, and to Monja Roindefo, appointed by Rajoelina as prime minister on February 7. (On February 10 Benja Razafimahaleo had been appointed as finance minister and Masimanana Manantsoa as interior minister, and on February 12 Ny Hasina Andriamanjato as foreign minister.) The Constitutional Court recognizes Rajoelina's position as head of state on March 18 and he is sworn in on March 21.
Sierra Leone: Parliament confirms the nomination of Samura Kamara as finance minister.


Nigeria: Former administrator of Ogun (1978-79) Harris Eghagha dies.


Morocco: Former foreign minister (1971-72, 1985-99) and prime minister (1994-98) Abdellatif Filali dies.


Australia: In parliamentary elections in Queensland, the Australian Labor Party wins 42.2% of first-preference votes (51 of 89 seats), the Liberal National Party 41.6% (34), the Greens 8.4% (0), and independents 5.7% (4). Turnout is 90.9%.
Hungary: Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány announces his resignation (submitted to parliament on March 23).

Russia: The governor of Murmansk oblast, Yury Yevdokimov, resigns. President Dmitry Medvedev appoints Dmitry Dmitriyenko as acting governor and nominates him to become full governor. On March 25 he is confirmed by the local Duma (27-4) and takes office.
Slovakia: In presidential elections, incumbent Ivan Gasparovic (backed by the ruling coalition) wins 46.7% of the vote, Iveta Radicová (joint candidate of the parliamentary opposition) 38.1%, Frantisek Miklosko (Conservative Democrats) 5.4%, and Zuzana Martináková (Free Forum) 5.1%. Turnout is 43.6%. A runoff will be held on April 4.


Macedonia: In presidential elections, Gjorge Ivanov (VMRO-DPMNE) wins about 35% of the vote and Ljubomir Frckoski (Social Democratic Union of Macedonia) about 20.5%. Turnout is about 56%. A runoff will be held on April 5.


Brazil: Former governor of Goiás (1959-61) José Feliciano Ferreira dies.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Premier Michael Misick resigns with immediate effect, instead of his previously announced date of March 31. Galmo Williams is sworn in as premier. Meanwhile, on March 16, Governor Gordon Wetherell announced plans for a partial suspension of the constitution by which the cabinet and parliament would be dissolved and their powers exercised by the governor (assisted by an Advisory Council) for two years. On March 27 Williams' cabinet is sworn in, including Royal Robinson as finance minister and Karen Delancy as home affairs minister.


Czech Republic: Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek's government is defeated in a no-confidence vote (101-96). He accordingly resigns on March 26.
United States: Gary Locke is unanimously confirmed by the Senate as commerce secretary. He is sworn in on March 26.



Liechtenstein: Klaus Tschütscher is sworn in as head of government. He also takes the finance portfolio, while Aurelia Frick becomes foreign minister and Hugo Quaderer interior minister.
Mexico: Former governor of Sinaloa (1993-98) Renato Vega Alvarado dies.


Mexico: Former governor of Colima (1979-85) Griselda Álvarez Ponce de León dies.
Monaco: Sophie Thevenoux takes office as finance minister.


Marshall Islands: John Silk is named foreign minister. He takes office March 30.


Guyana: Former prime minister (1997) and president (1997-99) Janet Jagan dies.
Norway: Former governor of Nord-Trřndelag (1991-2008) Inger Lise Gjřrv dies.


Japan: In gubernatorial elections in Chiba, Kensaku Morita (independent) wins 45.5% of the vote, defeating Taira Yoshida (backed by the Democratic Party of Japan) with 28.6% and Masumi Shiraishi with 15.5%. Turnout is 45.6%.
Montenegro: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic's coalition "For a European Montenegro" wins 48 of 81 seats, the Socialist People's Party 16, the New Serbian Democracy 8, the Movement for Changes 5, and four ethnic Albanian parties 1 each.
Namibia: Former administrator-general of South West Africa (1979-80) Gerrit Viljoen dies.


Israel: Prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu announces his cabinet with Avigdor Lieberman as foreign minister, Eli Yishai as interior minister, Yuval Steinitz as finance minister, and Ehud Barak remaining as defense minister. On March 31 the new government is approved by the Knesset (69-45) and sworn in.
Pakistan: President Asif Ali Zardari lifts the governor's rule in Punjab. On March 31 Shahbaz Sharif again assumes charge as chief minister.


Argentina: Former president (1983-89) Raúl Alfonsín dies.
North Korea: Former premier (1997-2003) Hong Song Nam dies.