May 2009


Cyprus: Dervis Eroglu is charged with forming a new government in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. On May 5 his cabinet list is approved by President Mehmet Ali Talat; it includes Hüseyin Özgürgün as foreign minister, Ersin Tatar as finance minister, and Ilkay Kamil as interior minister. On May 18 the parliament votes the confidence to the new cabinet (26-23).
Senegal: Prime Minister Souleymane Ndéné Ndiaye's cabinet is announced with no change in key positions.
Switzerland: Claude Roch becomes president of the Council of State of Valais and Regine Aeppli president of the government of Zürich.

Turkey: In a cabinet reshuffle, Ahmet Davutoglu is named foreign minister and Mehmet Simsek finance minister.


India: Former governor of Punjab (1990) and Himachal Pradesh (1990-93) Virendra Verma dies.
United States: Former secretary of housing and urban development (1989-93) Jack Kemp dies.


Nepal: The ministers of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), including Home Minister Bamdev Gautam, resign. On May 4 Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigns. Madhav Kumar Nepal is elected prime minister on May 23 and sworn in on May 25; he names Bidhya Bhandari as defense minister and Surendra Pandey as finance minister.
Panama: In presidential elections, Ricardo Martinelli (Democratic Change, within the Alliance for Change) wins 60% of the vote, Balbina Herrera (Democratic Revolutionary Party) 37.7%, and former president Guillermo Endara (Moral Vanguard of the Fatherland) 2.3%. Turnout is 74%. On May 10 Martinelli designates Juan Carlos Varela as foreign minister and first vice-president.


Canada: In Nova Scotia, the government of Premier Rodney MacDonald loses a confidence vote in the Legislative Assembly (20 votes for the motion, 28 against).
Moldova: The government of Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanîi resigns as the mandate of the present parliament comes to an end.



Czech Republic: The appointed prime minister, Jan Fischer, announces the composition of his cabinet with Jan Kohout as foreign minister, Martin Barták as defense minister, Eduard Janota as finance minister, and Martin Pecina as interior minister. Fischer and his cabinet take office on May 8.
Nigeria: Former governor of Anambra (1983) Christian Onoh dies.
Saint-Martin: The Territorial Council elects Frantz Gumbs as president with 16 votes, against 6 for Alain Richardson and 1 for Marthe Ogoundélé.
Solomon Islands: In a cabinet reshuffle, Peter Tom is named to replace James Tora as home affairs minister.

Spain: The parliament of País Vasco/Euskadi elects Patxi López (Socialist Party of Euskadi) as president of the government; he receives 39 votes and incumbent Juan José Ibarretxe (Basque Nationalist Party) 35. He is sworn in on May 7.
United States: In the mayoral runoff in Anchorage, Dan Sullivan defeats Eric Croft, 57%-43%. Sullivan is to take office July 1. In mayoral elections in Detroit, Dave Bing is elected with 51.7% of the votes, while incumbent Ken Cockrel, Jr., receives 47.2%; turnout is 15.3%. Bing is sworn in on May 11.


Nigeria: Olusegun Oni is sworn in as governor of Ekiti.
Russia: Vyacheslav Shport is confirmed as governor of Khabarovsk kray by the local Duma (25-0) and sworn in.


South Africa: Jacob Zuma is elected president by 277 votes in the 400-seat parliament. In the provinces the following new premiers are elected and sworn in: Noxolo Kiviet (Eastern Cape), Ace Magashule (Free State), Nomvula Mokonyane (Gauteng), Zweli Mkhize (KwaZulu-Natal), David Mabuza (Mpumalanga), Maureen Modiselle (North West), Hazel Jenkins (Northern Cape), and Helen Zille (Western Cape). Zuma takes office on May 9 and on May 10 announces his cabinet (sworn in May 11), including Kgalema Motlanthe as deputy president, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane as international relations minister, Lindiwe Sisulu as defense minister, Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as home affairs minister.


India: President's rule is lifted in Meghalaya. On May 13, D.D. Lapang is sworn in as chief minister. On May 25, the new government (having support of 43 members in the 60-member state assembly) wins a confidence motion through voice vote.


Maldives: In parliamentary elections, the Maldivian People's Party wins 36.8% of the vote (28 of 77 seats), the Maldives Democratic Party 32.9% (26), independents 17.1% (13), the People's Alliance 9.2% (7), the Dhivehi Qaumee Party 2.6% (2), and the Republican Party 1.3% (1). Turnout is 78.9%.
United States: In mayoral elections in Austin, Lee Leffingwell wins about 47% of the vote, Brewster McCracken about 27%, and former mayor Carole Keeton Strayhorn about 22%. On May 11 McCracken drops out of the runoff that would have been scheduled for June 13, and Leffingwell becomes mayor-elect. In San Antonio on May 9, Julián Castro defeats Trish DeBerry-Mejia, 54%-29%.


Iceland: Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir's new cabinet is introduced, with no change in the key portfolios.
New Caledonia: In parliamentary elections, the Rassemblement UMP wins 13 of 54 seats, Calédonie Ensemble 10, Union Calédonienne 8, Union Nationale pour l'Indépendance 8, Avenir Ensemble 6, Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste 3, Parti Travailliste 3, Rassemblement pour la Calédonie 2, and Libération Kanak Socialiste 1.

Russia: The governor of Irkutsk oblast, Igor Yesipovsky, is killed in a helicopter crash. On May 11 President Dmitry Medvedev appoints Sergey Sokol as acting governor. On May 28 Medvedev nominates Dmitry Mezentsev to become governor.


Belize: Former governor (1972-76) Sir Richard Neil Posnett (also governor of Bermuda 1981-83) dies.
Central African Republic: Former prime minister (1957-58, 1959, 2003) Abel Goumba dies.
Malaysia: The High Court invalidates the February 6 appointment of Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir as chief minister of Perak and reinstates Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as chief minister. On May 12, however, the Court of Appeal allows a stay of execution of the order of the High Court pending the filing of an appeal and consequently, Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir immediately regains his post. On May 22, the Court of Appeal reverses the High Court decision.


Canada: In parliamentary elections in British Columbia, the BC Liberal Party wins 45.8% of the vote (49 of 85 seats), the BC New Democratic Party 42.1% (35), the Green Party of BC 8.1% (0), and other parties and independents 4% (1). Turnout is 51%.

Macedonia: Gjorge Ivanov is sworn in as president.
Sri Lanka: The governor of Sabaragamuwa, Mohan Saliya Ellawala, dies.
Ukraine: Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko resigns.
United States: In mayoral elections in Jersey City, incumbent Jerramiah Healy (Democrat) defeats Louis Manzo (Democrat), 53%-26%. In Omaha, Jim Suttle (Democrat) defeats former mayor Hal Daub (Republican), 51%-49%.


India: In parliamentary elections held April 16, 22-23, 30, and May 7 and 13, the United Progressive Alliance wins 262 of 543 seats (including the Indian National Congress 206, All India Trinamool Congress 19, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 18, and Nationalist Congress Party 9), the National Democratic Alliance 158 (including Bharatiya Janata Party 116, Janata Dal [United] 20, Shiv Sena 11, Rashtriya Lok Dal 5, and Shiromani Akali Dal 4), the Third Front 76 (including Bahujan Samaj Party 21, Communist Party of India [Marxist] 16, Biju Janata Dal 14, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 9, Telugu Desam Party 6, and Communist Party of India 4), and the Fourth Front 27 (Samajwadi Party 23, Rashtriya Janata Dal 4). On May 18 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a formality submits his resignation to the president, who reappoints him on May 20 and asks him to form a new government. On May 22 Singh is sworn in as prime minister with a part of his cabinet members. On May 23 S.M. Krishna receives the foreign affairs portfolio and Pranab Mukherjee the finance portfolio, while the previous ministers of defense, A.K. Antony, and home affairs, Palaniappan Chidambaram, are confirmed in their posts.


Italy: Former foreign minister (1995-96) Susanna Agnelli dies.


Kuwait: In parliamentary elections, independents win 21 of 50 seats, Sunni Islamists 13, Liberals 7, Shia Islamists 6, and the Popular Bloc 3. Turnout is 50%. On May 20 the emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jabir Al Sabah, asks Sheikh Nasser Muhammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah to form a new cabinet. Its composition is announced on May 29, with no change in the key portfolios.


Comoros: In a referendum, constitutional amendments are approved which extend the term of President Ahmed Abdallah Sambi by one year (to 2011) and downgrade the status of the island presidents to governors.
Lithuania: In presidential elections, Dalia Grybauskaite wins 69.1% of the vote, Algirdas Butkevicius 11.8%, Valentinas Mazuronis 6.2%, Valdemar Tomasevski 4.7%, Kazimiera Prunskiene 3.9%, and Loreta Grauziniene 3.6%. Turnout is 51.8%. Grybauskaite is to take office July 12.


Colombia: Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos announces his resignation, effective May 23. On the latter date Gen. Freddy Padilla de León takes office as acting defense minister.
Papua New Guinea: Former administrator (1966-70) Sir David Osborne Hay dies.


Malawi: In presidential elections, incumbent Bingu wa Mutharika wins 66% of the vote and John Tembo 30.7%. In parliamentary elections, Mutharika's Democratic Progressive Party wins 114 of 193 seats, Tembo's Malawi Congress Party 26, the United Democratic Front 17, and independents 32.
Palestine: President Mahmoud Abbas reappoints Salam Fayyad as prime minister and he is sworn in with his new cabinet on the same date. Said Abu Ali is appointed as interior minister and Bassem Khoury as economy minister; Riyad al-Malki keeps the foreign affairs portfolio.


Cayman Islands: In parliamentary elections, the United Democratic Party wins 9 of 15 seats, the People's Progressive Movement 5, and independents 1. Turnout is 73.4%. On May 27 McKeeva Bush is sworn in as leader of government business.
Moldova: Parliament fails in the first round of voting to elect a new president. Zinaida Greceanîi receives 60 votes, but 61 were required. A second round of voting is scheduled for May 28, but is then postponed to June 3.
Vietnam: Former prime minister of South Vietnam (1975) Nguyen Ba Can dies.


Estonia: Prime Minister Andrus Ansip fires the three Social Democratic ministers, including Finance Minister Ivari Padar and Interior Minister Jüri Pihl. Agriculture Minister Helir-Valdor Seeder is temporarily given the finance portfolio and Justice Minister Rein Lang the interior portfolio.


Timor-Leste: Former governor of Portuguese Timor (1974-75) Mário Lemos Pires dies.


Cook Islands: Former queen's representative (1984-90) Sir Tangaroa Tangaroa dies.
Germany: Horst Köhler is reelected as president by the Federal Assembly, receiving 613 votes as against 503 for Gesine Schwan and 91 for Peter Sodann.
South Korea: Former president (2003-08) Roh Moo Hyun commits suicide.


Mongolia: In presidential elections, Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj (Democratic Party) wins 51.2% of the vote and incumbent Nambaryn Enkhbayar (Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party) 47.4%. Turnout is 73.5%.


Switzerland: Jean Studer becomes president of the Council of State of Neuchâtel.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: The prime minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nedzad Brankovic, resigns.


Burkina Faso: Former high commissioner of Upper Volta (1959-60) Paul Masson dies.
Philippines: Former acting foreign minister (1984) Manuel Collantes dies.


Andorra: In a parliamentary vote for head of government, Jaume Bartumeu (Social Democratic Party) obtains 14 votes and Joan Gabriel (Reformist Coalition) 11. No candidate winning an absolute majority, a second vote is scheduled for June 3.
Turkmenistan: Isgender Mulikov is appointed as interior minister.


Guinea-Bissau: Former chairman of the Council of State (1973-80) Luís de Almeida Cabral dies.
Israel: Former president (1973-78) Ephraim Katzir dies.
Sri Lanka: Former chief minister of Southern province (1993-94, 1994) Amarasiri Dodangoda dies.
The Sudan: Former chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (1969-71) and president (1971-85) Gaafar Nimeiry dies.


Georgia: In parliamentary elections in South Ossetia, the Unity Party wins 46.4% of the vote (17 of 34 seats), the People's Party of South Ossetia 22.6% (9), the Communist Party of South Ossetia 22.3% (8), and the Fatherland Socialist Party 6.4% (0).