January 2012


Argentina: The governor of Río Negro, Carlos Soria, dies in a shooting incident. Vice Governor Alberto Weretilneck becomes governor (sworn in January 3).
Macedonia: Former president (1991-99) Kiro Gligorov dies.


Switzerland: Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf takes office as president, Didier Burkhalter as foreign minister, and Alain Berset as interior minister. Georges Godel becomes president of the Council of State of Fribourg, Barbara Janom Steiner president of the government of Graubünden, Elisabeth Baume-Schneider president of the government of Jura, Yvonne Schärli-Gerig president of the government of Luzern, Ursula Hafner-Wipf president of the government of Schaffhausen, and Peter Gomm Landammann of Solothurn.


Maldives: Mohamed Aslam is appointed acting finance minister. On January 4 Mohamed Shihab is appointed finance minister.
Moldova: Former chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (1980-85) and chairman of the Council of Ministers (1985-90) of the Moldavian S.S.R. Ivan Kalin dies.


Marshall Islands: Parliament elects Christopher Loeak as president by 21 votes against 11 for incumbent Jurelang Zedkaia. Loeak names his cabinet on January 9 with Phillip Muller as foreign minister, Dennis Momotaro as finance minister, and Wilbur Heine as internal affairs minister. Loeak and the cabinet take office on January 10, though the ceremonial inauguration is on January 17.

El Othmani
Morocco: The cabinet of Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane is announced with Saadeddine El Othmani as foreign minister, Mohand Laenser as interior minister, and Nizar Baraka as finance minister; Abdellatif Loudiyi remains minister-delegate in charge of defense.
United States: Greg Stanton is sworn in as mayor of Phoenix.


Tajikistan: Ramazon Rakhimov is appointed interior minister.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: Vjekoslav Bevanda is designated as prime minister. Parliament confirms him (31-2) on January 12.

Jamaica: Portia Simpson Miller is sworn in as prime minister. In the cabinet sworn in on January 6, she is also defense minister, while A.J. Nicholson is foreign minister, Peter Phillips finance minister, and Peter Bunting national security minister.
Slovenia: Zoran Jankovic is designated as prime minister. On January 11 parliament rejects the appointment (42-1 in favour; a majority of 46 votes was required). On January 25 Janez Jansa is designated instead and the parliament endorses him on January 28 (51-39).


Venezuela: Gen. Henry Rangel Silva is appointed as defense minister. He is sworn in on January 17.


Côte d'Ivoire: Former foreign minister (2003-06) Bamba Mamadou dies.


Argentina: Former foreign minister (1978-81) Carlos Washington Pastor dies.
Guinea-Bissau: President Malam Bacai Sanhá dies. The president of the National People's Assembly, Raimundo Pereira, has already been serving as interim president during Sanhá's illness.


China: Zhang Qingwei is elected governor of Hebei.
United States: Phil Bryant is sworn in as governor of Mississippi.


Egypt: In parliamentary elections held in three phases - first phase on November 28-29 (first round) and December 5-6 (second round), second phase on December 14-15 (first round) and 21-22 (second round), third phase on January 3-4 (first round) and 10-11 (second round) - the Democratic Alliance of Egypt wins 37.5% of the vote (225 of 498 elected seats, including 216 for the Freedom and Justice Party), the Alliance for Egypt ("Islamist Bloc") 27.8% (125, including 109 for the Al-Nour party), the New Wafd Party 9.2% (41), the Egyptian Bloc 8.9% (34), Al-Wasat 3.7% (9), the Revolution Continues Alliance 2.8% (8), and the Reform and Development Party 2.2% (10). With 10 seats reserved for presidential appointees, the total number of seats is 508.


Moldova: The Constitutional Court rules the Dec. 16, 2011, presidential election invalid because of violations of secret voting procedures.
United States: Former governor of South Dakota (1979-87, 1995-2003) William J. Janklow dies.

Zambia: Given Lubinda is appointed foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle.


Cyprus: Former president of North Cyprus (1975-90, 1990-2005) Rauf Denktas dies.
Japan: In a cabinet reshuffle, Naoki Tanaka is appointed as defense minister.

Kiribati: Anote Tong is reelected as president with 42.2% of the vote, defeating Tetaua Taitai (35%) and Rimeta Beniamina (22.8%). Turnout is about 68%. On January 20 Tong announces his cabinet with himself as foreign minister, Teima Onorio as internal affairs minister, and Tom Murdoch as finance minister.
Russia: President Dmitry Medvedev accepts the resignation of the governor of Arkhangelsk oblast, Ilya Mikhalchuk, and appoints Igor Orlov as acting governor. On January 31 Medvedev nominates Orlov as governor.

Uzbekistan: Abdulaziz Kamilov is appointed foreign minister.



Guatemala: Otto Pérez Molina is sworn in as president. His cabinet includes Harold Caballeros as foreign minister, Col. Ulises Anzueto as defense minister, Mauricio López Bonilla as interior minister, and Pavel Centeno as finance minister.
Taiwan: In presidential elections, incumbent Ma Ying-jeou (Kuomintang) wins 51.6% of the vote and Tsai Ing-wen (Democratic Progressive Party) 45.6%. Turnout is 74.4%. In parliamentary elections, the "pan-blue" camp (including Kuomintang) wins 51.6% of the vote (67 of 113 seats) and the "pan-green" camp (including the Democratic Progressive Party) 43.6% (43). On January 31 Ma names Sean Chen as premier, who then announces a reshuffled cabinet with Christina Liu as finance minister and Lee Hong-yuan as interior minister.


Kazakhstan: In parliamentary elections, the Nur Otan party wins 81% of the vote (83 of 98 elected or 107 total seats), Ak Zhol 7.5% (8), and the Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan 7.2% (7). Turnout is 75.4%.
Spain: Former president of the Xunta of Galicia (1990-2005) Manuel Fraga Iribarne dies.
United States: Former governor of West Virginia (1965-69) Hulett C. Smith and former veterans affairs secretary (1989-92) Edward J. Derwinski die.


China: Xia Baolong is elected governor of Zhejiang.
Indonesia: Rusli Habibie is sworn in as governor of Gorontalo.


Moldova: The president of Transnistria, Yevgeny Shevchuk, nominates Pyotr Stepanov as prime minister (a new post). On January 18 parliament endorses the nomination. Meanwhile on January 17, Shevchuk appointed acting ministers including Nina Shtansky as acting foreign minister. On January 24 Shtansky is confirmed as foreign minister and Elena Girzhul becomes finance minister.


China: Zhu Xiaodan is elected governor of Guangdong.
Indonesia: Abraham O. Atururi is sworn in as governor of Papua Barat.

Russia: The head of administration of Volgograd oblast, Anatoly Brovko, resigns and Sergey Bozhenov is appointed as acting head of administration. On January 31 Bozhenov is nominated as head of administration.


Thailand: King Bhumibol Adulyadej endorses a cabinet reshuffle in which Sukumpol Suwanatat becomes defense minister and Kittirat Na Ranong finance minister. The new ministers are sworn in on January 23.
Ukraine: Finance Minister Fedir Yaroshenko resigns and is replaced by Valeriy Khoroshkovsky.


Liberia: President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf nominates Augustine Ngafuan as foreign minister and Amara Konneh as finance minister; Brownie Samukai is to remain defense minister. On January 22 Blamo Nelson is nominated as minister of internal affairs.
Switzerland: Former president of the government of Basel-Stadt (1979-80) Hansruedi Schmid dies.


Jamaica: Former foreign minister (1975-77) Dudley Thompson dies.


Bulgaria: Rosen Plevneliev takes office as president.
Finland: In the first round of presidential elections, Sauli Niinistö (National Coalition Party) wins 37% of the vote, Pekka Haavisto (Green League) 18.8%, Paavo Väyrynen (Centre Party) 17.5%, Timo Soini (True Finns) 9.4%, Paavo Lipponen (Social Democratic Party) 6.7%, and Paavo Arhinmäki (Left Alliance) 5.5%. Turnout is 69.7%.
France: Former president of the Regional Council of Centre (1976-79) Pierre Sudreau dies.


Bolivia: In a cabinet reshuffle, Carlos Romero is named interior minister.
Romania: Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi is dismissed. On January 24 Cristian Diaconescu is appointed to the post and sworn in the same day.


United States: Former governor of Rhode Island (1977-85) J. Joseph Garrahy dies.


Ghana: In a cabinet reshuffle, William Kwasi Aboah is designated interior minister.


Argentina: Former governor of San Juan (1999-2002) Alfredo Avelín dies.
India: The governor of Kerala, M.O. Hasan Farook Maricar, dies. He was on leave and on January 16 Karnataka governor Hansraj Bhardwaj already took additional charge of Kerala.
Kenya: Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta resigns and Njeru Githae is appointed as acting finance minister.


Mongolia: Jadambaa Enkhbayar is appointed defense minister and Damdin Khayankhyarvaa finance minister.
Nigeria: The Supreme Court sacks the governors of Adamawa (Murtala Nyako), Bayelsa (Timipre Sylva), Cross River (Liyel Imoke), Kogi (Ibrahim Idris), and Sokoto (Aliyu Wamakko) for having exceeded their 4-year terms, setting aside lower court rulings which decided that, after winning re-run elections, their tenures should run from their second inauguration. Although the Supreme Court does not make consequential orders on filling the vacant posts, by precedent the respective House of Assembly speakers are sworn in on the same day as acting governors in Adamawa (Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri), Bayelsa (Nestor Binabo), Cross River (Larry Odey), and Kogi (Abdullahi Bello); however, in the latter state the situation is confused as Capt. Idris Wada, elected on December 3, is in parallel sworn in as governor (declared unconstitutional by the federal attorney general). In Sokoto the speaker Mohammed Zayyanu is sworn in as acting governor on January 28. On January 30 the national electoral commission, while fixing dates for new gubernatorial elections in the other four states, recognizes the Kogi election as valid and Wada takes control of the state.


India: In state elections in Manipur, the Indian National Congress wins 42 of 60 seats and the All India Trinamool Congress 7.


African Union: Yayi Boni, president of Benin, becomes chairman. The election of a chairman of the Commission ends in deadlock on January 30. Incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon was leading in three rounds of voting against South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (28-25, 27-26, 29-24) whereupon the latter had to pull out, but in a fourth round on his own (receiving 33 votes) he still failed to obtain the required two-thirds majority (36). Ping's term is then extended until a new election to be held at the next summit in June-July.
India: Former lieutenant governor of Pondicherry (1988-90) and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1990-93) Ranjit Singh Dayal dies.
Italy: Former president (1992-99) Oscar Luigi Scalfaro dies.


Cape Verde: Former governor (1974) Henrique Afonso da Silva Horta dies.
India: In state elections in Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal wins 56 of 117 seats, the Indian National Congress 46, and the Bharatiya Janata Party 12. In Uttarakhand, the Indian National Congress wins 32 of 70 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party 31.
Switzerland: Former president of the Council of State of Valais (1980-81, 1984-85, 1987-88, 1992-93) Hans Wyer dies.


Bermuda: George Fergusson is appointed governor, to take office in May.
Brazil: Former governor of Sergipe (1963-64) João de Seixas Dória dies.