December 2018


Bahrain: The second round of parliamentary elections is held. On December 2 the government resigns as required by the constitution. On December 4 the king reappoints Sheikh Khalifa ibn Salman Al Khalifa as prime minister who then forms a cabinet with a new defense minister, Abdullah ibn Hassan Al Nuaimi, and new finance minister, Sheikh Salman ibn Khalifa Al Khalifa.
Mexico: Andrés Manuel López Obrador takes office as president with a cabinet including Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón as foreign minister, Gen. Luis Cresencio Sandoval González as defense minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero as interior minister, and Carlos Urzúa as finance minister. Cuitláhuac García Jiménez takes office as governor of Veracruz.


Maldives: Home Affairs Minister Imran Abdulla resigns but is reappointed the same day.

Bom Jesus

São Tomé and Príncipe: The cabinet of Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus is announced, with Elsa Teixeira Pinto as foreign minister, Óscar Sousa as defense and interior minister, and Osvaldo Vaz as finance minister. The government takes office December 3.
Spain: In parliamentary elections in Andalucía, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party wins 28.4% of the vote (33 of 109 seats), the Popular Party 21.1% (26), Ciudadanos 18.6% (21), Forward Andalucía 16.4% (17), and Vox 11.1% (12). Turnout is 58.7%.


Canada: Ed Holder is sworn in as mayor of London.
Iraq: Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi nominates Falih al-Fayadh as interior minister and Faisal al-Jarba as defense minister.
Russia: The resignation of the prime minister of Bashkortostan, Rustem Mardanov, is announced.
Sri Lanka: The Court of Appeal issues a stay order barring Mahinda Rajapakse from acting as prime minister. On December 12 the 225-member parliament votes 117-0 to express confidence in the dismissed prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. On December 13, the Supreme Court rules that the November 9 dissolution of parliament was unconstitutional. On December 15 Rajapakse resigns. On December 16 Wickremesinghe is reappointed and sworn in as prime minister. On December 20 his cabinet is announced and sworn in, including, as in his previous government, Tilak Marapana as foreign minister, Vajira Abeywardena as home affairs minister, and Mangala Samaraweera as finance minister.
United States: Mike Dunleavy is sworn in as governor of Alaska.


Ecuador: Vice President María Alejandra Vicuña resigns. On December 11 Congress elects Otto Sonnenholzner as vice president (94-27).
Saint Helena: Philip Rushbrook is announced as the next governor, to take office in May 2019.
Vanuatu: Prime Minister Charlot Salwai survives a no-confidence motion in parliament, which is rejected 31-19. Another, on December 21, is rejected 36-13.


Argentina: Former governor of Chubut (1981-83) Niceto Echauri Ayerra dies.
Laos: In a cabinet reshuffle, Maj.Gen. Vilay Lakhamfong is appointed minister of public security.
Luxembourg: Prime Minister Xavier Bettel's new government takes office with François Bausch as defense minister and Taina Bofferding as interior minister; Jean Asselborn remains foreign minister and Pierre Gramegna finance minister.
Mexico: Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo takes office as chief of government of Ciudad de México.
Switzerland: Ueli Maurer is elected president for 2019 (201 of 209 votes) and Simonetta Sommaruga as vice president (196 of 216 votes). Viola Amherd and Karin Keller-Sutter are elected to the government to replace Doris Leuthard and Johann Schneider-Ammann effective January 1. Portfolios are assigned on December 10; Amherd is to become defense minister.


Brazil: Former governor of Roraima (2007-14) José de Anchieta Júnior dies.
Kyrgyzstan: Finance Minister Adylbek Kasymaliyev resigns. On December 12 parliament approves Baktygul Jeenbayeva as finance minister; she is appointed by the president on December 13.
Mexico: Enrique Alfaro Ramírez takes office as governor of Jalisco.


Brazil: Governor-elect Antônio Olivério Garcia de Almeida is named federal interventor in Roraima, effective December 10.
Colombia: Former president (1982-86) Belisario Betancur Cuartas dies.
India: In parliamentary elections in Rajasthan, the Indian National Congress wins 39.3% of the vote (99 of 200 seats), the Bharatiya Janata Party 38.8% (73), independents 9.5% (13), and the Bahujan Samaj Party 4.0% (6); Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje resigns on December 11 and Ashok Gehlot is sworn in as chief minister on December 17. In Telangana, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi wins 46.9% of the vote (88 of 119 seats), the Indian National Congress 28.4% (19), the Bharatiya Janata Party 7.0% (1), the Telugu Desam Party 3.5% (2), independents 3.3% (1), and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen 2.7% (7); on December 13 Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao is again sworn in as chief minister.

Russia: President Vladimir Putin appoints Valery Limarenko as acting governor of Sakhalin oblast.
Slovakia: Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcák withdraws his resignation.
United States: President Donald Trump nominates William P. Barr as attorney general and Heather Nauert as UN ambassador.


Mexico: Rutilio Escandón Cadenas takes office as governor of Chiapas.


Armenia: In parliamentary elections, the My Step Alliance wins 70.4% of the vote (88 of 132 seats), Prosperous Armenia 8.3% (26), Bright Armenia 6.4% (18), and the Republican Party of Armenia 4.7% (0). Turnout is 48.6%.
Belgium: In a cabinet reshuffle following the resignation of the ministers of the New Flemish Alliance, Didier Reynders becomes defense minister, Pieter De Crem interior minister, and Alexander De Croo finance minister.
United States: Former agriculture secretary (1977-81) Bob Bergland dies.


Italy: The president of Valle d'Aosta, Nicoletta Spelgatti, is removed in a constructive no-confidence vote, with Antonio Fosson elected in her place (18-17).
Latvia: President Raimonds Vejonis announces the withdrawal of the nomination of Aldis Gobzems for prime minister.
Moldova: President Igor Dodon appoints Ion Chicu as finance minister.



Costa Rica: Foreign Minister Epsy Campbell resigns. Lorena Aguilar Revelo becomes acting minister.
India: The chief minister of Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh, resigns. On December 17 Bhupesh Baghel is sworn in as chief minister.


India: The chief minister of Mizoram, Lal Thanhawla, resigns. Zoramthanga is sworn in as chief minister on December 15.
Saint Helena: Louise MacMorran is sworn in as administrator of Ascension.
United Kingdom: The first minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, resigns. On December 12 Mark Drakeford (Labour) is elected first minister, winning 30 votes against 12 for Paul Davies (Conservative) and 9 for Adam Price (Plaid Cymru). Drakeford is sworn in on December 13.


India: The chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, resigns. On December 17 Kamal Nath is sworn in as chief minister.
Poland: The government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wins a confidence vote in parliament (231-181).


France: The government of Prime Minister Édouard Philippe survives a parliamentary no-confidence vote, which receives 70 votes in favour (289 required).


Central African Republic: Foreign Minister Charles Armel Doubane is dismissed and replaced by Sylvie Baïpo-Temon.
Mexico: Martha Erika Alonso is sworn in as governor of Puebla. On December 24 she is killed in a helicopter crash along with former governor (2011-17) Rafael Moreno Valle. The secretary-general of the government, Jesús Rodríguez Almeida, becomes acting governor.
Sweden: Parliament rejects Stefan Löfven as prime minister (200-116 with 28 abstentions).


Belgium: Former minister-president of the French Community (1981-85, 1988) Philippe Moureaux dies.
Ethiopia: Former president (2001-13) Girma Wolde-Giorgis dies.
United States: President Donald Trump announces that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will leave office at the end of the year.


Australia: David Hurley is named as the next governor-general, to take office in June 2019.
Georgia: Salome Zurabishvili is sworn in as president.
Japan: In gubernatorial elections in Saga, incumbent Yoshinori Yamaguchi wins 84.7% of the vote and Masato Imada 15.3%. Turnout is 35.3%.
Russia: In repeat gubernatorial elections in Primorsky kray, acting incumbent Oleg Kozhemyako (independent) wins 64.5% of the vote and Andrey Andreychenko (Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia) 26.2%. Turnout is 39.6%. Kozhemyako is inaugurated on December 20.


Lesotho: In a cabinet reshuffle, Tefo Mapesela is appointed as defense minister.


Belgium: Prime Minister Charles Michel resigns. King Philippe accepts the resignation on December 21 and requests his government to stay on in a caretaker capacity until the next election, due on May 26, 2019.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Radovan Viskovic is elected prime minister of the Republika Srpska.
Nepal: Former first minister (1960-63), foreign minister (1960-62, 1962-63), and prime minister (1963, 1964-65, 1975-77) Tulsi Giri dies.


China: Former chairman of the government of Xinjiang (1985-93) Tomur Dawamat dies.
Congo (Kinshasa): The governor of Ituri, Jefferson Abdallah Pene Mbaka, is removed from office by the central government and Pacifique Keta Upar is appointed as acting governor.
India: Following six months of governor's rule, the state of Jammu and Kashmir is placed under president's rule from December 20.
Madagascar: In the presidential runoff, Andry Rajoelina wins 55.7% of the vote and Marc Ravalomanana 44.3%. Turnout is 48.1%.
Wallis and Futuna: Thierry Queffelec is appointed administrator-superior, effective Jan. 7, 2019.


Romania: The government of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila survives a parliamentary no-confidence vote, which is supported by 161 members (233 needed).
Togo: In parliamentary elections, the Union for the Republic wins 59 of 91 seats, the Union of Forces for Change 6, smaller parties 8, and independent lists 18. Turnout is 60.0%.
United States: Defense Secretary James Mattis resigns, effective at the end of February. On December 23, however, President Donald Trump announces that Patrick Shanahan will become acting secretary already on January 1.


Guyana: The government of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo is defeated in a no-confidence vote (33-32).


Honduras: Former president (1982-86) Roberto Suazo Córdova dies.
Yemen: The Supreme Political Council extends the presidency of Mahdi al-Mashat to Aug. 24, 2019.


Afghanistan: Asadullah Khalid is appointed as acting defense minister and Amrullah Saleh as acting interior minister.
Japan: In gubernatorial elections in Miyazaki, incumbent Shunji Kono wins 90.9% of the vote and Takashi Matsumoto 9.1%. Turnout is 33.9%.


Saint Kitts and Nevis: A no-confidence motion against the government of Prime Minister Timothy Harris is defeated by voice vote.


Brazil: Former governor of Espírito Santo (1983-86) Gérson Camata is assassinated.

Kazakhstan: Beybut Atamkulov is appointed foreign minister.


Gabon: The Constitutional Court announces the results of the October parliamentary elections and with it the termination of the government of Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet.

Saudi Arabia: In a cabinet reshuffle, Ibrahim al-Assaf is appointed foreign minister.


Albania: In a cabinet reshuffle, Gent Cakaj is named foreign minister and Anila Denaj finance minister.
Algeria: Former acting head of state (1992) Abdelmalek Benhabyles dies.
Nigeria: Former president (1979-83) Alhaji Shehu Shagari dies.


Italy: The government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wins a confidence vote in parliament (327-228).


Argentina: Former foreign minister (2010-15) Héctor Timerman dies.
Bangladesh: In parliamentary elections, the Awami League wins 259 of 300 seats, the Jatiya Party 20, and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party 5.
Congo (Kinshasa): In presidential elections, Félix Tshisekedi (Union for Democracy and Social Progress) wins with 38.6% of the vote, followed by Martin Fayulu (Lamuka coalition) with 34.8% and Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari (People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy) with 23.8%. Turnout is 47.6%.
Russia: Former head of the administration of Ryazan oblast (1991-94) Lev Bashmakov dies.