Niger: President Ibrahim Baré Maďnassara names a government that includes Maman Sambo Sidikou as foreign minister and Ide Niandou as finance minister.
Pakistan: President Farooq Ahmed Leghari resigns. Wasim Sajjad becomes acting president. On December 31 Mohammad Rafiq Tarar is elected new president, with 374 votes in the 476-member electoral college. Aftab Shahban Mirani comes second with 58 votes.
Romania: Daniel Daianu is named finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle. He takes office December 5.
United States: Former Massachusetts governor (1963-65) Endicott Peabody dies.
Zambia: Keli Walubita becomes foreign minister, Chitalu Sampa defense minister, and Peter Machungwa interior minister.
Cameroon: Augustin Kontchou Kouomegni becomes foreign minister and Amadou Ali defense minister.
Comoros: President Mohamed Taki appoints Nourdine Bourhane prime minister. Ibrahim Ali Mzimba becomes foreign minister.
Yugoslavia: In the third round of presidential elections in Serbia, the new Socialist Party candidate, federal foreign minister Milan Milutinovic, receives about 41% of the vote and Vojislav Seselj of the Radical Party about 33%. Vuk Draskovic of the Serbian Renewal Movement trails with about 16%. Turnout is about 58%. A runoff between Milutinovic and Seselj is held on December 21. Milutinovic wins 58.6% and Seselj 38.1%. Turnout is just above the 50% required to make the vote valid. Milutinovic is sworn in December 29.
New Zealand: Jenny Shipley is sworn in as prime minister. Max Bradford becomes defense minister.
Chile: In parliamentary elections, the centre-left Coalition for Democracy receives 50.6% of the vote while the right-wing Union for Chile gets 36.2%. Communists and other smaller parties capture the rest. Turnout is 87%, but 17.7% of the votes are invalid.
Mexico: Former foreign minister (1979-82) Jorge Castańeda y Álvarez dies.
Namibia: Erikki Nghimtina becomes defense minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
Venezuela: Finance Minister Matos Azócar resigns.
Aruba: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Henny Eman's Aruban People's Party wins 10 seats (43.5% of the vote), Nelson Oduber's People's Electoral Movement 9 (38.8%), and the Aruban Liberal Organization of Glenbert Croes 2 (8.9%). Turnout is 85.7%.
Mauritania: Incumbent Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya of the Democratic and Social Republican Party wins presidential elections with about 90% of the vote. Turnout is 72%. On December 18 a new cabinet is formed with Mohamed Lemine Ould Guig as prime minister and Mohamed El Hacen Ould Lebatt as foreign minister.
Niger: Former foreign minister (1985-88, 1989-91) Mahamane Sani Bako dies.
The Netherlands: Former queen's commissioner of Noord-Brabant (1959-73) Constant Kortmann dies.
Russia: Semyon Zubakin is elected president of the republic of Altay.
Guyana: Presidential and parliamentary elections are won by Prime Minister Janet Jagan and her People's Progressive Party (55.3% of the vote; 29 seats), defeating former president Desmond Hoyte's People's National Congress (40.6%; 22 seats). Jagan is sworn in as president on December 19, replacing Sam Hinds, who is sworn in as prime minister on December 22.
Papua New Guinea: Prime Minister Bill Skate appoints himself defense minister, Roy Yaki foreign minister, and Dibara Yagabo finance minister.
India: W. Nipamacha Singh is sworn in as chief minister of Manipur.
Nicaragua: Former acting president (1936) Guillermo Sevilla Sacasa dies.
Somalia: The president of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, offers his resignation, but this is rejected by Parliament on December 18.
Czech Republic: Josef Tosovský is sworn in as prime minister. On December 30 he names a cabinet. Foreign Minister Jaroslav Sedivý and Finance Minister Ivan Pilip are retained, while Michal Lobkowicz becomes defense minister and Cyril Svoboda interior minister.
Italy: Former president of Valle d'Aosta (1954-59) Vittorino Bondaz dies.
Jamaica: Parliamentary elections are won by the People's National Party of Prime Minister P.J. Patterson with 55.7% of the vote (50 of 60 seats) as opposed to 38.6% (10 seats) for Edward Seaga's Jamaica Labour Party and 4.8% for the National Democratic Movement. Turnout is 65.2%.
South Korea: Kim Dae Jung of the National Congress for New Politics wins presidential elections with 40.3% of the vote, ahead of former prime minister (1993-94) Lee Hoi Chang of the Grand National Party (formerly New Korea Party) with 38.7%, and Rhee In Je with 19.2%. Turnout is 80.6%.
Djibouti: In parliamentary elections, the Rassemblement Populaire pour le Progrčs wins 54 seats and the Front pour la Restauration de l'Unité et de la Démocratie 11. A new cabinet is appointed on December 28, with Yacin Elmi Bouh as finance minister and Elmi Obsieh Waiss as interior minister.
Myanmar: In a cabinet reshuffle, Khin Maung Tha replaces Win Tin as finance minister.
Laos: Parliamentary election. The ruling Lao People's Revolutionary Party wins 98 of 99 seats; one independent is elected. Turnout is nearly 100%.
Lithuania: In presidential elections, Arturas Paulauskas leads with 45.3% of the vote, followed by Valdas Adamkus with 27.9% and former president Vytautas Landsbergis with 15.9%. Turnout is 71.5%. Paulauskas and Adamkus will meet in a runoff on Jan. 4, 1998.
Germany: Former first secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Gera (1952-55) and Suhl (1956-68) Otto Funke dies.
Haiti: The Chamber of Deputies rejects President René Préval's nominee for prime minister, Hervé Denis.
Romania: Foreign Minister Adrian Severin resigns. He is succeeded by Andrei Plesu on December 29.
Vietnam: The Communist Party elects Le Kha Phieu as its new general secretary. He takes over from Do Muoi on December 29.
Russia: Nikolay Fyodorov is reelected president of Chuvashiya with 56.6% of the vote, compared to 35% for Valentin Shurchanov. Turnout is 60.1%.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Ejup Ganic takes office as president of the Muslim-Croat federation.
Kenya: Incumbent Daniel arap Moi of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) wins presidential elections, with 40.1% of the vote, ahead of Mwai Kibaki (Democratic Party) with 31.1%, Raila Odinga (National Development Party) with 10.9%, Michael Kijana Wamalwa (Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya) with 8.3%, and Charity Ngilu (Social Democratic Party) with 7.7%. In the parliamentary elections KANU wins 109 out of 209 seats, the DP 39, the NDP 21, FORD-K 17, SDP 14.
Libya: Muhammad Ahmad al-Mangoush is appointed general secretary of the General People's Committee (premier).