March 1998


Germany: In state elections in Niedersachsen, Minister-President Gerhard Schröder's SPD wins 47.9% of the vote (83 of 157 seats), the CDU 35.9% (62 seats), the Greens 7% (12 seats), and the FDP 4.9%.
Russia: Ruslan Aushev is reelected president of Ingushetia with 66.5% of the vote; his nearest opponent, Issa Kostoyev, gains 13.4%.
Russia: Former chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian S.F.S.R. (1952-56) Aleksandr Puzanov dies.
Switzerland: Former president of the government of Graubünden (1981, 1985, 1988) Donat Cadruvi dies.


Guyana: Former governor-general (1969-70) Sir Edward Victor Luckhoo dies.
Slovakia: Michal Kovác steps down as president as his five-year term ends, although no successor has been found. On March 5 another attempt to elect a new president fails when neither Ladislav Ballek of the Party of the Democratic Left nor nonparty candidate Milan Fogas gets enough votes.
Syria: Former prime minister (1961) Maamun al-Kuzbari dies.


South Korea: President Kim Dae Jung appoints Kim Jong Pil as acting prime minister, Lee Kyu Sung as finance and economy minister, Park Chung Soo as foreign minister, and Cheon Yong Taek as defense minister.


Congo (Kinshasa): Former prime minister (1988) Sambwa Pida Nbagui dies.

India: Keshubhai Patel is sworn in as chief minister of Gujarat.
Israel: President Ezer Weizman is reelected, beating Shaul Amor by a 63-49 vote in Parliament.


Switzerland: Former president of the government of Ticino (1982-83, 1984-85) Carlo Speziali dies.


Azerbaijan: President Heydar Aliyev names Tofik Zulfugarov as foreign minister, to replace Hasan Hasanov, who was sacked in February.

Vanuatu: Elections give the Vanua'aku Pati of Donald Kalpokas 18 seats in the nation's 52-seat parliament while Prime Minister Serge Vohor's Union of Moderate Parties wins 12 seats and Walter Lini's National United Party 11. Kalpokas and Lini agree to form a coalition government. On March 30 Parliament confirms Kalpokas as prime minister.


Colombia: In parliamentary elections, President Ernesto Samper's Liberal Party wins 48 of 102 seats in the Senate and 80 of 161 seats in the House of Representatives. The main opposition Conservatives win 14 and 30 seats, respectively. Turnout is 45%.


India: B.B. Lyngdoh of the United Democratic Party is sworn in as chief minister of Meghalaya.
Indonesia: The People's Consultative Assembly reelects Suharto as president. On March 11 Research and Technology Minister B.J. Habibie is elected vice president. On March 14 a new cabinet is announced, including Gen. Wiranto as defense minister and Raden Hartono as home affairs minister; Ali Alatas is retained as foreign minister.
Sierra Leone: President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, ousted in 1997, returns from exile and takes over again. On March 20 he names a new cabinet, including Sama Banya as foreign minister, Charles Margai as interior minister, James Jonah as finance minister, and Kabbah himself as defense minister.


Denmark: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen's Social Democrats win 36% of the vote (63 of 179 seats), the Liberals 24% (42), Conservatives 8.9% (16), Socialist People's Party 7.5% (13), Danish People's Party 7.4% (13), Centre Democrats 4.3% (8), Radical Liberals 3.9% (7), Unity List 2.7% (5), Christian People's Party 2.4% (4), Progress Party 2.4% (4). Turnout is 86%. The minority coalition of Social Democrats and Radical Liberals is continued.
India: Manik Sarkar of the Left Front is sworn in as chief minister of Tripura.
The Netherlands: Former queen's commissioner of Utrecht (1970-80) Pieter Verdam dies.


Morocco: King Hassan appoints a new cabinet. Foreign Minister Abdellatif Filali and Interior Minister Driss Basri are reappointed, while Fathallah Oualalou becomes finance and economy minister.
Yemen: Abdul Rahman al-Iryani, president of Yemen (Sana) from 1967 to 1974, dies.


Armenia: Prime Minister Robert Kocharyan (38.8%) and Karen Demirchyan (30.6%) receive the most votes in presidential elections. The two closest runners-up are former premier Vazgen Manukyan (12.2%) and communist Sergey Badalyan (11%). Turnout is 64%. The second-round ballot on March 30 is won by Kocharyan with 59.5% against 40.5% for Demirchyan. Turnout is 68.1%.



China: Zhu Rongji is elected premier. A new cabinet is elected on March 18, including Tang Jiaxuan as foreign minister and Xiang Huaicheng as finance minister. Defense Minister Chi Haotian is retained.


Malta: Prime Minister Alfred Sant's government defeats an opposition motion of no confidence.



India: Atal Bihari Vajpayee of the Bharatiya Janata Party is sworn in as prime minister. He names Yashwant Sinha as finance minister, Lal Krishna Advani as home (interior) minister, George Fernandes as defense minister, and keeps the foreign affairs portfolio for himself.
India: Former Kerala chief minister (1957-59, 1967-69) E.M. Sankaran Namboodiripad dies.


France: Bernard Harang becomes president of the Regional Council of Centre. He resigns on March 27. Meanwhile, Marc Censi resigned as president of the Regional Council of Midi-Pyrénées after being reelected to that post on March 23.
Zambia: Ronald Penza is replaced as finance minister by Edith Nawakwi.


Thailand: Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai's government wins a no-confidence vote (208-177).


Austria: In state elections in Niederösterreich, the ÖVP wins 44.8% of the vote, the SPÖ 30.5%, and the FPÖ 16.1%. Turnout is 72%.
Kuwait: A new government is formed. Sheikh Ali Salem Al Ali Al Sabah replaces Nasser ar-Rodhan as finance minister.
Moldova: In parliamentary elections, the Communist Party wins 30% of the votes (40 of 101 seats), the nationalist Democratic Convention 19.4% (26), the centrist Movement for a Democratic and Prosperous Moldova 18.2% (24), and the nationalist Party of Democratic Forces 8.8% (11). Turnout is 68%.
Seychelles: In elections held March 20-22, President France-Albert René of the Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF) is reelected with 66.6% of the votes, ahead of Wavel Ramkalawan of the United Opposition (UO) with 19.5% and former president Sir James Mancham of the Democratic Party (DP) with 13.8%. The SPPF wins 30 of 34 parliamentary seats, the UO 3, and the DP 1. Turnout is 86.7%.


Haiti: President René Préval renominates Hervé Denis for the vacant post of prime minister. An earlier nomination of Denis was rejected by Parliament in December.


Russia: President Boris Yeltsin dismisses Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and his entire government. The decree also announces that Yeltsin himself temporarily assumes the duties of prime minister, but as such arrangement contradicts with the constitution, his administration advises him to issue another decree annulling the relevant clause of the first decree. Fuel and Energy Minister Sergey Kiriyenko is then named acting prime minister. On March 27 Yeltsin nominates Kiriyenko as regular prime minister. On March 30 Sergey Stepashin is named interior minister, replacing Anatoly Kulikov.


Canada: In elections in Nova Scotia, Premier Russell MacLellan's Liberals win 35.3% of the vote (19 seats), the New Democratic Party 34.7% (19 seats), and the Progressive Conservatives 29.7% (14 seats). Turnout is 69.2%.

India: Prem Kumar Dhumal (BJP) is sworn in as chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.

Kyrgyzstan: Prime Minister Apas Jumagulov resigns. The following day Parliament approves Kubanychbek Jumaliyev as new prime minister.


Colombia: Foreign Minister María Emma Mejía resigns. Camilo Reyes is to assume her post.
French Southern and Antarctic Lands: Brigitte Girardin is named as administrator-superior.


Tuvalu: Parliamentary elections. Of the 12 MPs elected, seven are incumbents, two have previously been members and three are newcomers to Parliament. Among the successful incumbents are Prime Minister Bikenibeu Paeniu and Speaker Tomasi Puapua; former prime minister Kamuta Latasi, however, loses his seat. Two opposition MPs are returned. There are no formal parties in Tuvalu.


India: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government wins a confidence vote (274-261).


Ukraine: In parliamentary elections, the Communist Party wins 123 of 450 seats (25.3% of the vote), independents 114, the nationalist Rukh party 46 (8.9%), the Socialist and Peasant Party bloc 32 (8.7%), the People's Democratic Party 28, the Hromada (Community) Party 23, the Green Party 19, the Progressive Socialist Party 16, the Social Democratic Party (United) 16, the Agrarian Party 8, and other parties 25. Turnout is 69.6%.


Ecuador: Vice President Rosalía Arteaga resigns.
Malawi: Cassim Chilumpha becomes finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
Romania: Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea resigns. Interior Minister Gavril Dejeu is named caretaker prime minister.


Switzerland: Former Landammann of Sankt Gallen (1972-73) August Schmuki dies.