Canada: Larry O'Brien is sworn in as mayor of Ottawa.
Mexico: Felipe Calderón takes office as president. Patricia Espinosa becomes foreign minister, Guillermo Galván Galván defense minister, Francisco Ramírez Acuña interior minister, and Agustín Carstens finance minister.
Saint Helena: Former governor (1976-81) Geoffrey Colin Guy - also commissioner (1958-59) and administrator (1959-65) of the Turks and Caicos Islands, administrator (1965-67) and governor (1967) of Dominica, and administrator of Ascension (1973-76) - dies.
Tajikistan: A new cabinet is announced with Khamrokhon Zaripov as foreign minister and Makhmadnazar Salikhov as interior minister.
Ukraine: Parliament votes to dismiss Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk (247-57) and Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko (248-22); it appoints Vasyl Tsushko as new interior minister. The legality of the dismissal of the foreign minister (a presidential appointee) is challenged, and on December 5 President Viktor Yushchenko signs a decree according to which Tarasyuk is to continue his functions as foreign minister.
Bahrain: In the second round of parliamentary elections, the Shi`ite opposition wins 2 more seats (Al Wefaq 1 and an allied independent 1), for a total of 18, while Sunnis win 9 (Al Menbar 3, Al Asala 1, independents 5) for a total of 22. Turnout is about 69%. The prime minister, Sheikh Khalifah ibn Sulman Al Khalifah, resigns on December 10, but he is immediately asked to form a new cabinet, the composition of which is announced on December 11, with no change in key portfolios.
Japan: The governor of Wakayama, Yoshiki Kimura, resigns. In the consequent gubernatorial elections on December 17, Yoshinobu Nisaka (backed by the Liberal-Democratic Party and New Komeito) wins 68.3% of the vote and Toshitaka Izumi (supported by the Japanese Communist Party) 31.7%. Turnout is 35.2%.
Madagascar: In presidential elections, incumbent Marc Ravalomanana wins 54.8% of the vote, Jean Lahiniriko 11.7%, and Roland Ratsiraka 10.9%. Turnout is 61.5%.
Venezuela: In presidential elections, incumbent Hugo Chávez wins about 63% of the vote and Manuel Rosales about 37%. Turnout is about 75%.
Japan: The governor of Miyazaki, Tadahiro Ando, resigns. Deputy Governor Kayoko Saka will act as governor until a new governor is elected in January.
Nigeria: Former governor of Anambra (1985-87) Samson Omeruah dies.
United States: Sarah Palin is inaugurated as governor of Alaska.
Fiji: The army commander, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, appoints himself acting president, dismisses Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's government, and appoints Jona Senilagakali as interim prime minister (sworn in December 6). On December 6 Vice President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi is removed from office. The ministries are put in charge of their chief executive officers, including Isikeli Mataitoga at foreign affairs; by December 11, the finance CEO, Paula Uluinaceva, and the home affairs CEO, Lesi Korovavala, are sacked, being replaced respectively by Aisake Taito and Ross Ligairi.
Japan: Former governor of Okayama (1972-96) Shiro Nagano dies.
Mexico: Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubón takes office as chief of government of the Distrito Federal.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates Aslan Tkhakushinov as president of Adygeya. He is confirmed by the local Council of State (50-1) on December 13.
Switzerland: Charles Beer becomes president of the Council of State of Genève.
Turkmenistan: Former prime minister (1989-91) Khan Akhmedov dies.
United States: The Senate confirms Robert Gates as defense secretary (95-2). He is sworn in on December 18.
Bulgaria: Former prime minister (1992-94) and foreign minister (1992-93) Lyuben Berov dies.
Nigeria: The Supreme Court rules that the impeachment (January 12) of the governor of Oyo, Rashidi Ladoja, was illegal and that he should be reinstated. That decision is enforced on December 11.
Russia: Vyacheslav Shtyrov is confirmed as president of Sakha by the local State Assembly (60-3 with 1 abstention).
United States: Former UN ambassador (1981-85) Jeane Kirkpatrick dies.
Mexico: Juan Sabines Guerrero takes office as governor of Chiapas.
Chile: Former head of state (1973-90) Augusto Pinochet dies.
Japan: Hirokazu Nakaima takes office as governor of Okinawa.
Moldova: Igor Smirnov is reelected president of the breakaway Dniester Republic, winning 82.4% of the vote against 8.1% for Nadezhda Bondarenko. Turnout is 66.1%.
Bangladesh: Finance Adviser Akbar Ali Khan resigns. Shoeb Ahmed succeeds him on December 13.
Indonesia: Gubernatorial elections in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam are won by Irwandi Yusuf with 38.2% of the vote, against 16.6% for Ahmad Humam Hamid. Turnout is 85%.
Saint Lucia: In parliamentary elections, the United Workers Party wins 51.4% of the vote (11 of 17 seats) and the ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party 48.2% (6). Sir John Compton is sworn in as prime minister on December 15. On December 19 his cabinet is sworn in, including himself as finance minister, Rufus Bousquet as foreign minister, and Keith Mondesir as home affairs minister.
United States: Former Pennsylvania governor (1967-71) Raymond P. Shafer dies.
Malaysia: Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin ibni al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud takes office as yang di-pertuan agong (head of state).
Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates incumbent Valentina Matvienko as governor of St. Petersburg. She is confirmed by the local legislative assembly (40-3) on December 20.
Senegal: Former foreign minister (1978) Babacar Ba dies.
Serbia: Former acting foreign minister of Yugoslavia (2000) Zoran Novakovic dies.
Swaziland: Former commissioner (1964-68) Sir Francis Alfred Loyd dies.
Switzerland: Parliament elects Micheline Calmy-Rey as president for 2007, with 147 of 192 votes. Pascal Couchepin is elected as vice president with 160 of 203 votes.
Bhutan: King Jigme Singye Wangchuk steps down and Crown Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk becomes king.
Canada: Ed Stelmach is sworn in as premier of Alberta.
French Polynesia: The Territorial Assembly removes the government of President Oscar Temaru in a no-confidence vote (29-0). On December 26 the Assembly elects Gaston Tong Sang as president with 31 votes, against 26 for Temaru. On December 29 Tong Sang announces his cabinet with Temauri Foster as vice president and Armelle Merceron as finance minister.
India: Bhopinder Singh is appointed as lieutenant governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He takes office December 29.
Indonesia: Anwar Adnan Saleh is sworn in as governor of Sulawesi Barat.
Isle of Man: Tony Brown is elected by Tynwald as new chief minister.
Martinique: Former president of the Regional Council (1988-92) Camille Darsières dies.
Gabon: In parliamentary elections (with voting in 7 constituencies only held on December 24), the governing Gabon Democratic Party wins 82 of 120 seats, allied parties 17, opposition parties 17 (including the Gabonese People's Union with 8 and the Gabonese Union for Democracy and Development with 4), and independents 4.
Kyrgyzstan: The government of Prime Minister Feliks Kulov resigns.
Japan: Former governor of Tokyo (1995-99) Yukio Aoshima dies.
Czech Republic: President Václav Klaus refuses to appoint a government proposed by Mirek Topolánek, which would have included Karel Schwarzenberg as foreign minister, Vlasta Parkanová as defense minister, Ivan Langer as interior minister, and Miroslav Kalousek as finance minister.
Turkmenistan: President Saparmurat Niyazov dies. Deputy Prime Minister Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is named acting head of state.
United States: Former governor of Vermont (1959-61) Robert T. Stafford dies.
São Tomé and Príncipe: Former chairman of the National Salvation Junta (1995) Manuel Quintas de Almeida dies.
United States: Former president (1974-77) Gerald R. Ford dies.
Ecuador: President-elect Rafael Correa completes his designated cabinet, which is to include María Fernanda Espinosa as foreign minister, Guadalupe Larriva as defense minister, Ricardo Patiño as economy and finance minister, and Gustavo Larrea as interior minister.
Nigeria: A High Court nullifies the impeachment (November 2) of the governor of Anambra, Peter Obi, and orders him reinstated. Members of the state House of Assembly appeal against the ruling.
Ecuador: President Alfredo Palacio sacks Economy and Finance Minister José Jouvín. Palacio, who himself is to leave office January 15, does not plan to appoint a replacement.
Falkland Islands: Former governor (1971-75) Ernest Gordon Lewis dies.
Congo (Kinshasa): President Joseph Kabila names Antoine Gizenga as prime minister.
Iraq: Former president (1979-2003) Saddam Hussein is executed.
Austria: Interior Minister Liese Prokop dies.