December 2015


Abu Zakouk
Libya: In a reshuffle of the Tripoli-based government, Ali Abu Zakouk becomes foreign minister and Abdul Latif Gaddor interior minister.
Mexico: Former provisional governor of Guerrero (1975) Xavier Olea Muñoz dies.
Trinidad and Tobago: Former foreign minister (1971-73) Kamaluddin Mohammed dies.

Yemen: President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi decrees a cabinet reshuffle, including the appointment of Abdul Malik al-Mekhlafi as foreign minister and Gen. Hussein Muhammad Arab as interior minister, which is rejected by Prime Minister Khaled Bahah (but becomes effective).


Indonesia: Suhajar Diantoro takes office as acting governor of Bengkulu.
Lebanon: Parliament again fails to elect a president due to lack of quorum, the election being postponed to December 16, and on that date to January 7.

Moldova: Tatyana Turanskaya is dismissed as prime minister of Transnistria. Maia Parnas becomes acting prime minister. On December 23 Pavel Prokudin is appointed prime minister.


Canada: Former premier of British Columbia (1975-86) William Richards Bennett dies.
Indonesia: Former governor of Sumatera Utara (1967-78) Marah Halim Harahap dies.


Bulgaria: Former prime minister (1990-91) Dimitur Popov dies.
Nigeria: Supplementary elections for governor of Kogi are held, and the overall result gives Yahaya Bello (All Progressives Congress), substitute for the late Abubakar Audu, 54.7% of the vote and Idris Wada 45.3%. Bello is to be sworn in Jan. 27, 2016. Gubernatorial elections are also held in Bayelsa, but cancelled in one area, requiring also a supplementary election, to be held Jan. 9, 2016.
Rwanda: Former foreign minister (1979-89) François Ngarukiyintwali dies.
Seychelles: In presidential elections held December 3-5, incumbent James Michel wins 47.8% of the vote, Wavel Ramkalawan 33.9%, and Patrick Pillay 14.2%; turnout is 87.4%. A runoff is held December 16-18, Michel winning 50.2% and Ramkalawan 49.8%; turnout is 90.1%.
Thailand: Former foreign minister (1980-90) Siddhi Savetsila dies.


France: Results of regional elections (including provisionally named merged regions to come into being Jan. 1, 2016), with the respective candidates to the presidencies, and including the results of the second round on December 13 (DVD=diverse right, DVG=diverse left, FN=National Front, LR=The Republicans, MoDem=Democrat Movement, PS=Socialist Party, REG=regionalist, UD=Union of the Right, UG=Union of the Left, VEG=Green-Left): Venezuela: In parliamentary elections, the Democratic Unity Roundtable wins about 56% of the vote (109 of 167 seats) and the Great Patriotic Pole about 41% (55); 3 seats are reserved for indigenous representatives. Turnout is about 74%.


Latvia: Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma resigns.
Serbia: Defense Minister Bratislav Gasic is dismissed.
United States: Jennifer Roberts is sworn in as mayor of Charlotte.


Federated States of Micronesia: In the gubernatorial runoff in Pohnpei, Marcelo K. Peterson wins 52.9% of the vote and Akillino H. Susaia 47.1%.
United States: Matt Bevin is sworn in as governor of Kentucky.



Argentina: A federal judge rules that President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's term expires at midnight. Thus on December 10 the provisional president of the Senate, Federico Pinedo, becomes acting president before Mauricio Macri is sworn in as president at noon (with Gabriela Michetti as vice president and followed by his cabinet, including Susana Malcorra as foreign minister; see November 22).
Argentina: Horacio Rodríguez Larreta takes office as chief of government of Buenos Aires city and Alfredo Cornejo as governor of Mendoza.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: In parliamentary elections, the ruling Unity Labour Party wins 8 of 15 seats and the New Democratic Party 7. On December 14 Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves unveils his new cabinet, himself retaining the finance and national security portfolios, while Sir Louis Straker becomes foreign minister.
South Africa: Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is sacked. On December 10 David van Rooyen is sworn in as finance minister. He is replaced again on December 13, when Pravin Gordhan is appointed to the post.
Switzerland: Johann Schneider-Ammann is elected president for 2016 (196 of 208 votes) and Doris Leuthard as vice president (180 of 203 votes). Guy Parmelin is elected as new federal councillor. On December 11 he is designated to take the defense portfolio on January 1, with Ueli Maurer moving to finance.


Argentina: The following new governors take office: María Eugenia Vidal (Buenos Aires), Domingo Peppo (Chaco), Mario Das Neves (Chubut), Juan Schiaretti (Córdoba), Gerardo Morales (Jujuy), Carlos Verna (La Pampa), Sergio Casas (La Rioja), Hugo Passalacqua (Misiones), Omar Gutiérrez (Neuquén), Sergio Uñac (San Juan), Alberto Rodríguez Saá (San Luis), and Alicia Kirchner (Santa Cruz).

Tanzania: President John Magufuli announces an incomplete cabinet including Augustine Mahiga as foreign minister and Charles Kitwanga as home affairs minister, while Hussein Mwinyi remains defense minister. On December 23 Philip Mpango is named finance minister.


Argentina: Gustavo Bordet takes office as governor of Entre Ríos and Miguel Lifschitz as governor of Santa Fe.
Lesotho: Former chairman of the Military Council (1991-93) Elias Phisoana Ramaema dies.


United States: In the mayoral runoff in Houston, Sylvester Turner defeats Bill King, 51%-49%.


Australia: Former premier of South Australia (1982-92) John Bannon dies.
South Africa: Former premier of KwaZulu-Natal (1999-2004) Lionel Mtshali dies.


Canada: Dwight Ball is sworn in as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.


Canada: The Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories elects incumbent Bob McLeod as premier over challenger Glen Abernethy.
Egypt: In parliamentary elections held in various phases between October 17 and December 16, 325 independents and 243 party-affiliated candidates are elected; another 28 will be appointed by the president, for a total of 596 seats. Turnout in the main phases was 28.3%.
French Guiana: Martin Jaeger is named prefect, effective Jan. 11, 2016.


Argentina: Rosana Bertone takes office as governor of Tierra del Fuego.
Gabon: Former prime minister (1975-90) Léon Mébiame dies.


Brazil: Nelson Barbosa is named to replace Joaquim Levy as finance minister. He takes office December 21.
Canada: Former commissioner of the Northwest Territories (1967-79) Stuart Milton Hodgson dies.
Japan: Former governor of Hiroshima (1993-2009) Yuzan Fujita dies.
Macedonia: Former foreign minister (2001-02) Slobodan Casule dies.


Sweden: Former foreign minister (1976-78) Karin Söder dies.


Israel: Interior Minister Silvan Shalom announces his resignation (officially tendered on December 24). From December 28 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds the portfolio.
Spain: In parliamentary elections, the Popular Party wins 28.9% of the vote (123 of 350 seats), the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party 22.2% (90), Podemos 20.8% (69), Ciudadanos 14% (40), the United Left 3.7% (2), the Republican Left of Catalonia 2.4% (9), Democracy and Liberty 2.3% (8), and the Basque Nationalist Party 1.2% (6). Turnout is 73.2%.


Isle of Man: Sir Richard Gozney is appointed as the next lieutenant governor, to take office in April 2016.
South Korea: In a cabinet reshuffle, Yoo Il Ho is named finance minister and Hong Yun Sik interior minister.
Moldova: President Nicolae Timofti nominates Ion Sturza as prime minister.


Papua New Guinea: The provincial assembly of Hela passes (10 of 14 members in favour) a no-confidence motion removing Governor Anderson Agiru. On December 29 Francis Potape is elected (again by 10 votes) and sworn in as new governor.


Croatia: Tihomir Oreskovic is announced as prime minister-designate.

Georgia: Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili resigns. On December 25 Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili is designated to succeed him. He is confirmed by parliament (86-28) early on December 30. The only cabinet change is Mikheil Janelidze as new foreign minister.

Guinea: Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana resigns. On December 26 Mamady Youla is named prime minister; he takes office December 29.
Guinea-Bissau: Parliament fails to approve the government program of Prime Minister Carlos Correia (45 votes in favour; 52 needed).
Pakistan: The chief minister of Balochistan, Abdul Malik Baloch, resigns. On December 24 Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri is sworn in as chief minister.
Turkey: Former prime minister (1980-83) Bülent Ulusu dies.


Portugal: Former foreign minister (1978) Carlos Jorge Mendes Correia Gago dies.


Sweden: Former governor of Kronoberg (1988-95) Sten Wickbom dies.


Fiji: Former foreign minister (1997-99) Berenado Vunibobo dies.


Burkina Faso: Roch Marc Christian Kaboré takes office as president.
India: Former governor of Punjab (1990-91) Om Prakash Malhotra dies.

Northern Mariana Islands: Governor Eloy S. Inos dies in the U.S. (afternoon of December 28 mainland time). Lieutenant Governor Ralph Torres is sworn in as governor.


Canada: Former premier of Manitoba (1981-88) Howard Pawley dies.
Central African Republic: In presidential elections, Anicet Georges Dologuélé wins 23.8% of the vote, Faustin Archange Touadéra 19.4%, Désiré Kolingba 12.6%, and Martin Ziguélé 10.8%. Turnout is 79%. A runoff is to be held on Jan. 31, 2016.
Kiribati: In the first round of parliamentary elections, 19 of 44 seats are decided, the other 25 going to a second round on Jan. 7, 2016.


Nigeria: A court of appeal overturns the November 7 verdict of an election tribunal which declared Aisha Alhassan the winner of the Taraba governorship election.