Pibulsongkram, Nitya (b. June 30, 1941, Bangkok, Thailand), foreign minister of Thailand (2006-08).
Pibulsongkram, (Luang) Plaek, also spelled Pibulsonggram, Phibunsongkhram, etc., original name Plaek Khittasangkha (b. July 14, 1897, Nonthaburi province, near Bangkok, Siam [now Thailand] - d. June 11, 1964, Tokyo, Japan), prime minister (1938-44, 1948-57), foreign minister (1939-41, 1941-42, 1949), defense minister (1934-41, 1941-43, 1949-57), interior minister (1938-41, 1948-49, 1955-57), and finance minister (1949-50) of Thailand. While taking advanced military training in France (1924-27), he became involved with Thai students who were plotting to overthrow the absolute monarchy. He took the name Pibulsongkram ("ready for war") and in 1928 he received the title Luang. He took a leading part in the bloodless revolution of 1932 which obliged King Prajadhipok to grant a constitution, and subsequently he and his civilian associate Pridi Banomyong wielded the power behind the throne. He came to public prominence by suppressing the 1933 royalist insurrection of Prince Boworadet. As defense minister he worked to popularize military values in the fashion of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. After becoming premier in 1938, he changed the name of the country from Siam to Thailand in 1939 and espoused ultranationalist and irredentist views. With the rank of field marshal, he fought a Japanese attack on Dec. 8, 1941, but soon concluded an alliance with Japan, declaring war on the United States and Britain on Jan. 25, 1942. Increasing dissatisfaction with his cultural reforms forced him to resign in 1944 and a civilian government took power. But the army seized the government in 1947, and he resumed the premiership in 1948, winning the support of the West by his efforts to contain the spread of communism in Thailand. In 1957 he was ousted by disgruntled military colleagues. Thereafter he lived in retirement in Japan.
Picanon, Édouard (b. Sept. 2, 1854, Chemilly, Allier, France - d. June 27, 1939), lieutenant governor of Cochinchina (1898-1901) and governor of New Caledonia (1902-05) and French Guiana (1906-07).
Picardo, Fabian (Raymond) (b. 1972), chief minister of Gibraltar (2011- ).
Piccoli, Flaminio (b. Dec. 28, 1915, Kirchbichl, Austria - d. April 11, 2000, Rome, Italy), Italian politician. He became an officer in one of Italy's Alpine regiments and saw action in World War II in Albania and Greece. Captured by the Nazis after Italy's capitulation in 1943, he escaped and was taken prisoner by the Germans but escaped again from a train deporting him to Poland and made his way back to Italy. Once described as "the most Christian Democrat of Christian Democrats," Piccoli took over as party president in July 1978 when the party was reeling from the murder by Red Brigades terrorists of former prime minister Aldo Moro. He also held the post of party secretary (1969, 1980-82) during a political career spanning 40 years and was three times Italian minister for state participation in industry in the 1970s. He remained active in politics until his death and was still president of the Christian Democratic Party, which emerged from the wreckage of the Democrazia Cristiana (DC) when it collapsed in 1992 under the weight of corruption scandals. He never succeeded in his ambition to become prime minister. He was once derided by Moro, one of his many opponents within the DC, as "a mixture of abnegation and opportunism."
Picek, Vlastimil (b. Oct. 25, 1956, Turnov, Czechoslovakia [now in Czech Republic]), defense minister of the Czech Republic (2013- ). He was chief of staff of the Czech Armed Forces in 2007-12.
Pickerd, Edward Thomas (b. Sept. 15, 1917 - d. Aug. 10, 2012), administrator of Norfolk Island (1972-75).
Picqué, Charles (b. Nov. 1, 1948, Etterbeek, Belgium), minister-president of Brussels-Capital (1989-99, 2004-13).
Picquié, Albert (Jean Georges Marie Louis) (b. Sept. 1, 1853, Saint-Gaudens, Haute-Garonne, France - d. May 10, 1917), governor of New Caledonia (1892-94), acting governor-general of French Indochina (1910-11), and governor-general of Madagascar (1910-14).
Picula, Tonino (b. Aug. 31, 1961, Mali Losinj, Croatia), foreign minister of Croatia (2000-03).
Pidjot, Roch (b. Nov. 8, 1907, La Conception [now part of Mont-Dore commune], New Caledonia - d. Nov. 23, 1990, Mont-Dore), vice president of the Government Council of New Caledonia (1962-63).
Pieck, (Friedrich) Wilhelm (Reinhold) (b. Jan. 3, 1876, Guben, Germany - d. Sept. 7, 1960, East Berlin), president of East Germany (1949-60).
Piedra y Piedra, Carlos Manuel (b. 1895? - d. August 1988, Havana, Cuba), interim president of Cuba (1959).
Pieltaín (Jove-Huergo), Cándido (b. 1822 - d. Aug. 21, 1888, Madrid, Spain), governor of Cuba (1873).
Pienaar, Louis (b. June 23, 1926, Stellenbosch, South Africa - d. Nov. 5, 2012, Cape Town, South Africa), administrator-general of South West Africa (1985-90) and home affairs minister of South Africa (1992-93).
Pierantozzi, Sandra, née Sumang (b. Aug. 9, 1953, Koror, Palau), vice president (2001-04) and minister of state (2009-10) of Palau. She was a presidential candidate in 2012.
Pierce, Benjamin (b. Dec. 25, 1757, Chelmsford, Mass. - d. April 1, 1839, Hillsboro, N.H.), governor of New Hampshire (1827-28, 1829-30).
Pierce, Franklin, byname Young Hickory (b. Nov. 23, 1804, Hillsboro, N.H. - d. Oct. 8, 1869, Concord, N.H.), president of the United States (1853-57); son of Benjamin Pierce. He entered political life as a Democrat, serving in the New Hampshire legislature (1829-33), the U.S. House of Representatives (1833-37), and the Senate (1837-42). Except for a brief stint as an officer in the Mexican War (1846-48), he remained out of the public eye until the Democratic convention of 1852, when he was nominated for president as a "dark horse" after the leading candidates, Lewis Cass, Stephen A. Douglas, and James Buchanan, were deadlocked. The ensuing presidential campaign was dominated by controversy over the slavery issue. Both the Democrats and the Whigs were too badly split internally to stake out strong stands on the issue; the chief question was the finality of the Compromise of 1850, and while both parties declared themselves in favour of it, the Democrats were more thoroughly united in its support. As a result, Pierce, though almost unknown nationally, won the November election, defeating Whig candidate Winfield Scott by 254 to 42 in the electoral college. He then tried to promote sectional unity by naming people from both sides of the slavery debate to his cabinet. He also sidestepped the domestic antagonisms by aggressively promoting the extension of U.S. territorial and commercial interests abroad. An attempt to buy Cuba from Spain failed, but almost 78,000 sq km of territory were acquired from Mexico (Gadsden Purchase, 1853) for $10,000,000. In 1854 he signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, by which the settlers of those territories were to decide by themselves whether to permit slavery. It led to a wild rush of pro- and anti-slavery adherents into Kansas, where they began a civil war. Denied renomination by the Democrats, he retired from public life in 1857.
Pieri, Claude (b. Jan. 21, 1922, Corte, Corse, France - d. June 4, 2002, Toulon, France), administrator-superior of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (1982-87).
Pierkhan, (Mohamed Afzal) Faried (b. Aug. 8, 1960), foreign minister of Suriname (1996-97). He was labour minister in 1997-99.
Pierlot, Hubert (Marie Eugène, comte) (b. Dec. 23, 1883, Cugnon, Belgium - d. Dec. 13, 1963, Uccle, Belgium), interior minister (1934-35), justice minister (1937), prime minister (1939-45), foreign minister (1939), and defense minister (1940-44) of Belgium. Upon the German occupation of Belgium in 1940, he left for France; he fled to Spain after the French Vichy regime broke its diplomatic relations with Belgium; and, after having been arrested, he escaped from Barcelona (October 18) via Lisbon (October 19) to arrive in London on October 25. He returned to Belgium in 1944.
Pierre-Alype, (Marie) François (Julien) (b. 1886 - d. 1956), acting head of state of Syria (1926) and governor of French Somaliland (1937-38) and Guadeloupe (1938-40).
Pierre-Louis, Joseph Nemours (b. Oct. 24, 1900, Cap-Haïtien, Haiti - d. April 1966, Port-au-Prince, Haiti), provisional president of Haiti (1956-57).
Pierre-Louis, Michèle (Duvivier), née Duvivier (b. Oct. 5, 1947, Jérémie, Haiti), prime minister of Haiti (2008-09).
Pierrot, Marcelle (b. Dec. 20, 1949, Trois-Rivières, Guadeloupe), prefect of Guadeloupe (2013- ). She is the first female and the first local-born holder of the post.
Piette, (Louis Eugène) Maurice (b. May 16, 1871, Vervins, Aisne, France - d. 1953), minister of state of Monaco (1923-32).
Piggott, Arnold (Alvin) (b. 1946?), foreign minister of Trinidad and Tobago (2006-07). In 2003-06 he was high commissioner to Canada.
Pignon, Léon (Marie Adolphe Pascal) (b. April 19, 1908 - d. April 4, 1976), commissioner of Cambodia (1947-48) and high commissioner of French Indochina (1948-50).
Pikrammenos, Panagiotis (b. 1945, Athens, Greece), interim prime minister of Greece (2012).
Piks, Rihards (b. Dec. 31, 1941, Riga, Latvia), foreign minister of Latvia (2004).
Pilet-Golaz, Marcel (Édouard Ernest), original surname (before marriage) Pilet (b. Dec. 31, 1889, Cossonay, Switzerland - d. April 11, 1958, Paris, France), president (1934, 1940) and foreign minister (1940-45) of Switzerland.
Pili, Mauro (b. Oct. 16, 1966, Carbonia, Sardegna, Italy), president of Sardegna (1999, 2001- ).
Pillay, Ariranga (Govindasamy) (b. June 14, 1945), acting president of Mauritius (2002).
Pillay, Navanethem, byname Navi Pillay (b. Sept. 23, 1941, Durban, South Africa), United Nations high commissioner for human rights (2008- ).
Pillay, Patrick (Georges), foreign minister of Seychelles (2005-09).
Pilsudski, Józef (Klemens), h. Pilsudski (b. Dec. 5, 1867, Zulów, Poland, Russian Empire [now in Lithuania] - d. May 12, 1935, Warsaw, Poland), Polish statesman. Arrested on a false charge of plotting the assassination of Emperor Aleksandr III, he was banished to eastern Siberia in 1887-92; after his return, he joined the Polish Socialist Party and edited an underground newspaper. He was again arrested in 1900 but feigned insanity to secure his transfer to a military hospital, from which he escaped in 1901. In World War I, Germany and Austria-Hungary proclaimed the independence of Poland, and he was appointed head of the military department of the newly created Polish Council of State. But he refused to comply with German demands that Polish units should swear "fidelity in arms with the German and Austrian forces," and was arrested in July 1917. Released after the German collapse, he arrived in Warsaw on Nov. 10, 1918, and four days later was head of state and commander in chief of the Polish army. In the Russo-Polish war of 1919-20, he led the Polish forces far to the east into historic Polish lands. A counteroffensive by the Red Army forced the Poles to retreat, but Pilsudski, made marshal of Poland on March 19, 1920, won the culminating battle in August that brought victory to Poland. He remained head of state until the adoption of a new constitution and a general election in 1922; he refused to stand for the presidency. Becoming disillusioned with the parliamentary system, he led a coup with the aid of the army on May 12, 1926. On May 15 he became defense minister, a post he held until his death. The parliament elected him president on May 31, but he refused the office again. In October he accepted the premiership, which he held until 1928 and again in 1930. Regardless of his official posts he was the major influence behind the scenes, controlling foreign affairs in particular.
Pimentel, Francisco de Meneses (b. 1887, Santa Quitéria, Ceará, Brazil - d. 1973, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), governor of Ceará (1935-45).
Pimentel, Paulo Cruz (b. Aug. 7, 1928, Avaré, São Paulo, Brazil), governor of Paraná (1966-71).
Pinay, Antoine (b. Dec. 30, 1891, Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise, Rhône, France - d. Dec. 13, 1994, Saint-Chamond, Loire, France), French politician. He earned the Croix de Guerre for heroism during World War I and began his career in politics in 1929, when he was elected mayor of Saint-Chamond, a position he held until he retired in 1977. He was a deputy in 1936-38 and a senator in 1938-40. He supported Marshal Philippe Pétain in 1940 but later joined the resistance. In 1946 he was again elected to the National Assembly, where he served as leader of the Independents in 1956-58. He was secretary of state for economic affairs (1948-49) and minister of public works, transportation, and tourism (1950-52) before becoming premier and finance minister (1952-53), in which post he introduced successful austerity measures and issued the "emprunt Pinay," a bond that allowed citizens to convert gold and cash hidden during the war into legal, tax-exempt savings. He adamantly pursued an anti-inflationary policy, a stance that was unpopular among economists of his day. He resigned after losing his parliamentary majority, but returned to the cabinet as foreign minister in 1955-56. In 1958 he helped bring Charles de Gaulle back to power and was given the finance portfolio again. He pursued a policy of limiting inflation even if it meant curtailing industrial expansion. He introduced a new franc, deflating the standard franc by removing the last two zeroes, a monumental deed for which he earned the moniker "the man who saved the franc." After a disagreement with de Gaulle, he left the government in 1960. He was president of regional economic development for Rhône-Alpes in 1964-73 and was then named France's first ombudsman (1973-74). He rebuffed overtures to run for president in 1965 and 1969.
Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth (b. Feb. 25, 1746, Charles Town [now Charleston], South Carolina [now in U.S.] - d. Aug. 16, 1825, Charleston), U.S. statesman. Becoming a member of the South Carolina Assembly in 1769, he served in the first South Carolina Provincial Congress in 1775, on the Council of Safety, as chairman of the committee that drafted the plan of government for the colony, and later in both houses of the state legislature. During the war of independence he was an aide to Gen. George Washington (1777) at Brandywine and Germantown, Pa., and later commanded a regiment at Savannah, Ga.; he was taken prisoner in 1780 at the fall of Charles Town, exchanged in 1782, and promoted to brigadier general in 1783. In the Constitutional Convention of 1787, where he served along with his cousin Charles Pinckney (1757-1824), he opposed religious tests for office, suggested 1808 as the date to end the slave trade, and favoured Senate ratification of treaties as a check on the executive. He accepted appointment as minister to France in 1796 but was refused recognition by the French Directory and left France for Amsterdam in 1797. He returned to Paris later that year on a mission (with John Marshall and Elbridge Gerry) to head off hostilities between the two countries. The mission failed when one of the group of French negotiators (later referred to in the correspondence as "X, Y, and Z"; hence, "XYZ affair") suggested that the U.S. representatives offer a gift and Pinckney is said to have replied, "No! No! Not a sixpence!" He returned home and was made a major general. In 1798, when war seemed likely, he accepted command of all forces in the South, but the crisis passed. He was an unsuccessful Federalist candidate for vice president in 1800 and for president in 1804 and 1808.
Pinckney, Thomas (b. Oct. 23, 1750, Charles Town [now Charleston], South Carolina [now in U.S.] - d. Nov. 2, 1828, Charleston), U.S. politician; brother of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. During the war of independence, he participated in the Florida campaign (1778) and the siege of Savannah (1779) and was captured at Camden (1780). After the war he turned to politics. As governor of South Carolina (1787-89), he helped restore order to the war-torn state and improved the lot of the Loyalists. He was president of the state convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788. As U.S. minister to Great Britain (1792-96) he failed to resolve Anglo-American differences, but as envoy extraordinary to Spain in 1795, he negotiated the Treaty of San Lorenzo, or Pinckney's Treaty (Oct. 27, 1795), by which the United States was granted navigation of the Mississippi River through Spanish territory for three years with a provision for renewal, and the boundary with Spanish Florida was fixed at the 31st parallel. He was the Federalist candidate for vice president in 1796 but was defeated when some Federalist electors voted against him. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1797-1801 and a major general in the War of 1812.
Pinda, Mizengo (Kayanza Peter) (b. Aug. 12, 1948, Rukwa region, Tanganyika [now in Tanzania]), prime minister of Tanzania (2008- ).
Pindling, Sir Lynden O(scar) (b. March 22, 1930, Nassau, Bahamas - d. Aug. 26, 2000, Nassau), premier (1967-69) and prime minister (1969-92) of The Bahamas. He helped found the Progressive Liberal Party in 1953 as a grassroots opposition to the mostly white, colonial-run United Bahamian Party. He became party treasurer and was chosen parliamentary leader soon after being elected to parliament in the 1956 elections. He became his party's first premier after the 1967 elections and formed an all-black government. Pindling, known as "Black Moses," headed the government for 25 years, winning the elections of 1968, 1972, 1977, 1982, and 1987 and leading The Bahamas to independence from Britain in 1973. He was knighted in 1983. His policies helped create a large black middle class and widened educational opportunities. But The Bahamas also became a major drug trafficking haven in the late 1970s and 1980s, largely as the result of government inaction. A series of scandals in which Pindling was alleged to have covered for drug lords in the 1980s and taken bribes as chairman of the state-run Hotel Corporation clouded the country's relations with the United States and contributed to Pindling's defeat in the 1992 elections by Hubert Ingraham. In January 1997 a government commission investigating the Hotel Corporation condemned Pindling for accepting more than $750,000 in loans from Bahamas developers. The commission did not recommend further action. After his party won only 6 of the 40 seats in the National Assembly in the March 1997 elections, he agreed to step down to "give the party a new face."
Pineau, Christian (Paul) (b. Oct. 14, 1904, Chaumont-en-Bassigny, Haute-Marne, France - d. April 5, 1995, Paris), French politician. During World War II he created the first resistance network to operate in the occupied zone of France. In 1942 he worked with Charles de Gaulle in London, returning to France the following year. He was arrested in Lyon and in December 1943 deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp. Liberated in April 1945, he became minister of supply (May-November 1945) under de Gaulle. He was a Socialist deputy from 1946 to 1958 and served as minister of public works and transports (1947-48, 1948-50) and tourism (1948-50). In his role as foreign minister (1956-58) he signed the Treaty of Rome (1957) establishing the European Economic Community.
Pineda (Ugarte), (José) Laureano (b. July 4, 1802 - d. Sept. 17, 1853), director of Nicaragua (1851, 1851-53); son of Pedro Benito Pineda.
Pineda, Pedro Benito (d. [assassinated] 1827), acting chief in rebellion of Nicaragua (1826-27).
Piñera (Echenique), (Miguel Juan) Sebastián (b. Dec. 1, 1949, Santiago, Chile), president of Chile (2010- ). He was an unsuccessful presidential candidate in 2005-06.
Pinet-Laprade, (Jean Marie) Émile (b. July 13, 1822, Mirepoix, Ariège, France - d. Aug. 17, 1869, Saint-Louis, Senegal), governor of Senegal (1863, 1865-69).
Ping, Jean (b. Nov. 24, 1942, Omboué, Gabon), foreign minister of Gabon (1994, 1999-2008), president of the UN General Assembly (2004-05), and chairman of the Commission of the African Union (2008-12).
Pinheiro, João de Deus (Rogado Salvador) (b. July 11, 1945, Lisbon, Portugal), foreign minister of Portugal (1987-92). Earlier he was state secretary for education and school administration (1981-82), consultant on science policy at UNESCO and OECD and vice chairman of the National Board for Scientific and Technological Research (1983-84), and minister of education and culture (1984-86). Later he was a European commissioner (1993-99).
Pinheiro, Miguel Ximenes Rodrigues Sandoval de Castro e Viegas, visconde de (b. Feb. 25, 1806, Montevideo, Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata [now in Uruguay] - d. May 22, 1884, Lisbon, Portugal), governor-general of Angola (1853-54).
Piniés (Rubio), Jaime de (b. Nov. 18, 1917, Madrid, Spain - d. Dec. 29, 2003, Madrid), president of the UN General Assembly (1985-86). He was Spain's ambassador to the United Nations in 1968-72 and 1973-85. During his diplomatic career, he also served as ambassador to the United Kingdom (1972-73), Cuba, the Philippines, and the United States.
Pinilla (Fábrega), José M(anuel) (b. March 28, 1915, Panama City, Panama - d. Aug. 10, 1979, Panama City), chairman of the Provisional Junta of Panama (1968-69).
Pinkowski, Józef (b. April 17, 1929 - d. Nov. 11, 2000), prime minister of Poland (1980-81).
Pinochet Ugarte, Augusto (José Ramón) (b. Nov. 25, 1915, Valparaíso, Chile - d. Dec. 10, 2006, Santiago, Chile), president of Chile (1974-90). He graduated from the military academy in Santiago in 1936 and was promoted to lieutenant in 1941, captain in 1946, lieutenant general in 1959, colonel in 1966, brigadier general in 1969, and major general in 1971. Though appointed army commander in chief by Pres. Salvador Allende on Aug. 23, 1973, he planned and led the military coup in which Allende died (Sept. 11, 1973). He was named chairman of the victorious junta and immediately moved to crush Chile's liberal opposition, arresting approximately 130,000 individuals in a three-year period. Declaring himself president in 1974, he relegated the rest of the junta to an advisory role. He instituted free-market policies and determined to extirpate leftism in Chile; a government report later indicated that more than 3,000 were killed and nearly 28,000 tortured by his regime. Under the terms of a new constitution that went into effect in March 1981, a plebiscite was held on Oct. 5, 1988, resulting in a "no" vote of 55% to a "yes" vote of 43% for his continuation as president. He remained in office until, after free elections, a new president was installed in 1990. He continued as commander-in-chief of the army, as permitted by the constitution written by his regime. He retired from the army on March 10, 1998, and the following day was sworn in as senator for life - another guarantee he reserved for himself in the constitution. On Oct. 16, 1998, in response to a warrant by a Spanish judge, he was arrested at a London hospital where he was recovering from back surgery. After he was ruled unfit to stand trial, he could finally leave Britain on March 2, 2000. Although he was stripped of his immunity in Chile and charged with various crimes, he was never brought to trial.
Pintassilgo, Maria de Lurdes (Ruivo da Silva Matos) (b. Jan. 10, 1930, Abrantes, Portugal - d. July 10, 2004, Lisbon, Portugal), prime minister of Portugal (1979-80). She also held a series of senior posts, including minister of social affairs, in provisional governments after the 1974 revolution which ended more than 30 years of dictatorship. She had also served as ambassador to UNESCO. She ran unsuccessfully for president in 1986 for the Socialist Party and was elected to the European Parliament in 1987.
Pintat Santolària, Albert (b. June 23, 1943), foreign minister (1997-2001) and head of government (2005-09) of Andorra. His first political post was mayor of Sant Julià de Lòria (1982-83). He also was ambassador, in 1995-97 to Benelux and the EU and in 2001-04 to Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Pintat-Solans, Josep (b. Jan. 21, 1925, Sant Julià de Lòria, Andorra - d. Oct. 20, 2007, Barcelona, Spain), head of government of Andorra (1984-90).
Pintér, Sándor (b. July 3, 1948, Budapest, Hungary), interior minister of Hungary (1998-2002, 2010- ). He worked his way up to national police chief in 1991, but was sacked in November 1996 by the Socialist government for his failure to curb mostly gangland turf war-related violent crime.
Pinto, João Pereira de Castro (b. Nov. 3, 1863, Mamanguape, Paraíba, Brazil - d. July 11, 1944, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), governor of Paraíba (1912-15).
Pinto, José de Magalhães (b. July 28, 1909, Santo Antônio do Monte, Minas Gerais, Brazil - d. March 6, 1996), governor of Minas Gerais (1961-66) and foreign minister of Brazil (1967-69).
Pinto, Ottomar de Sousa (b. Jan. 19, 1930, Petrolina, Pernambuco, Brazil - d. Dec. 11, 2007, Brasília, Brazil), governor of Roraima (1979-83, 1991-95, 2004-07).
Pipe-Wolferstan, Littleton Edward (b. Aug. 8, 1866 - d. March 7, 1957, Forwood, Minchinhampton, England), acting British adviser in Kedah (1915-16) and resident councillor of Malacca (1921-22).
Piqué i Camps, Josep (b. Feb. 21, 1955, Vilanova i La Geltrú, Barcelona province, Spain), foreign minister of Spain (2000-02).
Piquet, Jules Georges (b. Jan. 13, 1839, Chevignat, Ain, France - d. Jan. 18, 1923, Chevignat), resident-general of Cambodia (1886-87), acting governor of Cochinchina (1887), governor of French India (1888-89), and governor-general of French Indochina (1889-91).
Pires, José Nogueira Valente (b. Dec. 26, 1914 - d. Oct. 15, 2010), governor of Portuguese Timor (1968-72).
Pires, Mário Lemos (b. June 30, 1930, Lamego, Portugal - d. May 22, 2009, Lisbon, Portugal), governor of Portuguese Timor (1974-75).
Pires, Pedro (Verona Rodrigues) (b. April 29, 1934, Fogo, Cape Verde), prime minister (1975-91) and president (2001-11) of Cape Verde.
Pires (de Souza), (Francisco) Waldir (b. Oct. 21, 1926, Acajutiba, Bahia, Brazil), governor of Bahia (1987-89) and defense minister of Brazil (2006-07).
Pirie-Gordon, Christopher (Martin), (14th) Laird of Buthlaw (b. Sept. 28, 1911 - d. July 16, 1980), British political agent in the Trucial States (1953-55).
Pirinski, Georgi (Georgiev) (b. Sept. 10, 1948, New York City), deputy prime minister (1990) and foreign minister (1995-96) of Bulgaria. He ran for president with the Together for Bulgaria left-wing coalition in 1996, but the Central Electoral Commission ruled that he did not meet the constitutional requirement that candidates must be Bulgarian citizens by birth. He was speaker of parliament in 2005-09.
Pirlog, Vitalie (b. July 28, 1974, Nisporeni, Moldavian S.S.R.), justice minister (2006-09) and acting prime minister (2009) of Moldova.
Pirzada, Syed Sharifuddin (b. June 12, 1923), foreign minister of Pakistan (1966-68) and secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (1985-88).
Pisani, Edgard (b. Oct. 9, 1918, Tunis, Tunisia), high commissioner of New Caledonia (1984-85). He was also a member (1981-84) and a vice president (1984) of the European Commission.
Pishevari, (Sayyid) Jafar, original name Javadzadeh Khalkhali (b. 1892, Khalkhal, Iran - d. 1947, Azerbaijan S.S.R.), head of government of Iranian Azerbaijan (1945-46).
Pisnik, Alois (b. Sept. 8, 1911, Donawitz, Steiermark, Austria - d. Oct. 8, 2004, Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany), first secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Magdeburg (1952-79).
Pistarini (Ludena), Pascual (Ángel) (b. 1915 - d. October 1999, Buenos Aires, Argentina), member of the Revolutionary Junta of Argentina (1966).
Pitakaka, Sir (Puibangara) Moses (b. Jan. 24, 1945 - d. Dec. 25, 2011, Honiara, Solomon Islands), governor-general of the Solomon Islands (1994-99); knighted 1995.
Pitcher, Frederick (William), byname Freddie Pitcher (b. Feb. 5, 1967), finance minister (2007-08) and president (2011) of Nauru.
Pithart, Petr (b. Jan. 2, 1941, Kladno, Bohemia and Moravia [now in Czech Republic]), prime minister of the Czech Republic (1990-92). He was later president of the Senate (1996-98, 2000-04).
Pithey, Jack William (b. Dec. 30, 1903, Potchefstroom, Transvaal [now in South Africa]), acting president of Rhodesia (1978-79).
Pitra, Frantisek (b. Nov. 13, 1932, Mestec, Chrudim district, Czechoslovakia [now in Czech Republic]), prime minister of the Czech Socialist Republic (1988-90).
Pitt, Thomas (b. July 5, 1653, Blandford, Dorset, England - d. April 28, 1726, Swallowfield, Berkshire, England), governor of Madras (1698-1709).
Pitt, William, the Elder, (from 1766) (1st) Earl of Chatham, (1st) Viscount Pitt (of Burton Pynsent), byname the Great Commoner (b. Nov. 15, 1708, London, England - d. May 11, 1778, Hayes, Kent, England), British statesman; grandson of Thomas Pitt. In 1735 he entered Parliament, where he showed oratorical power and a readiness to appeal to public opinion, a novelty in English political life. In February 1746 he was appointed joint vice treasurer of Ireland, and two months later he became paymaster general of the forces. Because of his attacks on the Duke of Newcastle's ministry, he was dismissed from the pay office in 1755, but with the outbreak of the Seven Years' War the popular demand for Pitt became irresistible. In 1756 he formed a ministry with the Duke of Devonshire as its nominal head; in 1757 Newcastle returned to office on the understanding that he should control all the patronage while Pitt was responsible for the conduct of the war. His resolute and concerted policy led to a "year of victories" over France in 1759, notably in Canada. As a result of the war, Britain reigned supreme in North America and India and gained preeminence as an imperial power. But, before the war ended, Pitt had been forced to resign in 1761 when the new king, George III, and the cabinet objected to his plan to declare war on Spain. In 1766 the king asked him to form a ministry drawn from all sections of Parliament. His judgment and wisdom were impaired at this time and his ministry (in which he held the secondary post of lord privy seal, for which he was created Earl of Chatham) proved disastrous. From May 1767 until his formal resignation in October 1768, he withdrew completely, leaving the operations of government to others. His health subsequently improved again; in the House of Lords, he championed the cause of the American colonies, while opposing independence.
Pitt the Elder
Pitt, William, the Younger (b. May 28, 1759, Hayes, Kent, England - d. Jan. 23, 1806, London, England), British prime minister (1783-1801, 1804-06); son of William Pitt the Elder. In 1780, he failed to secure election to Parliament for Cambridge University, but in 1781 a patron provided him with a seat for Appleby in Westmorland. He made a successful maiden speech and displayed astonishing self-confidence. In 1782, he became chancellor of the exchequer under Lord Shelburne, and in December 1783, at age 24, King George III asked him to form a government. Many of the reforms he sought were frustrated by his lack of a strong political base in the Commons, but due to the support of the king he became the longest-serving British prime minister. He clung to neutrality in the French Revolutionary Wars as long as possible, but on Feb. 1, 1793, the French declared war on England, confident of victory after their successes against the Austro-Prussian forces and believing that England was ripe for revolution. Pitt's fiscal policies enabled the country to weather the long conflict with France. The French Revolution also had disastrous repercussions in Ireland, creating new hatreds to exacerbate the old religious feuds and a rebellion in 1798, convincing Pitt that a union of the two countries was necessary. This was realized, but Catholic emancipation was opposed by the king; Pitt resigned over the issue in 1801. He was reappointed in 1804. The Third Coalition against France, engineered by Pitt, collapsed after the battles of Ulm and Austerlitz, but Admiral Nelson's victory at Trafalgar in October 1805 ensured Britain's naval supremacy for the rest of the war. Pitt's health failed, and he died in office.
Pitt the Younger
Pittermann, Bruno (b. Sept. 3, 1905, Vienna, Austria - d. Sept. 19, 1983, Vienna), Austrian politician. He was first elected to parliament in 1945. When the Socialist leader Adolf Schärf became federal president in 1957, Pittermann succeeded him as party chairman and as vice-chancellor. In 1966 the Conservatives won a majority in parliament, the Socialists were forced out of the coalition, and Pittermann lost his place in the government. In 1967 he was succeeded as party leader by Bruno Kreisky. He left parliament in 1971. From 1964 to 1976 he was president of the Socialist International. He was a staunch opponent of rightist dictatorships as well as Soviet-bloc Communist regimes.
Pittner, Ladislav (b. May 18, 1934, Malacky, Czechoslovakia [now in Slovakia] - d. Aug. 15, 2008, Bratislava, Slovakia), interior minister of Slovakia (1990-92, 1994, 1998-2001).
Pius VI, original name Giovanni Angelo Braschi (b. Dec. 25, 1717, Cesena, Papal States [now in Italy] - d. Aug. 29, 1799, Valence, France), pope of the Roman Catholic Church (1775-99). He served in various administrative capacities in the church before being ordained priest in 1758. Appointed treasurer of the apostolic chamber by Pope Clemens XIII in 1766, he was made cardinal in 1773 by Pope Clemens XIV, after whose death a four-month conclave elected Braschi pope. The papacy at the time was almost completely bereft of power and influence due to the forces of the Enlightenment and nationalism. The Holy Roman emperor Joseph II applied Febronianism, an ecclesiastical doctrine that advocated restriction of papal power. A visit by Pius to Vienna in 1782 secured no concessions. The situation in France was equally overwhelming. The revolutionary government turned to the church's wealth, which it confiscated as a direct backing for its paper currency. In 1790 the French National Assembly passed the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, causing a major conflict between Rome and the Revolution. Pius explored possibilities of modifying the plan, but when an oath of fidelity to the new regime was demanded from the clergy, he formally denounced the Civil Constitution and the Revolution itself on March 10, 1791. The French church was completely split, half accepting, half defying the new regime. In 1796 the pope's territory was invaded by Napoléon Bonaparte. A peace treaty was signed at Tolentino on Feb. 19, 1797, by which the pope yielded five states of the church. A riot in Rome (December 1797), in which a French general was killed, led to French occupation of that city (Feb. 15, 1798) and the proclamation of a republic. In March 1799 he was seized by the French; he died a prisoner.
Pius VII, original name Giorgio Barnaba Niccolò Luigi Chiaramonti, in religion Gregorio Chiaramonti (b. Aug. 14, 1742, Cesena, Papal States [now in Italy] - d. Aug. 20, 1823, Rome, Papal States [now in Italy]), pope of the Roman Catholic Church (1800-23). He took his vows as a Benedictine at Cesena in 1758 (when he took the name Gregorio) and in 1785 was made bishop of Imola and cardinal by Pope Pius VI, who died in French captivity in 1799. Under Austrian protection at Venice, a conclave lasting 14 weeks elected Chiaramonti on March 14, 1800. Napoléon Bonaparte, the first consul of France, approached him about a settlement of the religious question in France, and the historic Concordat of 1801 provided for a complete reorganization of the dioceses and declared Roman Catholicism France's chief religion. Pius renounced the ecclesiastical property that had been secularized; on the other hand the church hierarchy was to be salaried by the French state. In 1804 he agreed to come to Paris to consecrate Napoléon emperor, but he failed in his effort to get a modification of the "organic articles," appended to the Concordat by a French unilateral action in 1802, which forbade the exercise of any papal jurisdiction in France without the permission of the government. Relations deteriorated, and Rome was occupied by French troops in 1808, followed by Napoléon's annexation of the Papal States to France (1809). After Pius excommunicated the invaders on June 10, 1809, he was taken prisoner in July, remaining in exile until the defeat of Napoléon in 1814. The Congress of Vienna (1814-15) restituted nearly all the Papal States, including Rome, to the papacy. Disavowing his earlier liberal leanings, he then sought to reestablish the church on its old foundations.
Pius VIII, original name Francesco Saverio Castiglioni (b. Nov. 20, 1761, Cingoli, Papal States [now in Italy] - d. Nov. 30, 1830, Rome, Papal States [now in Italy]), pope of the Roman Catholic Church (1829-30). He studied canon law, was ordained in 1785, and became vicar-general at Anagni and later at Fano. Made bishop of Montalto in 1800, he was imprisoned in 1808 during the French domination of Italy for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to Napoléon. In 1816 he was made bishop of Cesena and cardinal. Appointed grand penitentiary, a leading role in the Curia, he was made bishop of Frascati in 1821; later that year he became prefect of the Congregation of the Index. At the conclave of 1823 he was already a candidate, but was considered too moderate. Despite his poor health, Castiglioni, the candidate of France, was elected Pope Leo XII's successor on March 31, 1829, and was crowned on April 5. He was generally broad-minded and conciliatory. Although the July Revolution (1830) in France was anticlerical in spirit, Pius encouraged French ecclesiastics to support the new king, Louis-Philippe. At the beginning of his pontificate the Catholic Emancipation Bill, which made it possible for Catholics to sit in Parliament and to hold public offices, was passed in England. On the other hand, the situation of the Catholics in the new Rhineland possessions of Protestant Prussia caused some concern; he allowed priests to assist passively at mixed marriages in which promises of Catholic education of the children had not been given, a concession that did not satisfy Prussia.
Pius IX, original name Giovanni Maria Giambattista Pietro Pellegrino Isidoro, conte Mastai-Ferretti (b. May 13, 1792, Senigallia, Papal States [now in Italy] - d. Feb. 7, 1878, Rome, Italy), pope of the Roman Catholic Church (1846-78). Ordained in 1819, he became archbishop of Spoleto in 1827, bishop of Imola in 1832, and cardinal in 1840. He was not the most prominent liberal candidate likely to succeed Gregorius XVI in 1846, but it took the conclave only two days to determine his election and so prevent that of the conservative Luigi Lambruschini. However, in 1848, the year of revolutions, he was faced with demands much beyond what he had been prepared to grant. Having granted a constitution for Rome in March 1848, a radical ministry was appointed in November; when the Swiss Guards were disbanded the pope was a virtual prisoner. On November 24-25, he fled to Gaeta in the kingdom of Naples. A new constituent assembly on Feb. 9, 1849, declared the temporal power at an end and a democratic republic to be established. The papacy thereupon appealed to the rulers of France, Austria, Spain, and Naples for assistance. This resulted in the restoration of papal rule, and he returned on April 12, 1850, repudiating his former liberalism. Notable events of his reign (the longest in history) included the declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (1854) and the first Vatican Council (1869-70), during which the doctrine of papal infallibility was defined. On Sept. 20, 1870, Italian troops occupied Rome, and in October a plebiscite was held in which an overwhelming majority voted for the incorporation of Rome in the kingdom of Italy. He refused to recognize this and for the rest of his days regarded himself a prisoner in the Vatican. His beatification in 2000 was controversial because of his alleged anti-Semitism.
Pius X, Saint, original name Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto (b. June 2, 1835, Riese, Venetia [now in Italy] - d. Aug. 20, 1914, Rome, Italy), pope of the Roman Catholic Church (1903-14). Ordained in 1858, he acted as parish priest at various places in Venetia until his appointment in 1875 as canon of the cathedral and superior of the episcopal seminary at Treviso. Pope Leo XIII made him bishop of Mantua in 1884 and cardinal and patriarch of Venice in 1893. Elected pope in succession to Leo, he had little interest in the latter's social reforms, laying his emphasis rather upon the spiritual work of the church. In 1910, he ordered that all teachers in seminaries and clerics before ordination take an oath denouncing Modernism, a contemporary intellectual movement seeking to employ secular disciplines to reinterpret traditional Catholic teaching; he had earlier condemned Modernism in the encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis (1907). He ceased to pursue actively the quarrel with the Italian government and allowed individual Catholics to enter Italian politics. He opposed Christian social movements independent of the church hierarchy. On his accession, there was already a growing anticlericalism in France, and in 1905 the French formally separated church from state, an act he condemned on Feb. 11, 1906. He issued decrees easing the regulations governing daily communion and reformed the liturgy, reviving Gregorian plainsong and recasting the breviary and the missal. A revision of canon law was begun in 1904 and brought to virtual completion shortly before his death. He also strengthened the church's central administration by the apostolic constitution Sapienti consilio (1908). He was beatified on June 3, 1951, and canonized May 29, 1954.
Pius XI, original name Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti (b. May 31, 1857, Desio, Lombardy [now in Italy] - d. Feb. 10, 1939, Vatican City), pope of the Roman Catholic Church (1922-39). Ordained in 1879, he became prefect of the Vatican Library in 1914, nuncio to Poland in 1919, archbishop of Milan and cardinal in 1921, and was elected to the papacy on Feb. 6, 1922. Soon Benito Mussolini came to power in Italy, with whom he signed (Feb. 11, 1929) the Lateran Treaty that allowed the existence of the independent Vatican City state ruled by the pope, with the papacy in turn recognizing the kingdom of Italy and its lawful rule of Rome and announcing permanent neutrality in military and diplomatic conflicts of the world. At the same time, a concordat established the validity of church marriage in Italy, provided compulsory religious instruction for Catholic schoolchildren, and declared Roman Catholicism to be Italy's state religion. He also concluded concordats that strengthened Catholicism in other European countries, including Latvia (1922), Poland (1925), Romania and Lithuania (1927), Prussia (1929), and Austria and Germany (1933). He wrote several protests against the Third Reich in 1933-36, as well as the encyclical Mit brennender Sorge (1937), and denounced the introduction of Nazi racial attitudes into Italy in 1938. He also spoke out against atheistic communism and against persecution of Catholics in Mexico and Spain. He required every religious order to engage actively in overseas missionary work, with the result that the number of missionaries doubled during his pontificate. In 1926 he consecrated the first Chinese bishops. In his encyclical Quadragesimo anno (1931), he elaborated the theses of Leo XIII's Rerum novarum on social and economic matters.
Pius XII, original name Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (b. March 2, 1876, Rome, Italy - d. Oct. 9, 1958, Castel Gandolfo, near Rome), pope of the Roman Catholic Church (1939-58). He was ordained in 1899 and passed into the Vatican Secretariat of State in 1901; in 1911 he became a monsignor and in 1917 he was made archbishop and sent as nuncio to Bavaria to negotiate a concordat. In 1920 he was appointed nuncio to the German republic with the same aim; his discussions with the Berlin government failed, but he signed agreements with Bavaria in 1924 and Prussia in 1929. He was named cardinal in 1929 and became secretary of state in 1930 and additionally camerlengo (chamberlain) in 1935. After 9 years as secretary of state, during which he travelled on papal missions to North and South America and to France, he was elected pope in the shortest conclave since 1623. During the few months between his election and the outbreak of World War II, he turned his diplomatic gifts to preventing the catastrophe, but not in the spirit of appeasement - the Vatican had disliked the Munich Agreement (1938), by which Czechoslovakia was sacrificed to expanding German power by Britain and France. Pius especially strove to keep Italy neutral and was deeply saddened when he failed. In a notable series of Christmas broadcasts (1939-48), he looked firmly toward the postwar future and to the opportunities it would offer for a new order in which the international community would be given real expression, replacing the egoistic nationalism that had bred war. Regarding his conduct in relation to the war itself, he has been charged with neglecting, in the interests of a calculated neutrality, to raise an authoritative voice in defense of the persecuted, Christian or Jewish. In 1946 he enacted severe measures against Catholics collaborating with Communists.
Plakida, Viktor Tarasovych (b. Aug. 2, 1956), prime minister of Crimea (2006-10).
Plamenac, Jovan (b. 1873 - d. [executed] 1944), prime minister of Montenegro in exile (1919-21, 1922).
Planche, Jacques Ferdinand (b. Jan. 28, 1829, Grenoble, France - d. 1894), commandant of the French Settlements in Oceania (1878-80).
Planinc, Milka, née Malada (b. Nov. 21, 1924, Drnis, Yugoslavia [now in Croatia] - d. Oct. 7, 2010, Zagreb, Croatia), prime minister of Yugoslavia (1982-86). In 1941 she joined the Communist Youth Union of Yugoslavia, and in 1943 she was accepted as a soldier of the Yugoslav Liberation Army. After the war she joined the Yugoslav Communist Party (in 1952 renamed League of Communists). In 1963 she became secretary for education and science of the republic of Croatia. She established her political reputation as a loyal supporter of Tito, whom she helped to overcome the outbreak of Croatian nationalism in 1971. A member of the Central Committee of the Croatian branch of the League of Communists since 1959, she became its chairman in 1971 and also a member of the federal Executive Committee. She became Eastern Europe's first woman head of government when she was appointed president of the Federal Executive Council for a four-year term in 1982. Because of the active role she played in Croatia, she had the reputation of being something of an "iron lady." Once in office, she acted to increase the federal government's effectiveness in combating Yugoslavia's mounting economic problems. Among these were an inflation rate of approximately 30%, a per capita foreign indebtedness greater than that of Poland, and an unemployment rate exceeding 13% of the work force. Her measures included the introduction of a greater number of technocrats, particularly economists, into the new government; the raising of the price of gasoline, for the third time in a year, to the highest in Europe; and a price freeze affecting all goods and services apart from privately grown fruit and vegetables. However, the situation remained unfavourable at the end of her term, with an inflation rate of over 80%.
Plantier, (Emilien Célestin) Nicolas du (b. 1871 - d. ...), French resident of Grande Comore (1899).
Plantz, William Rufus (b. Feb. 10, 1895, St. Thomas, Danish [now U.S.] Virgin Islands - d. 1984), administrator of Bonaire (1927-28).
Plassnik, Ursula (b. May 23, 1956, Klagenfurt, Austria), foreign minister of Austria (2004-08).
Platen, Baltzar (Julius Ernst greve) von (b. April 16, 1804, Frugården [now in Västra Götaland county], Sweden - d. March 20, 1875, Stockholm, Sweden), prime minister for foreign affairs of Sweden (1871-72).
Platov, Vladimir (Ignatyevich) (b. Oct. 23, 1946 - d. April 16, 2012), governor of Tver oblast (1995-2003).
Platteel, Pieter Johannes (b. Aug. 14, 1911, Utrecht, Netherlands - d. Aug. 19, 1978, Hilversum, Noord-Holland, Netherlands), governor of Netherlands New Guinea (1958-62).
Platzeck, Matthias (b. Dec. 29, 1953, Potsdam, East Germany), minister-president of Brandenburg (2002-13). He was mayor of Potsdam in 1998-2002 and chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 2005-06.
Plavsic (Banjac), Biljana (b. July 7, 1930, Tuzla, Yugoslavia [now in Bosnia and Herzegovina]), president of the Republika Srpska (1996-98). Despite repeated offers, she never joined the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. Her political career began in earnest in 1990. She was one of the founding members of Radovan Karadzic's Serbian Democratic Party, which later that year captured virtually all of the Serbian votes in Bosnia's first free elections. She denied that Bosnia's three nationalities - the Muslims, Croats, and Serbs - could live together in peace, and described the Muslims as "a genetic defect on the Serbian body." She once said that it would be worth it for the Serbs to lose even one million dead in war if that was the price to be paid for a Greater Serbia. She mistrusted former communists, like Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, whom she regarded as an opportunist. She served as one of the Serbian members of Bosnia's multi-ethnic presidency from December 1990 until the beginning of the civil war in April 1992. She soon became Karadzic's vice president, a position she held until 1996, when she succeeded Karadzic as president after international pressure forced him to leave the public stage. She then won the presidency in her own right in elections held in September. She now demanded respect for the Dayton peace accord, as it provided the legal foundations for a Bosnian Serb state. In June 1997, Milosevic's and Karadzic's police tried to stage a coup against her. Subsequently, one Bosnian Serb institution after another split into two, with one faction pledging loyalty to Karadzic and his group in Pale, and the other backing Plavsic, based in Banja Luka. Charged with genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, she surrendered to the UN tribunal in The Hague in January 2001. On Feb. 27, 2003, she was sentenced to 11 years in prison. She was released in October 2009.
Plavyuk, Mykola (Vasylovich) (b. June 5, 1925, Rusov, Ukrainian S.S.R. [now Rusiv, Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, Ukraine] - d. March 10, 2012, Hamilton, Ont.), president in exile of Ukraine (1990-92).
Playford, Thomas (b. Nov. 26, 1837, London, England - d. April 19, 1915, Kent Town, South Australia), premier of South Australia (1887-89, 1890-92).
Sir T. Playford
Playford, Sir Thomas (b. July 5, 1896, Norton Summit, South Australia - d. June 16, 1981, Adelaide, South Australia), premier of South Australia (1938-65); grandson of Thomas Playford. He became lieutenant, serving in World War I at both Gallipoli and in France, where he was badly wounded. He became a member of the South Australian parliament in 1933 and premier in 1938, serving a record 27 years in that post. He was knighted in 1957. In the 1965 elections his party, the Liberal and Country League, was defeated and he retired from parliament in 1967.
Plaza (y Palacios1), Victorino de la (b. Nov. 2, 1840, Salta, Argentina - d. Oct. 2, 1919, Buenos Aires, Argentina), president of Argentina (1914-16).
1 Also referred to as Victorino de la Plaza y Silva. The reason for the ambiguity is that his mother was an illegitimate child, with her mother's family name Palacios; this was used in Victorino's father's will; however, the mother's father's family name was Silva, and she often used it as her own (it is not known whether she had been legitimized). Victorino's own will calls her María Manuela Silva de De la Plaza. Victorino's birth or baptismal records have not been found.
Plaza (y) Gutiérrez (de Caviedes), Leonidas (b. April 18, 1865, Charapotó, Manabí province, Ecuador - d. Sept. 17, 1932, Huigra village, Chimborazo province, Ecuador), president of Ecuador (1901-05, 1912-16). In the interim between his terms as president, General Plaza served as minister to the United States.
Plaza Lasso (de la Vega), Galo (Lincoln) (b. Feb. 17, 1906, New York City - d. Jan. 28, 1987, Quito, Ecuador), president of Ecuador (1948-52) and secretary-general of the Organization of American States (1968-75); son of Leonidas Plaza Gutiérrez. He served as a senator and as minister of defense before being elected president. Plaza was widely regarded as one of the country's most esteemed diplomats, and he undertook highly successful missions for the UN as an observer and mediator in such charged areas as Congo (Kinshasa), Cyprus, and Lebanon. During his tenure as secretary-general of the OAS, he traveled to member countries (with the exception of Cuba) to reacquaint himself with the needs of each. In later years he was widely respected as an elder statesman and appeared frequently on television and radio.
Pleskot, Václav (b. Jan. 1, 1921, Milostín, Czechoslovakia [now in Czech Republic] - d. Sept. 29, 2012), acting foreign minister of Czechoslovakia (1968-69). He was ambassador to France in 1960-66.
Plessis, Wentzel Christoffel du, byname Wennie du Plessis (b. March 5, 1904, South Africa), administrator of South West Africa (1963-68).
Plesu, Andrei (Gabriel) (b. Aug. 23, 1948, Bucharest, Romania), foreign minister of Romania (1997-99).
Pleven, René (b. April 15, 1901, Rennes, France - d. Jan. 13, 1993, Paris), prime minister of France (1950-51, 1951-52). In 1940 he joined Gen. Charles de Gaulle in London and was sent to assist in rallying French Equatorial Africa to the Free French cause. After his return to London, he became commissioner of economy, finance, and the colonies (1941-42). He was again commissioner of colonies in 1942-44, during which time the Free French headquarters were moved to Algiers (1943), and then finance minister in de Gaulle's first government formed in Paris (1944-46), also holding the portfolio of national economy in 1945. He was a member of the first constituent assembly (1945-46) and of the National Assembly elected on Nov. 10, 1946. He was cofounder (with François Mitterrand) of the small left-centre Democratic and Socialist Union of the Resistance (UDSR) in 1946 and its president in 1946-53. He was twice defense minister (1949-50, 1952-54) and twice premier. He helped lay the foundations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and convened a conference in Paris in July 1950 to draw up a plan for a European Defense Community, though the necessary treaty was rejected by the National Assembly in 1954. With U.S. aid, he carried on the war in Indochina against the nationalist Viet Minh, being harshly criticized for failing to prevent the decisive defeat at Dien Bien Phu (1954). He served briefly as foreign minister in May-June 1958 and quit the UDSR in October 1958 to support de Gaulle's new constitution. He formed a new party, the Union for a Modern Democracy, in 1959. In 1966 he had a falling out with de Gaulle over France's withdrawal from NATO. He was minister of justice in 1969-73. After losing his legislative seat in the 1973 elections he became president of the Regional Council of Bretagne (1974-76).
Plevljak, Fikret (b. 1956, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina), premier of Zenica-Doboj canton (2011- ).
Plevneliev, Rosen (Asenov) (b. May 14, 1964, Gotse Delchev, southern Bulgaria), president of Bulgaria (2012- ).
Plimsoll, Sir James (b. April 25, 1917, Sydney, New South Wales - d. May 8, 1987, Hobart, Tasmania), Australian diplomat. He served in the Australian Army in 1942-47. He won international acclaim for his diplomatic skills while serving as the Australian representative on the UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea (1950-52). He returned to Australia in 1953 and was assistant secretary (1953-59) and later secretary (1965-70) at the Department of External Affairs in Canberra. He was Australia's permanent representative at the UN (1959-63) and held such important posts as ambassador to the U.S. (1970-74), the U.S.S.R. and Mongolia (1974-77), and Japan (1981-82) and was Australia's high commissioner in India (1963-65) and the U.K. (1980-81). From 1982 to his death he was governor of Tasmania. He was knighted in 1962 and was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1978.
Pluijm-Vrede, Adèle (Pauline) van der (b. March 21, 1952, Curaçao), acting governor of Curaçao (2012-13). She has been deputy governor of the Netherlands Antilles (2002-10) and of Curaçao (2010- ).
Plumb (of Coleshill in the County of Warwickshire), (Charles) Henry Plumb, Baron (b. March 27, 1925), president of the European Parliament (1987-89). He was knighted in 1973 and created a life peer in 1987.
Poaty-Souchlaty, Alphonse (b. 1941, Kouilou region, Middle Congo [now Congo (Brazzaville)]), prime minister of Congo (Brazzaville) (1989-90).
Pobéguin, (Charles) Henri (Olivier) (b. Feb. 25, 1856, Valence, Drôme, France - d. Jan. 25, 1951, Paris), French resident of Grande Comore (1897-99).
Podgornov, Nikolay (Mikhailovich) (b. May 15, 1949), head of the administration of Vologda oblast (1991-96).
Podgorny, Nikolay (Viktorovich) (b. Feb. 18 [Feb. 5, Old Style], 1903, Karlovka, Poltava province, Russia [now in Ukraine] - d. Jan. 11, 1983, Moscow), Soviet statesman. He became a member of the Communist Party in 1930. His first government appointment was that of deputy people's commissar of the food-processing industry in the Ukraine in 1939; in 1940 he was promoted to deputy commissar of the Soviet food-processing industry. He formed ties with Nikita Khrushchev, and with his help secured his first responsible position in the Communist Party, as first secretary of the Kharkov regional party committee, in 1950. In 1953 he became second secretary of the Ukrainian party committee, and he soon rose to first secretary (1957-63). The 20th all-union party congress (1956) elected him a member of the Central Committee. He became a candidate Politburo member in 1958 and a full member in 1960, and was promoted to secretary of the Central Committee in 1963. Losing a power struggle with Leonid Brezhnev, who had become party first secretary in 1964, Podgorny relinquished his secretaryship in 1965 and was given the less-influential post of chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. He enhanced this position of ceremonial head of state and traveled widely abroad; his meeting with Pope Paul VI in 1967 was the first between a top-level Soviet leader and a Roman Catholic pontiff. When in 1972 Podgorny's protégé Pyotr Shelest was replaced by Vladimir Shcherbitsky, a Brezhnev supporter, as first secretary of the Ukrainian party, Podgorny's influence was further reduced. As a result of his resistance to Brezhnev's wish to assume the Presidium chairmanship, Podgorny was ousted from the Politburo on May 24, 1977, and in June was "relieved" of his duties as Presidium chairman, with Brezhnev assuming the title.
Poe, Fernando, Jr., byname of Ronald Allan Kelley Poe (b. Aug. 20, 1939, Manila, Philippines - d. Dec. 14, 2004, Manila), Philippine presidential candidate (2004). A movie legend known across the nation as FPJ and "Da King," he was a reluctant presidential candidate, but was cajoled into leading the opposition ticket at the request of his good friend, ex-president Joseph Estrada, himself a former actor. Poe came within 3% of blocking a fresh term for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the May 2004 elections, promising all Filipinos "breakfast, lunch, and dinner." Various exit polls claimed that he had won, and he maintained that he was cheated and a survey in September found that the majority of Filipinos agreed.
Poggi, Claudio (Javier) (b. Oct. 7, 1963, Alcira Gigena, Córdoba, Argentina), governor of San Luis (2011- ).
Pohamba, Hifikepunye (Lucas) (b. Aug. 18, 1935, Okanghudi, Ohangwena region, Ovamboland, South West Africa [now Namibia]), president of Namibia (2005- ). In 1960, he helped found the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO). A year later, he was arrested by tribal chiefs opposed to SWAPO, chained for several days, and publicly flogged at a traditional court for "political activism." He then left South West Africa; on his way back in 1962 he was again arrested and spent several months in Southern Rhodesian and South African prisons before being deported to his home area in Ovamboland, in the north of the country. In 1964, he went into exile for a second time and set up SWAPO's Zambia office. He returned in March 1966 with Sam Nujoma to challenge the South African apartheid administration in South West Africa. Both men were deported the next day back to Zambia, where he served until December 1969. He was then elected member of the SWAPO central committee in exile. In 1977, he made it to the Politburo. Until 1989 he represented SWAPO across the African continent, with a brief spell out for social and political studies in the Soviet Union. He headed SWAPO's election campaign before becoming an MP in 1990. He then held the portfolios of internal affairs (1990-95), fisheries and marine resources (1995-97), and lands (2002-05) under President Nujoma. He became secretary-general (1997) and vice president (2002) of the ruling SWAPO, and he won 76.4% of the vote as its presidential candidate in the November 2004 election, campaigning on a platform that called for continuity. It was a standing joke in Namibia that Pohamba and Nujoma even look alike - until Pohamba shaved his beard off. He was reelected in 2009, again with 76.4%.
Poher, Alain (Émile Louis Marie) (b. April 17, 1909, Ablon-sur-Seine, near Paris - d. Dec. 9, 1996, Paris), French politician. He began his public service career in 1938 as an administrator. He served with distinction in World War II, earning the War Cross and the Resistance medal. After the liberation, he was elected mayor of his hometown, a post he held for 23 years. In 1946 he joined the office of then finance minister Robert Schuman. He was elected to the Senate later that year. In 1948, he quit the Senate to take a series of government posts with the Fourth Republic, serving as budget minister and secretary of state for finances. He won reelection to the Senate in 1952, championing European construction projects throughout the decade. As president of the Senate (1968-92), he was twice called upon to serve as short-term interim president of France - in 1969, when Gen. Charles de Gaulle resigned, and again in 1974, when Pres. Georges Pompidou died. He was also president of the European Parliament (1966-69). Poher made a bid for the presidency himself in 1969, but Pompidou defeated him in an election runoff. The veteran centrist retired from politics in 1992.
Poignet, Augustin (b. April 28, 1928, Sibiti, Middle Congo [now Congo (Brazzaville)] - d. June 26, 2008, Paris, France), defense minister (1968) and president of the Senate (1992-97) of Congo (Brazzaville).
Poincaré, Raymond (Nicolas Landry) (b. Aug. 20, 1860, Bar-le-Duc, Meuse, France - d. Oct. 15, 1934, Paris), French statesman. Elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1887, he was education minister in 1893, the youngest minister in the history of the Third Republic. In 1894-95 he served as finance minister and in 1895 again as education minister. He left the Chamber in 1903 to serve in the Senate until 1912; during this time he served in the cabinet only once, as finance minister in 1906. In January 1912, however, he became prime minister and foreign minister. Believing that in the existing state of Europe war was inevitable, he bolstered alliances with Russia and Britain to ensure France would not be isolated as it had been in 1870. On Jan. 17, 1913, he was elected president by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, despite the opposition of the left under Georges Clemenceau, a lifelong enemy. Throughout World War I (1914-18) he strove to preserve national unity, and in 1917, when war weariness was prevalent, he confided the government to the iron-willed Clemenceau, as the man best qualified to lead the country to victory. After the completion of his term as president in 1920, he returned to the Senate and was for a time chairman of the reparations commission. In 1922 he again became prime minister and foreign minister. He refused a delay in German reparation payments and in January 1923 ordered French troops into the Ruhr in reaction to the default. Defeated by a leftist coalition in 1924, he was returned as prime minister in 1926, also taking the finance portfolio. He stabilized the declining franc and led the country to a period of new prosperity. He won another electoral victory in 1928, but illness forced him to resign in 1929. He had been elected to the Académie française in 1909.
Point, Steven (Lewis) (b. July 28, 1951, Chilliwack, B.C.), lieutenant governor of British Columbia (2007-12).
Poiret, Jean Louis Georges (b. April 25, 1872, Le Mans, Sarthe, France - d. 1932), governor of French Guinea (1912-13, 1915-29).
Pokhrel, Ishwar, also spelled Pokharel (b. Feb. 4, 1954, Mamkha-2, Okhaldhunga district, Nepal), foreign minister of Nepal (2012).
Pol Pot, original name Saloth Sar (b. January 1925, Prek Sbov, Kompong Thom province, Cambodia - d. April 15, 1998, north of Anlong Veng, near the Cambodia-Thailand border), Cambodian political leader. In the 1940s he joined the anti-French resistance under Ho Chi Minh. In 1963 he became leader of the Communist Party of Cambodia and disappeared into the jungle, where he adapted the charismatic revolutionary persona known as Brother Number One. At some point he adopted the name Pol Pot (supposedly short for "political potential"). He built up the party and trained his Khmer Rouge guerrillas, who first clashed with the Cambodian army and police in 1968. He led the Khmer Rouge forces - an army of 70,000 - in their overthrow of Gen. Lon Nol's regime in 1975 and became prime minister in 1976. He attempted to create an agrarian utopia without money or property, abolishing schools, religion, and family life and killing those he deemed a threat - intellectuals, artists, technicians, former government officials, monks, and minorities. His regime has been blamed for the deaths of about 1.7 million people, nearly one-quarter of his nation's population, through starvation, disease, torture, execution, and hard labour. After being overthrown by a Vietnamese invasion in January 1979, he led the Khmer Rouge forces against the new Hanoi-supported government in Phnom Penh. Although replaced as "prime minister" in December 1979 and removed from the military leadership of the Khmer Rouge in 1985, he apparently remained a guiding force in the organization until June 1997, when he ordered top general Son Sen killed, causing a split among the hardliners. His rivals captured him on June 20 and staged a "people's tribunal" against him in July. He was found guilty of treason and placed under house arrest. He apparently died of heart failure in a hut in the jungle.
Polat, Oyun (Oyunovich) (b. Nov. 1, 1906 - d. 1992), chairman of the Presidium of the Little Khural of Tannu Tuva (1938-40).
Polenz, Ruprecht (Rolf Gotthelf) (b. May 26, 1946, Denkwitz, near Bautzen, Germany), German politician; general secretary of the Christian Democratic Union (2000).
Poletti, (Aldo) Charles (b. July 2, 1903, Barre, Vt. - d. Aug. 8, 2002), acting governor of New York (1942-43). He briefly (for 29 days) moved up from lieutenant governor in December 1942 after Gov. Herbert H. Lehman resigned to direct war-relief efforts in Europe. Poletti himself received an Army commission in 1943 and directed the reconstruction of infrastructure and food supplies as Allied forces pushed into Italy. He later directed civil affairs operations in Rome, Naples, and Milan.
Polevanov, Vladimir (Pavlovich) (b. Nov. 11, 1949), head of the administration of Amur oblast (1993-94).
Polezhayev, Leonid (Konstantinovich) (b. Jan. 30, 1940), head of the administration (1991-95) and governor (1995-2012) of Omsk oblast.
Polfer, Lydie, during former marriage known as Lydie Wurth-Polfer (b. Nov. 22, 1952, Luxembourg), deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Luxembourg (1999-2004). She was mayor of Luxembourg city in 1982-99.
Polic, Nedzad (b. Nov. 16, 1969, Zavidovici [now in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina]), premier of Zenica-Doboj (2003-06).
Politis, Nikolaos (Sokratis) (b. 1872 - d. 1942), foreign minister of Greece (1917-20, 1922).
Polk, James K(nox) (b. Nov. 2, 1795, Mecklenburg county, N.C. - d. June 15, 1849, Nashville, Tenn.), president of the United States (1845-49). He served in the Tennessee House of Representatives (1823-25) and then in the U.S. House of Representatives (1825-39), where he was a supporter of Andrew Jackson. He became speaker of the House in 1835, but gave up the post in 1839 to run for governor of Tennessee. He was narrowly elected, but was defeated for reelection in 1841 and 1843 by small majorities. His bid for the Democratic vice-presidential nomination in 1840 also failed. In 1844, however, he was nominated as compromise candidate for president by the Democratic Party; he is regarded as the first "dark horse" nominee in the history of the presidency. In the campaign, he called for the immediate annexation of Texas. He won a popular plurality of about 38,000 and 170 electoral votes against 105 for Henry Clay (Whig). At 49 he was the youngest successful presidential candidate up to that time. His administration was marked by large territorial gains. He concluded the annexation of Texas and provoked a war with Mexico (1846-48), as a consequence of which the Southwest and far West (California) became part of the U.S. domain. Meanwhile, the northwestern (Oregon) boundary was fixed by treaty with Britain, establishing the international frontier at the 49th parallel, and the continental United States emerged a recognized reality. The passage of the Walker Tariff Act of 1846 lowered import duties and did much to pacify British public opinion that had been inflamed over the Oregon compromise. His administration may also be credited with the establishment of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., and the authorization of the Smithsonian Institution.
Pollitt, Harry (b. Nov. 22, 1890, Droylsden, Lancashire, England - d. June 27, 1960, at sea en route from Australia to England), British communist. He became a leader in the boilermakers union and organizer of the Hands Off Russia movement, playing an active part in the agitation which led to the Jolly George strike (1920), when dockers refused to load arms for the Polish war against Russia. He was a foundation member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) in 1920 and in 1921 attended a congress of the Third International in Moscow, where he met Vladimir Ilich Lenin. In 1925 he was one of 13 leading Communists tried for uttering a seditious libel and contravening the provisions of the Incitement to Mutiny Act. He was condemned to a year's imprisonment and served 11 months at Wandsworth. The Comintern was displeased by the CPGB's independent line, and in 1929 the party was forced to call a special congress, as a result of which Pollitt became general secretary. He declared support for Britain's war against Germany early in September 1939, but when the Soviet Union invaded Poland two weeks later, the official Moscow line changed; the CPGB then decided that the war was an imperialist one, and Pollitt was removed from the secretaryship. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, however, the war again became an anti-Fascist one and Pollitt was returned to the party leadership. He was caught again in a contradiction in 1956, when he praised Stalin while the secret 20th party congress in Moscow was condemning the former Soviet leader. Pollitt resigned as general secretary and was given the nominal post of party chairman, which he held until his death. During his career he stood for Parliament nine times without success.
Poltavchenko, Georgy (Sergeyevich) (b. Feb. 23, 1953), plenipotentiary of the president in Tsentralny federal district (2000-11) and governor of Saint Petersburg (2011- ).
Poluyanov, Nikolay (Andreyevich) (b. July 14, 1952), head of the administration of Komi-Permyak autonomous okrug (1991-2000).
Polverini, Renata (b. May 14, 1962, Rome, Italy), president of Lazio (2010-13).
Polyakov, Ivan Yevteyevich (b. Nov. 25, 1914 - d. Feb. 8, 2004), chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Belorussian S.S.R. (1977-85).
Polyansky, Dmitry Stepanovich (b. Nov. 7 [Oct. 25, O.S.], 1917, Slavyanoserbsk, Yekaterinoslav province, Russia [now in Ukraine] - d. Oct. 8, 2001, Moscow), chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian S.F.S.R. (1958-62).
Polye, Don (Pomb) (b. Feb. 1, 1967, Enga province, Papua New Guinea), foreign minister (2010-11) and finance minister (2011-12, 2012) of Papua New Guinea.
Polynice, Edmond (Sylvestre), chairman (1914, 1914) and member (1915) of the Committee of Public Welfare and member of the Revolutionary Committee (1915) of Haiti.
Pomeroy, Allan (b. 1906 - d. July 7, 1966, Seattle, Wash.), mayor of Seattle (1952-56).
Pommies, Robert (b. Dec. 18, 1941, Paris), administrator-superior of Wallis and Futuna (1990-93) and prefect of Réunion (1995-98).
Pompidou, Georges (Jean Raymond) (b. July 5, 1911, Montboudif, Cantal, France - d. April 2, 1974, Paris), French statesman. He served (1944-46) on Charles de Gaulle's personal staff and remained a member of his "shadow cabinet" after de Gaulle's sudden resignation from the premiership in January 1946. He then was assistant to the general commissioner for tourism (1946-49) and also, with no legal qualifications, held the post of maître des requêtes at the Conseil d'État, France's highest administrative court (1946-57). On de Gaulle's return to power at the time of the Algerian crisis (June 1958), Pompidou became his chief personal assistant (until January 1959). In 1962 the relatively unknown Pompidou was appointed premier and he remained in the post for six years and three months, a phenomenon unknown in French politics for four generations. At the time of the student-worker revolt of May 1968, he participated in negotiations with workers and employers, persuaded de Gaulle to make the necessary reforms, and concluded the Grenelle Agreement (May 27) that finally ended the strikes. In the following election campaign, his calls for the restoration of law and order helped the Gaullists win an unprecedented majority in the National Assembly on June 30. His dismissal from the premiership by de Gaulle in July caused a major sensation, but he continued to enjoy great influence and popularity, and when de Gaulle abruptly resigned in April 1969, Pompidou campaigned for the presidency and was elected on June 15, receiving more than 58% of the vote in the runoff against Alain Poher. During his term as president, he largely continued the policies initiated by de Gaulle, but with greater flexibility; for example, he no longer blocked Britain's entry into the Common Market. He died in office.
Poncelet, Jules (Jean Pierre Joseph) (b. May 19, 1869, Offagne, Belgium - d. April 23, 1952, Offagne), chairman of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium (1930-36).
Ponchardier, Dominique (b. March 3, 1917, Saint-Étienne, France - d. April 17, 1986, Nice, France), high commissioner of the French Territory of the Afars and Issas (1969-71). He was also French ambassador to Bolivia (1964-68).
Ponge, Étienne (Joseph), resident of Wallis and Futuna (1898-1901).
Pongpol Adireksarn (b. March 23, 1942), foreign minister (1992) and deputy prime minister (2001-02) of Thailand.
Poniatowski, (Prince) Michel (Casimir) (b. May 16, 1922, Paris - d. Jan. 15, 2002, Opio, Alpes-Maritimes, France), French politician. He numbered a marshal of France, an Austrian field marshal, and a king of Poland among his forebears. In 1948 he joined the Ministry of Finance, where from 1959 he was closely associated with Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. He managed the campaign that brought Giscard to the presidency in 1974. By turns he was minister of state, minister of the interior (1974-77), president of the National Federation of Independent Republicans, honorary president of the Republican Party, and Giscard's personal envoy abroad with the rank of ambassador. He was involved in a cause célèbre known as the de Broglie affair, which began on Dec. 24, 1976, when former minister Prince Jean de Broglie was shot and killed in Paris. Over the succeeding years the case brewed into a scandal involving business, politics, and a host of shady deals. De Broglie had been engaged in a variety of activities in a number of different firms. At the time of his death he had debts amounting to Fr 12 million. A founder, with Giscard and Raymond Marcellin, of the Independent Republicans and the reputed bankroller of the party, he died a victim of enemies who decided to eliminate him when he became a liability. In 1980 the Socialist Party, with the support of the Communists, set forth a motion that Poniatowski, interior minister at the time of the murder, should appear before the High Court of Justice accused of "failure to assist a person who knew himself to be in danger." He brought a libel action against the Socialist and Communist parties and affirmed before the parliamentary commission appointed to examine the motion that "he was never in receipt of preliminary information concerning a plan to assassinate Jean de Broglie."
Ponsot, (Auguste) Henri (b. 1877 - d. 1963), French high commissioner of Syria and Lebanon (1926-32) and resident-general of Morocco (1933-36).
Pont, René (Lucien) (b. April 10, 1915 - d. Feb. 19, 2008), governor of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (1958-60).
Ponta, Victor(-Viorel) (b. Sept. 20, 1972, Bucharest, Romania), prime minister of Romania (2012- ).
Ponton, Louis (Georges André) (b. Dec. 22, 1906, Tananarive [now Antananarivo], Madagascar - d. July 31, 1944, Fort-de-France, Martinique), governor of Martinique (1943-44).
Ponty, (Amédée) William (Merlaud-) (b. Feb. 4, 1866, Rochefort, Charente-Inférieure [now Charente-Maritime], France - d. June 13, 1915, Dakar, Senegal), delegate (1899-1904) and lieutenant governor (1904-08) of Haut-Sénégal-Niger and governor-general of French West Africa (1908-15).
Ponulele, Aminuddin (b. July 5, 1939, Palu, Netherlands East Indies [now in Sulawesi Tengah, Indonesia]), governor of Sulawesi Tengah (2001-06).
Poos, Jacques (François) (b. June 3, 1935, Luxembourg), foreign minister of Luxembourg (1984-99).
Pope, Neil (Albert) (b. March 3, 1949, Melbourne, Vic.), administrator of Norfolk Island (2012- ).
Popescu-Tariceanu, Calin (Constantin Anton) (b. Jan. 14, 1952, Bucharest, Romania), prime minister of Romania (2004-08).
Poplasen, Nikola (b. 1951, Stanisic, near Sombor, Vojvodina, Serbia), Bosnian politician. He served as deputy speaker of the Bosnian Serb assembly both during and after the 43-month Bosnian civil war. In 1997, he became president of the Radical Party. He defeated Western-backed incumbent Biljana Plavsic for the presidency of the Bosnian Serb Republic in 1998 elections. His party was a coalition partner of the hardline nationalist Serb Democratic Party (SDS), founded in 1990 by wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. It was a branch of the Radical Party of Serbian ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj, whose paramilitary "White Eagles" took part in the Bosnian war. During the election campaign he said he would use all constitutional means to unite the Serb republic with Serbia proper but backed down after Western officials warned him that the Dayton peace accord did not permit any border changes. His relations with the international community sponsoring the peace process steadily deteriorated in 1999, culminating in his dismissal by international peace coordinator Carlos Westendorp for obstructing the Dayton agreement. He refused to accept Westendorp's decision to sack him and called for a referendum on the issue, but this came to nothing.
Poposki, Nikola (b. Oct. 24, 1977, Skopje, Macedonia), foreign minister of Macedonia (2011- ).
Popov, Anatoly (b. July 10, 1960, Sovetskoye village, Volgograd oblast, Russian S.F.S.R.), prime minister (2003-04) and acting president (2003) of Chechnya.
Popov, Blagoja (b. 1920 - d. 1992), chairman of the Executive Council of Macedonia (1974-82). He was also mayor of Skopje (1963-69).
Popov, Dimitur (Iliev) (b. June 26, 1927), prime minister of Bulgaria (1990-91).
Popov, Gavriil (Kharitonovich) (b. Oct. 31, 1936), mayor of Moscow (1991-92).
Popovic, Koca (b. March 14, 1908, Belgrade, Serbia - d. Oct. 20, 1992, Belgrade), foreign minister (1953-65) and vice president (1966-67) of Yugoslavia.
Popovski, Dusan (b. March 5, 1930, Mrenoga, near Bitolj, Yugoslavia [now in Macedonia]), president of the Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia (1988-89).
Popple, Alured (b. 1699 - d. bf. October 1746), governor of Bermuda (1738-44).
Popple, William (b. c. 1701 - d. Feb. 8, 1764), governor of Bermuda (1747-63); brother of Alured Popple.
Poptomov, Vladimir (Tomov) (b. Feb. 8, 1890, Belitsa, Bulgaria - d. May 1, 1952, Sofia, Bulgaria), foreign minister of Bulgaria (1949-50).
Poroshenko, Petro (Oleksiyovych) (b. Sept. 26, 1965, Bolgrad, Odessa oblast, Ukrainian S.S.R.), foreign minister of Ukraine (2009-10).
Porritt, Arthur (Espie) Porritt, Baron (b. Aug. 10, 1900, Wanganui, New Zealand - d. Jan. 1, 1994, London, England), governor-general of New Zealand (1967-72). The physician, who had gone to Britain in 1923 as a Rhodes scholar, was surgeon to King George VI (1946-52) and sergeant surgeon to Queen Elizabeth II (1952-67). He was also president of the Royal College of Surgeons (1960-63), the British Medical Association (1960-61), and the Royal Society of Medicine (1966-67). In New Zealand he was perhaps better known as a former Olympic athlete. A champion runner both in New Zealand and at Oxford, he led his native country's Olympic team as captain in 1924 and 1928 and as manager in 1936. In 1924 he won the bronze medal in the 100-m race behind Britain's Harold Abrahams and American Jackson Scholz (the race immortalized in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire). He was the New Zealand member of the International Olympic Committee (1934-67) and chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation (1945-66). He was knighted in 1950, created a baronet in 1963, and awarded a life peerage in 1973. He was the first native-born governor-general of New Zealand (since his appointment, all governors-general have been New Zealand-born, with the exception of Sir David Beattie who was born in Australia). However, New Zealanders found him to be more distant than the English and Scottish peers who had preceded him. He brought with him all the cultural baggage of Britain at a time when New Zealand was creating a culture of its own. After his term as governor-general he went back to Britain and became chairman (1973-79) and president (1979-88) of the Arthritis and Rheumatism Council.
Portas, Paulo (Sacadura Cabral) (b. Sept. 12, 1962, Lisbon, Portugal), defense minister (2002-05), foreign minister (2011-13), and deputy prime minister (2013- ) of Portugal.
Portela, Francisco Flamarion (b. Oct. 13, 1954, Coreaú, Ceará, Brazil), governor of Roraima (2002-04).
Portela y Möller, Guillermo (Francisco Leopoldo) (b. 1886 - d. 1958), member of the Executive Commission of the Provisional Government of Cuba (1933).
Porteous, George (b. April 7, 1903, Douglas, Lanarkshire, Scotland - d. Feb. 7, 1978, Saskatoon, Sask.), lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan (1976-78).
Portes Gil, Emilio (Cándido) (b. Oct. 3, 1891, Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico - d. Dec. 10, 1978, Mexico City, Mexico), provisional president of Mexico (1928-30). He was in Mexico City when the revolution led by Venustiano Carranza began, and after late 1914 he served the revolution in various legal capacities in Mexico City, in Sonora, and in Tamaulipas. In 1920, however, he supported Álvaro Obregón, and after Obregón's victory over Carranza in the presidential elections, he became provisional governor of Tamaulipas. He served parts of four terms in the National Congress, was governor of Tamaulipas in 1925-28, and minister of government in 1928. He became provisional president after President-elect Obregón was assassinated. In 1930-31 he was president of the sole political party, the National Revolutionary Party (PNR), but dissension forced his resignation and he was sent to Europe as minister to France and delegate to the League of Nations (1931-32). After his return, he became attorney general (1932-34) and foreign minister (1934-35). In 1935 he again became head of the PNR, but he retired from politics in 1936. In 1962, when all living ex-presidents were given government posts, he was named chairman of the National Insurance Commission.
Portillo, Michael (Denzil Xavier) (b. May 26, 1953, Bushey, Hertfordshire, England), British defense secretary (1995-97). He began his political career as a hardliner and protégé of Margaret Thatcher, but softened his image and moved toward the centre after losing his seat in the House of Commons in the Labour landslide of 1997. He won a by-election in Kensington and Chelsea in 1999 and quickly became the party's spokesman on economic issues, being named shadow chancellor of the exchequer in February 2000. After his admission that he had gay experiences as a young man, critics called him a hypocrite, noting he had opposed allowing gays into the military. In 2001 he unsuccessfully ran for the Conservative Party leadership.
Portillo Cabrera, Alfonso (Antonio) (b. Sept. 24, 1951, Zacapa, Guatemala), president of Guatemala (2000-04). After leaving office in 2004 he was stripped of immunity from prosecution and fled to Mexico; in 2008 he was extradited to face embezzlement charges in Guatemala. In January 2010 he was arrested following a U.S. request for his extradition on money-laundering charges; he was extradited in May 2013.
Porto, Avelino (José) (b. Nov. 5, 1935), public health minister of Argentina (1991).
Portocarrero Lasso de la Vega, Melchor, conde de Monclova (b. 1636 - d. Sept. 15, 1705, Lima, Peru), viceroy of Peru (1689-1705).
Portuondo Tamayo, Rafael (María de la Caridad Benito) (b. 1840 - d. July 15, 1908), chairman of the Executive Council of the Assembly of Representatives of the Cuban Revolution (1898-99).
Posada Moreno, Jesús María (b. April 4, 1945, Soria, Spain), president of the Junta of Castilla-León (1989-91).
Posnett, Sir Richard Neil (b. July 19, 1919 - d. May 11, 2009), governor of British Honduras/Belize (1972-76) and Bermuda (1981-83); knighted 1979.
Pospísil, Jirí (b. Nov. 24, 1975, Chomutov, Czechoslovakia [now in Czech Republic]), justice minister of the Czech Republic (2006-09, 2010- ).
Poss, Mary (Canada) (b. Oct. 25, 1951, Dallas, Texas), acting mayor of Dallas (2001-02).
Posser da Costa, Guilherme (b. May 18, 1953, São Tomé), prime minister of São Tomé and Príncipe (1999-2001). Earlier he was foreign minister (1987-88, 1990-91, 1994-96) and ambassador to Brussels. He was vice-president of the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe (MLSTP).
Postiaux, Louis Joseph (b. Aug. 15, 1882, Antwerp, Belgium - d. 1948), acting governor of Ruanda-Urundi (1929-30) and governor of Katanga (1931-32).
Poston, Jim (b. June 19, 1945, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England - d. Oct. 13, 2007), governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands (2002-05).
Potapenko, Valery (Nikolayevich) (b. 1958), head of administration of Nenets autonomous okrug (2006-09).
Potapov, Leonid (Vasilyevich) (b. July 4, 1935), chairman of the Supreme Council (1991-94) and president (1994-2007) of Buryatia.
Pote Sarasin (b. March 25, 1905, Bangkok, Siam [now Thailand] - d. Sept. 28, 2000, Bangkok), Thai politician. He served as foreign minister in 1949-50 and as ambassador to the United States in 1952-57. In September 1957 he became the first secretary-general of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), a regional defense grouping established by the United States as a bulwark against Communism. Later that month, however, he was appointed caretaker prime minister of Thailand after long-serving dictator Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram was overthrown in a coup by his army chief, Sarit Thanarat. Pote stepped down three months later when an election brought Sarit's crony, Gen. Thanom Kittikachorn, into the premier's post. He then (January 1958) was reappoined secretary-general of SEATO, serving until 1963. In 1971-72 he was director of economic, finance, and industry affairs in the National Executive Council formed after Prime Minister Thanom suspended the constitution.
Potgieter, (Andries) Hendrik (b. Dec. 19, 1792, Graaff-Reinet district, Cape Colony [now in Eastern Cape province, South Africa] - d. Dec. 16, 1852, Schoemansdal, Zoutpansberg [now in Mpumalanga province, South Africa]), Boer leader in Transvaal. With his trekker party he left the Cape Colony late in 1835. Joined by other trekkers, they halted near Winburg, north of the Orange River (February 1836). As commandant and leader, Potgieter treated with the local Bantu tribes to establish Boer title to the land. He clashed with the hostile Matabele (1836-37) and won the battle at the Marico River (November 1837), which opened the high veld interior to the Boers. After the massacre of Piet Retief in Natal (February 1838), he joined an unsuccessful expedition against the Zulu king Dingane, but returned to Winburg in May 1838, convinced that the destiny of the trekkers lay northward. His ideal was an interior republic, remote from British influence, but linked commercially with the Portuguese at Delagoa Bay. He founded three settlements in the Transvaal: Potchefstroom (1838) in the southwest, Andries-Ohrigstad (1845) in the northeast, and one in the Zoutpansberg (1848), the northernmost region colonized in the Great Trek. As a leader he exercised authority along local, military, and patriarchal lines. In the conflicts within the Transvaal trekker community, he supported the military party against the Volksraad (elected council) and favoured local autonomy rather than the establishment of a centralized state. When Great Britain recognized the independence of the Transvaal Boers in the Sand River Convention (Jan. 17, 1852), he held aloof from the negotiations, which were conducted on the Boer side by his rival Andries Pretorius, but in March he ratified the convention.
Pothier, Aram J(ules) (b. July 26, 1854, St.-Jean-Chrysostome, Quebec - d. Feb. 3, 1928, Woonsocket, R.I.), governor of Rhode Island (1909-15, 1925-28).
Potter, Louis (Joseph Antoine) de (b. 1786 - d. 1859), member of the Provisional Government of Belgium (1830).
Potter, William E(verett) (b. July 17, 1905, Oshkosh, Wis. - d. Dec. 5, 1988, Orlando, Fla.), governor of the Panama Canal Zone (1956-60). He was commissioned second lieutenant of the U.S. Army in 1928 and advanced through the ranks to major general in 1956. He was company officer of the First Engineers at Washington, D.C., in 1928-29, assigned to the Nicaragua Canal survey in 1929-32, appointed Officer of the 25th Armored Engineers, and also of the 1138th Armored Engineering group in 1940-43; assistant for plans and operations ETO and Communications Zone in 1943-45; district engineer of Kansas City in 1945-48; assistant chief engineer for civil works, Department of Army, Washington, in 1949-51; and engineer in charge of the Missouri River Division in Omaha, Neb. His tenure as governor of the Panama Canal Zone was characterized by a number of impressive accomplishments, including the initiation of the $20 million project to build the Bridge of the Americas, plans for widening the Panama Canal channel to a minimum of 500 feet, lighting Gaillard Cut to allow for 24-hour transit operations, and community improvements such as a special education program for handicapped children. Under the 1955 treaty with Panama, Potter also oversaw the introduction of an equitable wage system that did not discriminate by citizenship and the transfer to Panama of some $28 million in property, including Colón's Hotel Washington. Additionally, supply and support facilities that were offering services that could be provided by Panama were closed. Governor Potter rejected plans for the construction of a new governor's residence, insisting that the existing house be restored in order to preserve its historic value. Whenever possible, materials for the restoration were obtained in Panama.
Pottier, Bernard (b. July 11, 1942, Vernon, Eure, France), French resident commissioner of the New Hebrides (1978). He also served as ambassador to Myanmar (1994-99), Laos (2002-04), and Luxembourg (2004-07).
Pottinger, Sir Henry (Eldred), (1st) Baronet (b. Oct. 3, 1789, Mount Pottinger, near Belfast, Ireland [now in Northern Ireland] - d. March 18, 1856, Malta), administrator (1841-43) and governor (1843-44) of Hong Kong and governor of the Cape Colony (1847) and Madras (1848-54). He was created a baronet in 1840.
Poujade, Pierre (Marie) (b. Dec. 1, 1920, Saint-Céré, Lot, France - d. Aug. 27, 2003, La Bastide-l'Évêque, Aveyron, France), French politician. He long saw himself as the defender of the "little man," creating in 1953 the Union for the Defense of Merchants and Craftsmen (UDCA), which he would lead for 30 years. He gained fame that same year for leading a group of shopkeepers in a revolt against government tax inspectors, marking the true start of the Poujadist movement, which at the height of its popularity claimed half a million members. In 1956, his political party polled 11.6% and won 52 seats in the National Assembly, notably allowing then 27-year-old Jean-Marie Le Pen, later the leader of the extreme-right National Front party, to enter parliament. Two years later, with the creation of the Fifth Republic, Poujade's party was swept out of office. His movement faded, torn by internal disputes and disagreements over France's participation in Western European affairs. His last fling was to put forward candidates in the European elections of 1979, but they received less than 1% of votes cast. In the mid-1980s, at the end of his political career, he was named by then Socialist president François Mitterrand to serve as an advisor on his Economic and Social Council, a post he held for five years.
Poulet, Georges (Marie Joseph) (b. April 14, 1914, Le Fay, near Parnac, Indre, France - d. Oct. 7, 2008), acting governor of New Caledonia (1961) and governor of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (1965-67).
Poulet, Georges (Virgile), acting governor of French Guinea (1907-08, 1910), lieutenant governor of Gabon (1911-12), acting governor-general of French Equatorial Africa (1913), and governor of Martinique (1914-15).
Poullet, Prosper (Antoine Marie Joseph), vicomte/burggraaf (from 1925) (b. March 5, 1868, Leuven, Belgium - d. Dec. 3, 1937, Leuven), prime minister of Belgium (1925-26). He was also chairman of the Chamber of Representatives (1917-19), interior minister (1925, 1932-34), justice minister (1925-26), and defense minister (1926).
Poungui, Ange Édouard (b. 1942, Bouenza region, Middle Congo [now Congo (Brazzaville)]), finance minister (1971-73), vice president (1972-73), and prime minister (1984-89) of Congo (Brazzaville).
Pourier, Miguel (Arcangel) (b. Sept. 29, 1938, Rincon, Bonaire - d. March 24, 2013, Curaçao), prime minister of the Netherlands Antilles (1979, 1994-98, 1999-2002).
Pouvanaa (Tetuaapua) a Oopa (b. May 10, 1895, Fare village, Huahine island, French Settlements in Oceania [now French Polynesia] - d. Jan. 11, 1977, Papeete, French Polynesia), vice president of the Government Council of French Polynesia (1957-58). In April 1958 he announced a plan to secede from France and form an independent Tahitian republic. He was arrested on Oct. 11, 1958, and accused of planning to set fire to Papeete; he was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment and exiled to France in 1960; he was pardoned and returned in 1968. In 1971 he was elected senator, remaining in office until his death.
Poveda Burbano, Alfredo (Ernesto) (b. Jan. 24, 1926, Píllaro, Ecuador - d. June 7, 1990, Miami, Fla.), chairman of the Supreme Council of Ecuador (1976-79). In 1976, the admiral replaced Gen. Guillermo Rodríguez Lara, who four years earlier had overthrown Pres. José María Velasco Ibarra. Although Poveda reached power through the military hierarchy, he set up a system to return the government to civilian power. He named a group of judges and lawyers to develop a new alternative to the 1945 constitution. Voters, given the choice between the two documents in a 1978 plebiscite, chose the new constitution, which allowed for no presidential reelection and a one-house legislature. Poveda in 1979 turned over power to the winner of general elections, Jaime Roldós Aguilera. He then retired from the military.
Powell, Clifford R(oss) (b. July 26, 1893, Lumberton, N.J. - d. March 28, 1973, Burlington, N.J.), acting governor of New Jersey (1935).
Powell, Colin (Luther) (b. April 5, 1937, New York City), U.S. secretary of state (2001-05). Entering the army, he served in Vietnam in 1962-63 and 1968-69 and was wounded on both tours. In 1972, after an interview with Frank Carlucci, then deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Powell became a White House fellow, his first political position, and soon became an assistant to Carlucci. Powell commanded a battalion in South Korea in 1973-74 and worked in the Pentagon in 1974-75. In 1975 he became a colonel. In 1979 he served briefly as executive assistant to the secretary of energy, became a major general, and was senior military assistant to the secretary of defense. In 1983 Caspar Weinberger, who had known Powell when both were in the OMB and who had become secretary of defense, made Powell his senior military assistant. He became a lieutenant general assigned to the V Corps in Europe in 1986. In 1987 he became deputy to Carlucci, who was then assistant to the president for national-security affairs, and later that year he was appointed to succeed Carlucci. In April 1989 he became a four-star general, and in August Pres. George Bush nominated him chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first black officer to hold the highest military post in the United States. He played a leading role in planning the invasion of Panama (1989) and the Desert Shield and Desert Storm operations of the Persian Gulf crisis and war (1990-91). He retired from the military in 1993. He joined the Republican Party and became secretary of state (again the first black to hold that position) during the first term of Pres. George W. Bush. In this post he failed to win broad international support for the Iraq War, which he sought to justify in a speech at the UN (February 2003) with what turned out to be false intelligence.
Powell, (John) Enoch (b. June 16, 1912, Birmingham, England - d. Feb. 8, 1998, London), British politician. He entered politics after World War II hoping, he said, "to stop the disintegration of the Empire." In 1950 he was elected to Parliament as a Conservative. His first important post was as financial secretary to the treasury in 1957. He resigned in 1958 in protest against the government's free-spending policies. He was back in office in 1960 as minister of health, but again out in the cold in 1963 when he refused to serve in Sir Alec Douglas-Home's government. He unsuccessfully challenged Edward Heath for the party leadership in 1965. On April 20, 1968, in what came to be called his "Rivers of Blood" speech (because of its reference to Virgil's prediction of war, during which the Tiber would foam with blood), he described Britain as "heaping up its own funeral pyre" over immigration, arguing that the nationality acts were flooding Britain with Indian, Pakistani, African, and West Indian immigrants, who could claim British citizenship because of their Commonwealth status, and that this would ultimately cause a bloody race war. Heath condemned the speech as "racialist in tone and liable to exacerbate racial tensions" and dismissed Powell as shadow defense secretary. He would never hold a senior political position again. In February 1974 he gave up the Wolverhampton seat he had held for 24 years, supporting the Labour Party in that election due to its opposition to Britain's entry into the Common Market. From October 1974 he was returned to Parliament as an Ulster Unionist from the Protestant Northern Ireland district of Down South. He lost his seat in 1987, largely because political boundary changes had made his constituency more Nationalist in composition.
Powell, Samuel S. (b. Feb. 16, 1815, New York City - d. Feb. 6, 1879, Brooklyn, N.Y.), mayor of Brooklyn (1857-60, 1872-73).
Poyen-Bellisle, Louis de (d. 1937, Nérac, Lot-et-Garonne, France), acting lieutenant governor of Chad (1930, 1932, 1933-34).
Pozgalev, Vyacheslav (Yevgenyevich) (b. Nov. 15, 1946), head of the administration (1996) and governor (1996-2011) of Vologda oblast.
Pozo Malo, (Hernán) Lautaro (b. April 17, 1957, Quito, Ecuador), acting foreign minister of Ecuador (2010).
Prachuab Chaiyasan (b. Aug. 20, 1944, Udon Thani province, Thailand), foreign minister of Thailand (1996-97).
Pradel, Seymour (b. Oct. 7, 1876, Jacmel, Haiti - d. April 25, 1943, Port-au-Prince, Haiti), member of the Council of Secretaries of Haiti (1913).
Pradhan, Sahana (b. July 15, 1932), foreign minister of Nepal (2007-08). Widow of Pushpa Lal Shrestha, who established the Nepal Communist Party in 1949, she became actively involved in women's rights and the democratic movement to overthrow the Rana regime. After the banning of political parties in 1960, she took part from time to time in the movement for the restoration of democracy. She was jailed for a few months for her political involvements. During the 1990 people's movement, she was the chairman of the United Left Front that allied with the Nepali Congress to launch the agitation, which restored multiparty democracy. She became minister for industry and commerce in the interim government formed under the prime ministership of Krishna Prasad Bhattarai in 1991. In the mid-1990s, she became minister for women, children, and social welfare. A Standing Committee member of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), she became Nepal's first woman foreign minister in 2007.
Prado, Antônio, Júnior (b. 1880, São Paulo, Brazil - d. 1955), prefect of the Distrito Federal (1926-30).
Prado (Ochoa), Mariano Ignacio (b. Dec. 18, 1826, Huánuco, Peru - d. May 5, 1901, Paris, France), president (1865-68, 1876-79) and prime minister (1865-67) of Peru.
Prado Vallejo, Julio (b. July 3, 1924, Quito, Ecuador - d. Oct. 20, 2006, Quito), foreign minister of Ecuador (1967-68).
Prajadhipok, also called Phrapokklao, or Rama VII (b. Nov. 8, 1893, Bangkok, Siam [now Thailand] - d. May 30, 1941, Virginia Water, Surrey, England), king of Siam (1925-35). He was the 32nd and last son of King Chulalongkorn, the youngest of five sons by Queen Saowabha. Not expecting to succeed to the throne, he was prepared for a military career at Eton College and then at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, England. He emerged in 1914 as a fully qualified lieutenant in the British Army, and for a time was on active duty with the Royal Horse Artillery at Aldershot. In 1918 he married Rambhai Barni (1904-1984). When King Vajiravudh died on Nov. 26, 1925, Prajadhipok had been a likely heir to the throne for less than a year and the certain heir for only two days. He was crowned on Feb. 25, 1926. His first task was to straighten out the country's finances. He was convinced of the necessity of moving toward democratic political reforms, but allowed himself to be restrained by senior members of the royal family, and his inactivity brought on the revolution of June 24, 1932, which bloodlessly ended the absolute monarchy. He took a leading part in the promulgation of the new constitution, which was ratified on June 27. But when the National Assembly moved to change the provision of the criminal code which required the king's command before a death sentence could be carried out, he first threatened to abdicate (October 1934), saying the people should be allowed to express their opinion on the question through a plebiscite or a general election. The government resisted his demands on this and other issues and he finally abdicated on March 2, 1935, while in England for medical treatment. He reverted to his earlier title of Prince of Sukhodaya and remained in exile in England.
Pramoj, Kukrit (b. April 20, 1911, Phitsanulok, Siam [now Thailand] - d. Oct. 9, 1995, Bangkok, Thailand), prime minister of Thailand (1975-76). The son of a prince, he had the title Mom Rajawong. He joined the finance ministry but also began writing stories and poems. Entering politics after World War II, he served in parliament in 1946-47 and during the subsequent period of military rule (1947-73) jabbed at the regimes with his sharp tongue and through the newspaper Siam Rath, which he founded in 1950. He was also an actor and foreshadowed history by portraying the leader of a fictitious Southeast Asian country in the Marlon Brando film The Ugly American (1963). When a student-led revolution overthrew the military dictators in 1973, he became a powerful force in parliament, helped to create a new constitution, and formed the Social Action Party. In 1975, after a government headed by his brother Seni Pramoj failed, he became prime minister. He lasted 13 months in a tumultuous era, as communist regimes came to power in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos after decades of war. To prevent Thailand from falling under communism, he established diplomatic ties with China and orchestrated the withdrawal of 40,000 U.S. troops who had used Thailand as a base for Indochina war operations. A proposal for raising the price of rice in Bangkok proved unpopular, and he dissolved parliament in January 1976, in hopes of consolidating his power through an election. But he lost, and the premiership went again to his brother in April. Months later, the military regained power. By 1980 he was back as the leader of the largest party in a coalition government, but with politically neutral Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda as prime minister. He retired as party leader in 1986 but returned briefly in 1990. Four of his books are considered modern Thai classics.
Pramoj, Seni (b. May 26, 1905, Nakhon Sawan, north of Bangkok, Siam [now Thailand] - d. July 28, 1997, Bangkok), prime minister of Thailand (1945-46, 1975, 1976). He was the great-grandson of King Rama II, earning him the title Mom Rajawong. He became a judge in the Bangkok Appeals Court before heading to the United States as Thai ambassador in 1940. After Japan invaded Thailand in 1941 he disassociated himself from the government in Bangkok. He refused to deliver his government's January 1942 declaration of war against the United States and Britain to U.S. officials. Soon after, he began organizing a guerrilla force known as the Seri Thai - or Free Thai - to fight Japanese forces occupying his country. Because of his role in the Seri Thai movement, the U.S. did not fight Thailand or treat it as a defeated enemy at the end of the war. The CIA's forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services, supplied Pramoj with aid to organize Thai resistance forces in the U.S. After returning to Thailand in 1945, he was prime minister for 4 months. A year later he helped found the centrist-conservative Democrat Party. He also served as foreign minister (1945-46) and minister of justice (1947-48), then returned to the legal profession. In 1961 he headed a panel of lawyers to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to challenge a claim by Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia that Thailand had no rights to Phra Viharn, a mountain temple on the border of the two countries. Pramoj lost the case. He was leader of the Democrat Party in 1968-79 and reentered parliament in 1969. His second term as prime minister came after the January 1975 election. His government fell within a month and he was replaced by his brother, Kukrit Pramoj. Elections in April 1976 again made Seni prime minister, but in October the military seized power in a coup.
Pranowo, Ganjar (b. Oct. 28, 1968, Karanganyar, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia), governor of Jawa Tengah (2013- ).
Prasad, Mahabir, also spelled Mahavir (b. Nov. 11, 1939 - d. Nov. 28, 2010, New Delhi, India), governor of Haryana (1995-2000) and Himachal Pradesh (1995, 1996-97).
Prasad, Rajendra (b. Dec. 3, 1884, Zeradei, Saran district, Bihar, India - d. Feb. 28, 1963, Patna, Bihar, India), president of India (1950-62). In 1917 he was captivated by the personality and ideas of Mohandas Gandhi. He gave up his law practice in 1920 to join the non-cooperation movement; from that time he was one of Gandhi's most devoted and closest followers. He became an active journalist in the nationalist interest, writing for Searchlight in English and founding and editing the Hindi weekly Desh ("Country"). One of the foremost exponents of Hindi, he claimed for it preeminence as the national language of India. He was president of the Congress Party three times (1934, 1939, 1947). He was imprisoned several times by the British for non-cooperation activities, but his only long term of imprisonment came about through a Congress policy with which he personally disagreed, the campaign of "open rebellion" during World War II, which resulted in the entire Congress Party's Working Committee being imprisoned for nearly three years (August 1942-June 1945). In September 1946 he was sworn in as member for food and agriculture in the interim government preceding full independence. From December 1946 to 1949 he presided over the Constituent Assembly which drafted the lengthy and complicated constitution for the new India. He was unanimously elected as India's first president in 1950. After the first general election (1952), he was again chosen by an overwhelming majority of the new electoral college; in 1957 he was triumphantly elected to a third term. "Rajen Babu," as he was affectionately known, bore himself with a simple, unaffected dignity; his official salary was more than once substantially reduced on his own urging.
Prasong Soonsiri (b. Aug. 11, 1927), foreign minister of Thailand (1992-94).
Pratt, Cynthia (Alexandria), née Moxey, byname Mother Pratt (b. Nov. 5, 1945, Nassau, Bahamas), deputy prime minister and minister of national security of The Bahamas (2002-07).
Prayitno, Irwan (b. Dec. 20, 1963, Yogyakarta, Indonesia), governor of Sumatera Barat (2010- ).
Prayitno, Prapto (b. July 6, 1925, Sragen, Netherlands East Indies [now in Jawa Tengah, Indonesia]), governor of Riau (1980).
Prazeres, Zeferino (Vaz) dos (Santos) (b. Aug. 13, 1960), president of the Regional Government of Príncipe (2002-06).
Pré, Roland (Joanes Louis) (b. Dec. 26, 1907, Renazé, Mayenne, France - d. 1980), governor of Gabon (1946-47), French Guinea (1948-51), Upper Volta (1952-53), and French Somaliland (1954) and high commissioner of French Cameroons (1954-56).
Predoiu, Catalin (Marian) (b. Aug. 27, 1968, Buzau, Romania), justice minister (2008-12), acting foreign minister (2009), and interim prime minister (2012) of Romania.
Prem Tinsulanonda (b. Aug. 26, 1920, Songkhla province, Siam [now Thailand]), defense minister (1979-86) and prime minister (1980-88) of Thailand. He graduated from the Chulalongkorn Royal Military Academy in 1941 and became a cavalry man. His training included a stint at the U.S. Army Cavalry School, Fort Knox, Ky. It was after his appointment as commander of the 2nd Army in 1974 that he achieved national recognition as one of the country's most capable field officers with a reputation for incorruptibility. Never directly involved in the political infighting that seemed continuous in Bangkok, Prem was recognized in political circles as a traditionalist and firm royalist. In 1977 he joined Kriangsak Chomanan's cabinet as deputy minister of the interior. His major concern in that post was to formulate programs to assist villagers as part of the government's intensified efforts to combat Communist subversion in rural areas. Two years later he was promoted to defense minister while concurrently holding the post of Army commander in chief. A bachelor, Prem was fond of saying that he was married to the army. In 1980 Kriangsak became the country's first military leader to leave the premiership voluntarily, and Prem was the first to assume the post with such obvious hesitation that he instantly became known as the "reluctant prime minister." The change of guard followed a loss of support in parliament suffered by Kriangsak as a result of mounting economic problems and a rising crime wave. In eight years as head of five moderate, pro-American coalition governments, Prem fought off two military coup attempts (1981, 1985) and guided rapid economic development. He unexpectedly refused to serve a further term in 1988.
Premachandra, G.M. (d. [assassinated] Oct. 24, 1994, Colombo, Sri Lanka), chief minister of North Western province (1993-94).
Premadasa, Ranasinghe (b. June 23, 1924, Colombo, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka] - d. May 1, 1993, Colombo), prime minister (1978-89) and president (1989-93) of Sri Lanka. A low-caste Sinhalese, he was as a youth involved in a movement called Sucharitha (social consciousness among the low-caste people) that promoted Buddhist moral values. He joined the Ceylon Labour Party in 1949, entered the Colombo municipal council in 1950, and became deputy mayor in 1955. He then crossed to the United National Party (UNP) and ran unsuccessfully for parliament in 1956. He won a seat in 1960 but lost it again when a snap election was called four months later. He was reelected in 1965, when the UNP gained a majority, and became chief government whip. As minister of local government (1968-70; local government, housing, and construction, 1977-88), he pursued a program of building a million low-cost homes, projecting himself as a friend of the working man. He opposed the 1987 Indian-Sri Lankan accord aimed at ending the Tamil insurrection in northern Sri Lanka, and there were charges that he supplied arms to the Tamils. In the December 1988 presidential elections he defeated former prime minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike. In his Jan. 2, 1989, inaugural address he spoke in both Tamil and Sinhalese and appealed to the extreme factions that had boycotted the elections to lay down their arms. In the next six months, however, more than 1,700 people were killed in the continuing violence, and he was forced to reimpose the state of emergency that had been lifted when he took office. He was killed in a suicide bombing at a May Day parade, only eight days after Lalith Athulathmudali, an opposition leader and former minister of security, was shot dead. The killings were blamed on Tamil rebels.
Premajayantha, Susil (b. Jan. 10, 1955), chief minister of Western province, Sri Lanka (1995-98, 1999-2000).
Prendergast y Gordon, Luis, marqués de Victoria de las Tunas (d. Dec. 21, 1892, Madrid, Spain), governor of Cuba (1881-83).
Preoteasa, Grigore (b. Aug. 25, 1915 - d. Nov. 4, 1957, Moscow), foreign minister of Romania (1955-57). During World War II, he was editor of the underground newspaper "Free Romania," which continued to be published later as a government-operated newspaper. In 1946 he became general manager of the Romanian news agency Agerpress. In 1949, he was sent to Washington as chargé d'affaires. A U.S.-Romanian rift six months later led to Washington's demand for his recall in retaliation for the expulsion of U.S. diplomats from Bucharest. He was deputy foreign minister while Ana Pauker was foreign minister and he kept his post when she was purged in 1952. Three years later he became foreign minister. He served as leader of the Romanian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in 1956. In July 1957 he was replaced as foreign minister, but was made an alternate member of the Communist Party Presidium and a secretary of the Central Committee. He was killed when a plane that also carried Premier Chivu Stoica and other officials crashed at Moscow's Vnukovo airport; the delegation came to Moscow for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution.
Prescott of Kingston-upon-Hull, John (Leslie) Prescott, Baron (b. May 31, 1938, Prestatyn, North Wales), British politician. He became active in the Labour Party and the National Union of Seamen, being involved in a revolt against that union's right-wing leadership in 1961. In 1966 he stood unsuccessfully for the House of Commons; three months later he helped to organize a seamen's strike and was associated with the "tightly-knit group of politically motivated men" denounced by Labour prime minister Harold Wilson for bringing chaos to shipping. He entered Parliament in 1970 for Hull East. Having distanced himself from the far left, he backed Neil Kinnock's campaign for the party leadership in 1983 and later held the transport and employment portfolios in the shadow cabinet. In 1988 he unsuccessfully challenged Kinnock's deputy, Roy Hattersley, for his job. When Kinnock and Hattersley stepped down in 1992, Prescott stood again for the deputy leadership, but was defeated by Margaret Beckett. In 1993 Labour leader John Smith entrusted him with making a speech to close the debate on reforms to the party constitution. Much of the speech was unintelligible, but his passion enabled Smith to win the vote. When Smith died in 1994, Prescott ran for both leader and deputy leader. Tony Blair's winning the leadership was a foregone conclusion, but Prescott defeated Beckett for the deputy leadership, 57%-43%. When Labour won the 1997 elections, he became deputy prime minister and first secretary of state for environment, transport, and the regions. In 2001 he gained his own Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, within the Cabinet Office, but he lost transport and most of the environment brief. In 2002, his office became a department in its own right, but it was abolished again in 2006. He announced his resignation along with Blair in 2007. He was made a life peer in 2010.
Pretelt de la Vega, Sabas (b. April 11, 1946, Cartagena, Colombia), interior minister of Colombia (2003-06).
Preud'homme, André (b. 1915, Wasmes, Hainaut province, Belgium), resident of Rwanda (1958-59).
Préval, René (Garcia) (b. Jan. 17, 1943, Port-au-Prince, Haiti), president of Haiti (1996-2001, 2006-11). He was closely associated with Jean-Bertrand Aristide since the fall of dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1986. A grassroots militant at the time, he joined other activists in helping groom Aristide for the presidency and was named premier after Aristide was elected in 1990. Préval followed Aristide into exile when the army took power in a bloody 1991 coup and returned to Haiti after a U.S. invasion restored Aristide in 1994. Aristide came to refer to Préval as his "twin," although the often-reclusive Préval lacked Aristide's charisma and mass popularity. In 1995 he was easily elected as Aristide's successor. At his 1996 inaugural, he promised to turn his impoverished nation into "a vast construction site" and "reestablish the authority of the state." Rather, Préval's presidency saw a slow but steady unraveling of constitutional government in Haiti, capped by his 1999 decision to bypass a hostile parliament and impose a government by decree. The opposition accused him of conspiring with his mentor Aristide to establish a virtual dictatorship. He increased Haiti's ties with neighbouring Caribbean countries and improved often tense relations with the Dominican Republic. In contrast to Aristide, Préval's sincerity about adopting sometimes-painful economic measures backed by foreign donor nations was not called into question. Yet he fared little better than Aristide in reviving the economy, and Haiti remained as mired in poverty as ever. But he managed to become Haiti's first elected president to finish a full term, before handing over power to Aristide, under whom the country again descended into political chaos. He returned to public life in 2005, formed the Lespwa ("Hope") coalition, and was elected president again in 2006.
Prevost, Sir George (b. May 19, 1767 - d. Jan. 5, 1816, London), governor of Saint Lucia (1798-1802), Dominica (1802-05), Nova Scotia (1808-11), and Lower Canada (1811-15). He was created a baronet on Dec. 6, 1805.
Price, George Cadle (b. Jan. 15, 1919, Belize, British Honduras [now Belize City, Belize] - d. Sept. 19, 2011, Belize City), prime minister (1964-84, 1989-93) and foreign minister (1981-83) of Belize. His political involvement first came to the fore in the late 1940s, when the devaluation of the Belizean dollar caused serious economic hardship for many people. As a result, he was closely involved in the establishment of a People's Provisional Committee, which later became the People's United Party (PUP). From 1954 onward he engaged in national politics and in 1961 he was appointed first minister. Following constitutional changes, he became premier in 1964, and he became the first prime minister of independent Belize on Sept. 21, 1981. The PUP's long stay in power owed much to Price's personal brand of politics. It was hard to classify his political philosophy, which took in many socialist views yet encouraged the development of private enterprise and investment. Though there were suggestions that certain of the left-leaning younger members of the government might wish to take a stronger line on Central American political issues, Price resolutely steered Belize on a middle course. His style of politics and government was variously described as philosophical, low key, or low profile. He avoided dramatic gestures and instead emphasized quiet negotiation. His party was defeated, and he lost his own seat, in the first post-independence election, in 1984, when the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) campaigned under the theme "It's time for a change" and hammered the PUP for failing to improve economic conditions. He regained power in 1989, accusing the UDP of allowing foreigners too much influence in programs for increasing investment and tourism, but was again defeated in 1993, partly due to his acceptance of the withdrawal of a British military force which had been maintained in the country to protect against Guatemalan claims.
Price-Mars, Jean (b. Oct. 15, 1876, Grande Rivière du Nord, Haiti - d. March 1, 1969, Pétionville, Haiti), foreign minister of Haiti (1946-47, 1956-57). He was also ambassador to France (1957-60). He was born Jean-Price Mars, receiving the second first name Price in the memory of the mulatto writer Hannibal Price. In 1904, he changed his name by connecting Price, the name of a mulatto, and Mars, the name of his black father. He regarded this gesture as a proclamation of his desire to see his compatriots living in peace and in solidarity. His son Louis Mars did not generally use the combined name.
Prickett, Sir Thomas (Other) (b. July 31, 1913, Lindfield, Sussex, England - d. Jan. 23, 2010, Malvern, Worcestershire, England), administrator of the British Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus (1964-66); knighted 1965.
Pridi Banomyong, also spelled Pridi Phanomyong, also called Luang Pradit Manudharm (b. May 11, 1900, Ayutthaya, Siam [now Thailand] - d. May 2, 1983, Paris, France), prime minister of Thailand (1946). While studying in Paris he became convinced of the need to modernize his country, and he was the main civilian inspirer of the June 24, 1932, revolution that overthrew the Thai absolute monarchy. Afterwards he produced three influential documents: a revolutionary manifesto, a provisional constitution, and an economic plan. The latter betrayed a variety of radical influences and he was forced into temporary exile by a royalist reaction. After another coup by one of his original co-conspirators, Plaek Pibulsongkram, he returned and successively served as interior minister (1934-36), foreign minister (1936-38), and finance minister (1938-41). In 1941 he resigned in protest against pro-Japanese policies and was appointed one of three members of a regency council. In 1944 he became sole regent, holding the post until the king returned in December 1945. Simultaneously he was leader of the anti-Japanese underground Free Thai movement, enabling him to negotiate a peace settlement with the Allies which took Thailand, as the first ex-ally of the Axis, into the United Nations. He was now the real power behind successive civilian governments, and in March 1946 became prime minister himself, the first to have been popularly elected. But after King Ananda Mahidol died in unexplained circumstances in June, Pridi had to resign in August. In 1947 the army staged a coup d'état and he fled the country. A coup attempt on his behalf failed in 1949, and from then on he lived in China until he moved to Paris in 1970. At that time he was still regarded by his opponents as too much of a threat to be allowed to return to Thailand.
Primakov, Yevgeny (Maksimovich) (b. Oct. 29, 1929, Kiev, Ukrainian S.S.R.), Russian politician. As befits one who spent much of his life in intelligence of one form or another, his background remained unclear; he would neither confirm nor deny reports that his parents were Jewish and that he had changed his surname from Finkelshtein to avoid anti-Semitic unpleasantries. He joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1959. In 1970 he was named deputy director of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), the top foreign policy think tank, and in 1977, director of the Institute of Oriental Studies. He became director of IMEMO in 1985. A leading architect of perestroika (restructuring), he worked closely with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and rose to become a member of the Central Committee, a candidate member of the Politburo, and chairman of the upper house of the Supreme Soviet in 1989. He played a prominent role in efforts to avert the 1991 Gulf War. He made several trips to Baghdad seeking what he called a "face-saving" way for Saddam Hussein to withdraw from occupied Kuwait. He became first deputy KGB chief and head of its First Directorate (foreign intelligence) after the failed 1991 coup against Gorbachev. The KGB was disbanded a few months later, but he went on to head Russia's new Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). After five years building up the SVR, Pres. Boris Yeltsin appointed him foreign minister in 1996, and prime minister in 1998. Even critics acknowledged he stabilized Russia in political and economic terms after a financial crisis in August 1998. Polls showed he would be a top candidate to succeed Yeltsin. But as his influence mounted, so did Yeltsin's increasingly thinly-veiled hostility, and he was sacked in 1999.
Principe, Francesco (b. May 24, 1918, Rende, Calabria, Italy - d. Nov. 5, 2008, Cosenza, Calabria), president of Calabria (1985-87).
Principi, Anthony J(oseph) (b. April 16, 1944, New York City), U.S. secretary of veterans affairs (2001-05).
Prinsen, Max, byname of Marinus Jacobus Prinsen (b. Jan. 10, 1899, Heerenveen, Friesland, Netherlands - d. Jan. 3, 1971, Haarlem, Noord-Holland, Netherlands), queen's commissioner of Noord-Holland (1954-64).
Printz, Johan Björnsson (b. July 20, 1592, Bottnaryd, Sweden - d. May 3, 1663, Gunillaberg manor, Sweden), governor of New Sweden (1643-53).
Prío Socarrás, Carlos (b. July 14, 1903, Bahía Honda, Cuba - d. April 5, 1977, Miami Beach, Fla.), president of Cuba (1948-52). At the University of Havana he became a leader of a student group opposed to Gerardo Machado's dictatorship and he was imprisoned in 1931-33 for his activities. Later he helped organize the Partido Revolucionario Cubano Auténtico, went into exile in the United States when this party was outlawed, returned to Cuba in 1939, and was elected to the National Assembly. He became leader of his party in 1940 and was elected senator in that year and again in 1944. He then served as prime minister (1945-47) and labour minister (1946-47, 1947). In the latter post he purged the Communists from the Cuban Confederation of Labour. He was elected president in 1948 with the support of outgoing president Ramón Grau. Continuing the centrist policies of his predecessor, he pursued programs of agrarian reform and establishment of low-cost housing, a national bank, and labour courts, but despite vigorous efforts he was unable to solve Cuba's economic problems. Though his presidency was characterized by respect for civil liberties, he was strongly criticized for allowing groups of armed thugs to roam the streets of Havana and for widespread administrative corruption. In 1949 he tried to organize a democratic bloc in Latin America. He was deposed in 1952 by Fulgencio Batista, who gave gangsterism and corruption as reason. According to Batista spokesmen, Prío left for exile in the United States with $30 million in misappropriated funds. He returned to Cuba in 1959 to support Fidel Castro, but went back to Miami in 1961, becoming a spokesman for the Cuban exile community. His death from a gunshot was apparently a suicide.
Pritzbuer, Léopold (Eberhard Ludovic) de (b. Sept. 7, 1824, Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Schwerin [now in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany] - d. May 21, 1889, Rochefort, Charente-Inférieure [now Charente-Maritime], France), governor of New Caledonia (1875-78).
Privat-Aubouard, Antoine (b. Aug. 14, 1874 - d. Dec. 9, 1934, Beirut, Lebanon), governor (1923-24) and acting president (1934) of Lebanon.
Prka, Bozo (b. Jan. 1, 1958), finance minister of Croatia (1994-97).
Prlic, Jadranko (b. June 10, 1959, Djakovo, Croatia), foreign minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1996-2001). He was a member of the Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ), but left the party in September 2000. In May 2013 he was sentenced to 25 years in jail for murdering and deporting Bosnian Muslims during the 1992-95 war. He had been prime minister of the self-proclaimed Herceg-Bosna state that Croats carved out in central and southern Bosnia during the conflict.
Prlja, Aleksandar (b. 1935 - d. Oct. 20, 2002, Belgrade, Serbia), foreign minister of Serbia (1989-91).
Prodi, Romano (b. Aug. 9, 1939, Scandiano, near Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy), prime minister of Italy (1996-98, 2006-08) and president of the European Commission (1999-2004). His first government experience was as industry minister for five months in 1978-79 in the cabinet of Christian Democrat Giulio Andreotti. After two productive stints (1982-89, 1993-94) as chairman of the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction, the government's holding company, he made a run for prime minister against incumbent Silvio Berlusconi. At first, Prodi's mumbling speaking style and his sometimes disheveled appearance were political liabilities. Then he turned his absent-minded professor schtick into an advantage, contrasting his unpolished manner with the smooth, slick image of his media magnate opponent. Originally sponsored by the once-powerful Christian Democrats, he became the standard-bearer for a centre-left coalition dominated by their opponents, the ex-Communists. In the 1996 election, that alliance, called Ulivo (Olive Tree), won enough seats to form a government. As premier, he convinced Italians to make harsh financial sacrifices and coaxed reticent union leaders to accept cuts in social spending. He significantly reduced the budget deficit to get the country accepted into the European Monetary Union - a task that seemed all but impossible when he took office. But in the end, he was not able to win over the hardline Communist Refoundation party. His government came to an end in 1998 when it lost the support of its left-wing membership during a dispute over the budget. In 1999, he became president of the European Commission, overseeing the EU's eastward expansion in 2004. Winning a primary vote organized by the centre-left in 2005, he again became Berlusconi's challenger, and in the 2006 elections his Union coalition, which evolved out of Ulivo, won a narrow victory. His government collapsed in 2008 when the Christian Democrats withdrew from the coalition.
Profos(-Meier), Brigitte, née Meier (b. Jan. 15, 1943), Landammann of Zug (2005-06).
Profumo, John (Dennis) (b. Jan. 30, 1915 - d. March 9, 2006, London), British politician. He entered Parliament as a Conservative in a 1940 by-election, becoming at age 25 the youngest MP in the House of Commons, and left in 1945 for an appointment as chief of staff in Japan. Returning to Parliament in 1950, he held several posts, becoming Harold Macmillan's secretary of war in July 1960. In July 1961 he was introduced to teenage showgirl Christine Keeler by fashionable London osteopath and artist Stephen Ward at Lord Astor's Cliveden country estate in Berkshire. He began an affair with Keeler, who was also involved with Yevgeny Ivanov, a Soviet intelligence officer and assistant naval attaché in London. In March 1963, Profumo, who was married to the actress Valerie Hobson, made a statement to MPs denying any impropriety in his relationship with Keeler. He resigned from the cabinet and from Parliament in June 1963 after admitting he had misled the House of Commons. The affair contributed to the fall of Macmillan's government in October. Profumo dedicated the rest of his life to charitable work, for which he was named Commander of the British Empire in 1975.
Prokhorov, Aleksandr (Dmitriyevich) (b. April 22, 1953), head of the administration of Smolensk oblast (1998-2002).
Prokkonen, Pavel Stepanovich (Russian), Finnish Paavo Prokkonen (b. 1909 - d. 1979), chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Karelo-Finnish S.S.R. (1940-47, 1950-56).
Prokop, Liese, née Sykora (b. March 27, 1941, Vienna, Germany [now in Austria] - d. Dec. 31, 2006, en route between Annaberg and St. Pölten, Austria), interior minister of Austria (2004-06).
Prokopovych, Vyacheslav Kostyantynovych (b. June 10, 1881, Kiev, Russia [now in Ukraine] - d. June 7, 1942, France), chairman of the Council of Ministers of the non-communist Ukraine (1920).
Pröll, Erwin (b. Dec. 24, 1946, Radlbrunn, Niederösterreich, Austria), Landeshauptmann of Niederösterreich (1992- ).
Pröll, Josef (b. Sept. 14, 1968, Stockerau, Niederösterreich, Austria), chairman of the Austrian People's Party and vice-chancellor and finance minister of Austria (2008-11); nephew of Erwin Pröll.
Protet, Auguste Léopold (b. April 20, 1808, Saint-Servan-sur-Mer [now part of Saint-Malo], Ille-et-Vilaine, France - d. [killed] May 17, 1862, Nankiao, near Shanghai, China), governor of Senegal (1850-54) and commandant of the Naval Division of the Western Coasts of Africa (1856-59).
Proust, Jean-Paul (b. March 3, 1940, Vaas, Sarthe, France - d. April 8, 2010, Marseille, France), prefect of Guadeloupe (1989-91), prefect of police of Paris (2001-04), and minister of state of Monaco (2005-10).
Prouteaux, Georges (David Pierre Marie), acting lieutenant governor of Oubangui-Chari (1926-28, 1929-30) and Chad (1932-33).
Prüm, Pierre (b. Aug. 9, 1886 - d. Feb. 1, 1950), prime minister of Luxembourg (1925-26).
Prunskiene, Kazimiera (Danute), née Stankeviciute (b. Feb. 26, 1943, Vasiuliske village, Svencioniai region, Lithuania), prime minister of Lithuania (1990-91).
Prusak, Mikhail (Mikhailovich) (b. Feb. 23, 1960), head of the administration of Novgorod oblast (1991-2007).
Pu Dianjun (b. 1875, Guangan, Sichuan, China - d. Oct. 28, 1934, Beijing, China), military governor of Sichuan (1911).
Puapua, Sir Tomasi (b. Sept. 10, 1938, Nanumanga island, Gilbert and Ellice Islands [now in Tuvalu]), prime minister (1981-89) and governor-general (1998-2003) of Tuvalu; knighted 1998.
Puaux, Gabriel (b. May 19, 1883, Paris - d. Jan. 1, 1970, Austria), French high commissioner of Syria and Lebanon (1939-40) and resident-general of Morocco (1943-46).
Puerta (Galarza), (Federico) Ramón (b. Sept. 9, 1951, Apóstoles, Misiones, Argentina), governor of Misiones (1991-99) and acting president of Argentina (2001).
Pugh, D(arwin) D(iengdoh) (b. Jan. 12, 1927, Sohra, India - d. Nov. 18, 2008, Shillong, India), chief minister of Meghalaya (1978-79). Pugh, the first Khasi chief minister of Meghalaya, was the general secretary of the All Party Hill Leaders Conference (APHLC) which spearheaded the hill state movement resulting in the creation of Meghalaya. He headed a coalition government of the APHLC, the Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP), and the People's Demand Implementation Convention (PDIC).
Puja, Frigyes (b. Feb. 2, 1921, Battonya, Békés county, Hungary - d. July 5, 2008), foreign minister of Hungary (1973-83). He was also ambassador to Sweden (1953-55) and Austria (1955-59).
Pulikovsky, Konstantin (Borisovich) (b. Feb. 9, 1948), plenipotentiary of the president in Dalnevostochny federal district (2000-05).
Puna, Henry (Tuakeu) (b. July 29, 1949), prime minister of the Cook Islands (2010- ).
Pundari, John (b. Jan. 7, 1967), foreign minister of Papua New Guinea (2001). He was speaker of parliament in 1997-99.
Pupier, Henri, byname of Claude Jean Pupier (b. 1860 - d. ...), French resident of Grande Comore (1888-89).
Pupp, Alois (b. Jan. 11, 1902, St. Leonhard im Passeiertal, Austria [now San Leonardo in Passiria, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy] - d. Feb. 10, 1979, Bressanone, Trentino-Alto Adige), president of Bolzano-Alto Adige (1956-60).
Purcell, Bill, byname of William Paxon Purcell III (b. Oct. 25, 1953, Philadelphia, Pa.), mayor of Nashville (1999- ).
Purcell, Joe (Edward) (b. July 29, 1923, Warren, Ark. - d. March 5, 1987, Benton, Ark.), governor of Arkansas (1979). He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Beginning in 1955 he served for four years as city attorney in Benton. In 1959 be become municipal judge, a post that he held until 1966 when was elected attorney general of Arkansas on the Democratic ticket. He was reelected to that post in 1968. Two years later he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor. First elected lieutenant governor in 1974, he was reelected to the office in 1976 and 1978. Purcell served as acting governor from Jan. 3, 1979, when Gov. David Pryor resigned to take his seat in the U.S. Senate, until Jan. 9, 1979, when Gov. Bill Clinton was inaugurated. Actively involved in a variety of civic affairs, Purcell did not seek reelection as lieutenant governor in 1980.
Puricelli, Arturo (Antonio) (b. 1948), governor of Santa Cruz (1983-87).
Purryag, Rajkeswur, byname Kailash Purryag (b. Dec. 12, 1947, Camp Fouquereaux, Mauritius), foreign minister (1997-2000) and president (2012- ) of Mauritius. He was speaker of the National Assembly in 2005-12.
Purushothaman, Vakkom (B.) (b. April 12, 1928, Vakkom, Travancore [now in Kerala], India), lieutenant governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1993-96) and governor of Mizoram (2011- ).
Purvanov, Georgi (Sedefchov) (b. June 28, 1957, Sirishtnik, Pernik region, Bulgaria), president of Bulgaria (2002-12).
Purwaka, Setia (b. Feb. 28, 1950, Kediri, Jawa Timur, Indonesia), acting governor of Jawa Timur (2008-09).
Pusic, Vesna (b. March 25, 1953, Zagreb, Croatia), foreign minister of Croatia (2011- ).
Pustovoitenko, Valeriy (Pavlovych) (b. Feb. 23, 1947, Adamovka village, Berezanka district, Nikolayev oblast, Ukrainian S.S.R. [now Adamivka, Mykolayiv oblast, Ukraine]), prime minister of Ukraine (1997-99).
Puteh, Abdullah (b. July 4, 1948, Meunasah Arun, Aceh, Netherlands East Indies [now Indonesia]), governor of Aceh (2000-05). Accused of corruption, he was arrested in Jakarta on Dec. 7, 2004, and suspended on December 26 for the duration of his trial. He was the first person to be brought to trial at Indonesia's new Anti-Corruption Court. In April 2005 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Putin, Vladimir (Vladimirovich) (b. Oct. 7, 1952, Leningrad, Russian S.F.S.R. [now St. Petersburg, Russia]), prime minister (1999-2000, 2008-12) and president (1999-2008, 2012- ) of Russia. He spent 15 years (1975-90) as a foreign intelligence officer for the Committee for State Security (KGB), including six years in Dresden, East Germany. After retiring from active KGB service with the rank of lieutenant colonel, he became an adviser to Anatoly Sobchak, mayor of St. Petersburg, and became known as "the man to see" to get things done in the city, earning the nickname "the Grey Cardinal" for his behind-the-scenes management of city affairs; by 1994 he was first deputy mayor. After Sobchak lost an election in 1996, Putin moved to Moscow, where he moved up quickly in administrative positions. As head of the watchdog Control Department, he ran the Kremlin's relations with Russia's 89 regions, resisting the idea of giving more power to regional leaders. In July 1998 Pres. Boris Yeltsin made Putin director of the Federal Security Service (the KGB's domestic successor), and he became secretary of the influential Security Council in March 1999. At that time, Yeltsin's entourage was casting about with increasing urgency for an heir to assume Yeltsin's mantle. Although virtually unknown to the general public, Putin was appointed prime minister in August 1999, and Yeltsin later endorsed him as his chosen presidential successor. In a surprise announcement, Yeltsin resigned on Dec. 31, 1999. Putin became acting president and was confirmed in presidential elections in March 2000, winning 52.9% of the vote. He was reelected in March 2004 with 71.2%. A constitutional two-term limit required him to step down in 2008. The economic situation improved during his presidency, and despite a questionable record on various human-rights issues, he retained broad popularity. This ensured the election of his hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, who appointed him prime minister again and admitted he would continue to play a "key role." Four years later, Putin was again elected president.
Putra ibni al-Marhum Syed Hasan Jamalullail, Syed Harun (b. Nov. 25, 1920, Arau, Perlis [now in Malaysia] - d. April 16, 2000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), raja of Perlis (1945-2000) and yang di-pertuan agong of Malaysia (1960-65).
Puyi (Pinyin), Wade-Giles P'u-i (personal name), era name Xuandong (Hsüan-t'ung; Manchu Gehungge yoso), zi (style) Haoran, later called Aixinjueluo Puyi1 (b. Feb. 7, 1906, Beijing, China - d. Oct. 17, 1967, Beijing), emperor of China (1908-12) and of Manchukuo (1934-45). He succeeded to the throne at the age of three, on the death of his uncle, the Guangxu emperor. He reigned under a regency until Feb. 12, 1912, when, in response to the republican revolution of the previous year, he was forced to abdicate, ending the 267-year rule of the Qing (Manchu) dynasty and the 2,000-year-old imperial system. He was permitted to continue living in the palace in Beijing. An attempt to restore the Qing empire in 1917 failed. While he was taking English lessons, Puyi chose Henry as a name for himself; thereafter he was often referred to as Henry Puyi in the West. Forced to leave the palace in 1924, he sought refuge in the Japanese concession (colony) at Tianjin. In 1932 he was installed as chief executive of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo (Manchuria), and in 1934 became its emperor, under the reign title of Kangde (K'ang-te). At the end of World War II he was taken prisoner by Soviet troops (August 1945). In 1946 he testified before the Tokyo war crimes tribunal that he was forced to take the figurehead position in Manchukuo and that he had no freedom whatsoever. He was held in Siberia until 1950 when he was returned to China, where he was imprisoned as a war criminal and "reeducated" until he was pardoned in 1959. Thereafter he lived in Beijing and worked in a botanical garden. His story was the subject of Bernardo Bertolucci's Oscar-winning film The Last Emperor (1987).
1 The rulers of the Qing state did not have a xing (family name). Under the People's Republic of China the surviving members of the family, including Puyi, were identified with the xing Aixinjueluo, the sinicized form of the clan name Aisin gioro; thus Puyi wrote his autobiography as Aixinjueluo Puyi.
Puzak, Kazimierz (b. Aug. 26, 1883, Ternopol, Austria-Hungary [now in Ukraine] - d. April 30, 1950, in prison in western Poland), Polish politician. He joined the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) in 1904 and a year later moved to the Russian part of Poland where he worked in the underground revolutionary movement. He was arrested in 1911 by the Okhrana (tsarist political police) and sentenced to eight years' hard labour. The Russian Revolution of 1917 restored his freedom and in August 1918 he began to reorganize the PPS in Warsaw. On Poland's recovery of independence he represented Dabrowa in the constituent assembly and later was thrice returned to the Sejm as deputy for Czestochowa. From 1921 to 1945 he was secretary-general of the central executive committee of the PPS. During World War II he was prominent in the Warsaw underground resistance, in 1944 being elected chairman of the Council of National Unity (RJN), the parliament of the underground state. In March 1945, with 15 other resistance leaders, Puzak was arrested by the Soviet state security police and tried on charges of organizing terrorism and sabotage. He denied the right of a Soviet tribunal to judge a Polish patriot for his activity in Poland and, refusing to testify, was condemned on June 21, 1945, to 18 months' imprisonment, being released, however, in November. Once more in Poland, he was rearrested in June 1947 on a charge of espionage, and again denied the right of a Soviet-controlled government to sit in judgment. On Nov. 19, 1948, he was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.
Puzanov, Aleksandr Mikhailovich (b. 1906 - d. March 1, 1998, Moscow, Russia), chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian S.F.S.R. (1952-56).
Pyatakov, Yuriy Leonidovych, party pseudonyms Kyivsky, Lyalin, Petro, Yaponets (b. Aug. 18 [Aug. 6, O.S.], 1890, Cherkassy district, Kiev guberniya, Russia [now in Ukraine] - d. [executed] Feb. 1, 1937), chairman of the Provisional Workers' and Peasants' Government of the Ukrainian People's Republic (1918-19). Accused of anti-party and anti-Soviet activity and expelled from the Communist Party in 1936, he was sentenced to death on Jan. 30, 1937.
Pym (of Sandy in the County of Bedfordshire), Francis (Leslie) Pym, Baron (b. Feb. 13, 1922, Abergavenny, Wales - d. March 7, 2008, Sandy, Bedfordshire, England), British foreign secretary (1982-83). After becoming an MP in 1961, he spent much of his parliamentary career as a "whip" in the administrative office of the Conservative Party in the House of Commons. As chief whip (1970-73) in the Edward Heath government and as leader of the Commons (since 1981), he was the recognized professional in the business of keeping the party in line. It might be said to run in the family; his father had been a Conservative MP and a whip before him. In 1973-74 he was secretary of state for Northern Ireland. For the first two years of the Margaret Thatcher government (1979-81) he was secretary of state for defense. In April 1982, amid the crisis brought by the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, Pym suddenly found himself appointed foreign secretary. Lord Carrington, seemingly as firm a fixture as anyone in the cabinet, had felt obliged to resign as foreign secretary because of the failure of his department to read Argentine intentions correctly. Pym's first mission as foreign secretary, securing a negotiated settlement of the Falklands crisis, failed, but he won the respect and confidence of the diplomatic world by his sharp mind and by a combination of realism and toughness. He had hoped to get the Foreign Office post when the Thatcher government was formed in 1979. After circumstances brought the appointment, he was soon regarded as a great success. Observers of the Westminster scene even began to talk of Pym as the most likely successor to Thatcher as party leader. But when the government was reorganized in 1983, he was not reappointed to any ministerial post. In 1987 he was made a life peer.
Pynzenyk, Viktor (Mykhailovych) (b. April 15, 1954, Smologovitsya village, Zakarpatskaya oblast, Ukrainian S.S.R.), finance minister of Ukraine (2005-06, 2007-09).