Civilisation/World Politics

From Quiz Revision Notes


General Council of the Valleys – legislative body of Andorra

Agostinho Neto served as the first President of Angola (1975–79), leading the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in the war for independence and the civil war

The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, commonly known by the acronym, UNITA, is an Angolan political party and was originally an anti-colonial movement which became a rebel force after Angola's independence in 1975. Until 2002 UNITA was largely a military force in the Angolan Civil War fighting the MPLA. From its foundation until his death in 2002, UNITA was led by its founder, Jonas Savimbi

La Casa Rosada (Spanish for ‘the Pink House’) is the official seat of the executive branch of the government of Argentina

Eva Peron was from the Duarte family. Died in 1952, aged 33

Eva Peron’s body was buried in Milan, moved to Spain, then returned to Argentina

Juan Peron was president of Argentina from 1946 to 1955 and from 1973 to 1974

Jorge Videla was President of Argentina from 1976 to 1981

Leopoldo Galtieri rose to the Presidency of Argentina by means of a coup that ousted General Roberto Viola in December 1981

Reynaldo Bignone was President of Argentina from 1982 to 1983

Raul Alfonsin was President of Argentina from1983 to 1989

Carlos Menem was President of Argentina from 1989 to 1999 for the Justicialist Party (Peronist)

Cristina Kirchner became President of Argentina in 2007

The Commonwealth Parliament was opened in 1901 in Melbourne, Australia. The federal legislature moved to Canberra in 1927

Henry Parkes was regarded as the Father of the Australian Federation

Notable Prime Ministers of Australia

1901-1903 Edward Barton
1949-1966 Robert Menzies
1966-1967 Harold Holt
1972-1975 Gough Whitlam
1975-1983 Malcolm Fraser
1983-1991 Bob Hawke
1991-1996 Paul Keating
1996-2007 John Howard
2007-2010 Kevin Rudd
2010-2013 Julia Gillard
2013 (83 days) Kevin Rudd
2013-2015 Tony Abbott
2015-2018 Malcolm Turnbull
2018- Scott Morrison

Edmund Barton was the first Australian Prime Minister

Harold Holt’s term as Prime Minister was ended when he disappeared while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Portsea and was presumed drowned

Gough Whitlam was removed from office by Governor-General John Kerr following a constitutional crisis which was precipitated by the Senate's refusal to pass the Whitlam government's money (Supply) bill

Julia Gillard was the first female Australian Prime Minster. Born in the Vale of Glamorgan

The Lodge is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Australia in the national capital, Canberra

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia of the Australian monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II

Parliament of Austria consists of two chambers – the Nationalrat and the Bundesrat

Azerbaijan declared its independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, with Ayaz Mutalibov, former First Secretary of the Azerbaijani Communist Party, becoming the country's first President

In 1971, Bahrain declared independence and signed a new treaty of friendship with the United Kingdom

In 2002, Bahrain changed its formal name from the State of Bahrain to the Kingdom of Bahrain

Awami League is the mainstream centre-left, secular political party in Bangladesh

Grantley Adams was the first Premier of Barbados, from 1953 to 1958

Botswana gained independence in 1966 and Seretse Khama became its first president

Deodoro da Fonseca became the first President of Brazil in 1889 after heading a military coup that deposed Emperor Pedro II

Brazilian Federation is the ‘indissoluble union’ of three distinct political entities: the States, the Municipalities and the Federal District

Vargas Era is the period in the history of Brazil that lasted from 1930 to 1945, when the country was under the leadership of Getulio Dornelles Vargas

Fernando Henrique Cardoso was the 34th President of Brazil and served for two terms from 1995 to 2003

From 2003 to 2008, singer Gilberto Gil served as Brazil's Minister of Culture

Dilma Rousseff became the first female president of Brazil in 2011

Brunei gained independence from UK in 1984

Bulgaria proclaimed itself an independent state in 1908

Todor Zhivkov was leader of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria (PRB) from 1954 to 1989

In 1946 the monarchy in Bulgaria was overthrown and Simeon II went into exile. Fifty-five years later, Simeon resumed the role of leader of the nation upon taking office as Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria from July 2001 until August 2005

In 1948, Burma became an independent republic, named the Union of Burma, with Sao Shwe Thaik as its first President and U Nu as its first Prime Minister. Unlike most other former British colonies and overseas territories, it did not become a member of the Commonwealth

Coup led by General Ne Win overthrew the Burmese government in 1962

Karen National Union is a political organization with an armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army that represents the Karen people of Burma

Thein Sein is a former military commander who has been President of Burma (Myanmar) since March 2011. He was the Prime Minister from 2007 until 2011

Norodom Sihanouk was the King of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until 2004. He also served as Prime Minister

Khmer Rouge – Communist Party of Kampuchea (Cambodia). Pol Pot (known as ‘Brother Number One’) became leader in 1962, and died in custody in 1998

Paul Biya has been the President of Cameroon since1982

John MacDonald was the first Prime Minister of Canada

Wilfrid Laurier was the first French-Canadian to serve as Prime Minister

Kim Campbell was the first female Canadian Prime Minister

Justin Trudeau is the son of Pierre Trudeau

Notable Prime Ministers of Canada

1867-1873,1878-1891 John MacDonald
1896-1911 Wilfrid Laurier
1921-1926, 1926-1930, 1935-1948 Mackenzie King
1968-1979, 1980-1984 Pierre Trudeau
1984 (80 days) John Turner
1984-1993 Brian Mulroney
1993 (132 days) Kim Campbell
1993-2003 Jean Chretian
2003-2006 Paul Martin
2006-2015 Stephen Harper
2015- Justin Trudeau

Canada Act 1982 severed all remaining dependence of Canada on the United Kingdom, in a process known as ‘patriation’

Canadian electoral constituencies are known as Ridings

24 Sussex Drive, New Edinburgh (also called Gorffwysfa) is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada. Built between 1866 and 1868 by Joseph Merrill Currier

Emperor Bokassa was head of state of the Central African Republic from 1966 to 1979. He spent nearly a third of the country’s GDP on a coronation ceremony inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte’s

The military dictatorship of Chile was an authoritarian military government that ruled Chile between 1973 and 1990. The dictatorship was established after the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende was overthrown by a CIA-backed coup d'état. The dictatorship was headed by a military junta presided by General Augusto Pinochet Patricio Aylwin was the president of Chile after its return to democratic rule in 1990

The Shanghai Municipal Council in China was the governing body which administered the combined British and American foreign concessions in Shanghai, known as the Shanghai International Settlement. It was established in 1854 to reorganize the existing concessions

Mao Zedong (also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao (1893 – 1976), called the atom bomb the ‘paper tiger’ by

Deng Xiaoping (1904 – 1997) served as the de facto leader of the People's Republic of China from 1978 to the early 1990s

The Kuomintang of China (KMT), also often translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party, is a political party in the Republic of China (ROC), located in Taiwan, and is currently the largest political party in terms of seats in the Legislative Yuan

The Legislative Yuan is the legislative body of the Republic of China, which administers Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu Islands

Chiang Kai-shek (1887 – 1975) served as Generalissimo of the national government of the Republic of China (ROC) from 1928 until his death in 1975, taking control of the Kuomintang

Open Door policy is generally associated with China

Deng Xiaoping became the first Chinese leader to visit the United States in 1979, meeting with President Carter at the White House

Li Peng was the Premier of the People's Republic of China between 1987 and 1998

Hu Jintao succeeded Jiang Zemin in 2003 and served until 2013

Xi Jinping became president in 2013

National People's Congress (NPC) is the national legislature of the People's Republic of China. With 2987 members in 2013, it is the largest parliamentary body in the world

Patrice Lumumba was the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo after he helped win its independence from Belgium in 1960. Only ten weeks later, Lumumba's government was deposed in a coup during the Congo Crisis. He was subsequently imprisoned and executed by firing squad under the command of the secessionist Katangan authorities in 1961

Felix Houphouet-Boigny was the first president of Cote d’Ivoire, from independence in 1960 until 1993

Franjo Tudman was the  first president of Croatia, from 1990 to 1999

Tomas Estrada Palma was the first president of independent Cuba, in 1902

The 26th of July Movement (Spanish: Movimiento 26 de Julio; M-26-7) was the revolutionary organization planned and led by Fidel Castro that in 1959 overthrew the Fulgencio Batista government in Cuba

Raul Castro took over as President of Cuba from his brother Fidel in 2008

Archbishop Makarios was the first President of the Republic of Cyprus, from 1960 to 1974 and from 1974 to 1977

Cyprus became independent from Britain in 1960

Vaclav Havel was president of Czech Republic from partition in 1993 to 2003

Vaclav Klaus was president of Czech Republic from 2003 to 2013

Milos Zeman became president of Czech Republic in 2013

Jan Masaryk was a Czech diplomat and politician and Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia from 1940 to 1948

Tomas Masaryk was the first president of Czechoslovakia, from 1918 to 1935

Mobutu Sese Seko was the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1965 to 1997

Mobutu changed the Congo's name to Zaire in 1971

Mobutu was overthrown in the First Congo War by Laurent-Desire Kabila and the country’s name was changed

Kabila President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1997 until his assassination by one of his bodyguards in 2001. He was succeeded by his son Joseph eight days later

Folketing is the parliament of Denmark. Christiansborg Palace (also known by its nickname, "Borgen" – Danish for "the castle") has been the domicile of parliament since 1849

In 2009, Lars Rasmussen succeeded Anders Fogh Rasmussen as Prime Minister following the latter's appointment as Secretary General of NATO

Helle Thorning-Schmidt became the first female Prime Minister of Denmark in 2011

Rafael Trujillo ruled the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961. Officially, he was President only from 1930 to 1938, and again from 1942 to 1952. His brother Hector Trujillo was President from 1952 to 1960, and it was only under pressure from the Organization of American States that a non-relative, Trujillo ally Joaquin Balaguer, succeeded Hector

The first president of Egypt was Muhammad Naguib, one of the leaders of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952

Gamal Nasser was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death in 1970

Anwar Sadat succeeded Nasser and was president until he was assassinated by Khalid Islambouli in 1981

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is the President of Equatorial Guinea, having served since 1979

Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993

The Eduskunta (in Finnish), or the Riksdag (in Swedish), is the Parliament of Finland

Finland became an independent republic in 1917

Finland was first European country to have women MPs, in 1907

The politics of France take place with the framework of a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the Fifth Republic. Parliament comprises the National Assembly (lower house) and the Senate (upper house)

French president used to serve for seven years, now serves for five years

Raymond Poincare served three times as Prime Minister of France, and as President from 1913 to 1920

Georges Clemenceau was Prime Minister of France from 1906 to 1909 and from 1917 to 1920. Known as ‘The Tiger’. Survived an attempted assassination in 1919 by anarchist Emile Cottin

Georges Pompidou was Prime Minister of France from 1962 to 1968, holding the longest tenure in this position

Jacques Chirac served as Prime Minister from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 (making him the only person to hold the position of Prime Minister twice under the Fifth Republic), and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995

Edith Cresson is the only female Prime Minister, serving from 1991 to 1992

Jean-Pierre Raffarin served as the Prime Minister of France from 2002 to 2005, resigning after France's rejection of the referendum on the European Union draft constitution

Presidents of the French Fifth Republic

1959-1969 Charles de Gaulle
1969-1974 Georges Pompidou
1974-1981 Valery Giscard d’Estaing
1981-1995 Francois Mitterand
1995-2007 Jacques Chirac
2007-2012 Nicolas Sarkozy
2012-2017 Francois Hollande
2017- Emmanuel Macron

Charles De Gaulle founded the Fifth Republic in 1958

Francois Mitterrand was the first socialist French president

Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) is a centre-right political party in France, being one of the two major contemporary political parties in the country along with the centre-left Socialist Party (PS)

Jean-Marie Le Pen was the first leader of the National Front and the undisputed centre of the party from its formation in 1972 until his resignation in 2011. Marine Le Pen, Jean-Maries's daughter, was elected as the current leader

The president of France also serves as a co-prince of Andorra

France withdrew from the integrated military structure of NATO in 1966

Eduard Shevardnadze was the first elected president of Georgia, in 1992. He was forced to retire in 2003 as a consequence of the Rose Revolution

Mikheil Saakashvili was president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013

Germany is a federal parliamentary republic, and federal legislative power is vested in the Bundestag (the parliament of Germany) and the Bundesrat (the representative body of the Lander, Germany's regional states). There is a multi-party system that, since 1949, has been dominated by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)

Wilhelm Pieck was the first only president of the German Democratic Republic, serving from 1949 to 1960

Erich Honecker led the German Democratic Republic from 1971 until shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall in October 1989

Chancellors of the Federal Republic of Germany

1949-1963 Konrad Adenauer
1963-1966 Ludwig Erhard
1966-1969 Kurt Georg Kiesinger
1969-1974 Willy Brandt
1974-1982 Helmut Schmidt
1982-1998 Helmut Kohl
1998-2005 Gerhard Schroder
2005- Angela Merkel

Konrad Adenauer was the first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Willy Brandt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his efforts to strengthen cooperation in western Europe through the EEC

Helmut Kohl was Chancellor of West Germany between 1982 and 1990 and of a reunited Germany between 1990 and 1998, and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from 1973 to 1998

The Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) was the governing party of the German Democratic Republic from its formation in 1949 until the elections of March 1990

Since 2011 the Pirate Party Germany has succeeded in attaining a high enough vote share to enter four German state parliaments

Walter Ulbricht was an East German communist politician, and First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party from 1950 to 1971

Angela Merkel is a former research scientist who has been the leader of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000 and the Chancellor of Germany since 2005. She is the first woman and the first former citizen of the German Democratic Republic to hold either office. She was born Angela Dorothea Kasner in Hamburg in 1954

Alternative for Germany is a right-wing populist and Eurosceptic political party in Germany

Jerry Rawlings (born 1947 in Accra) was twice the president of Ghana. His first presidential term was acquired through a military coup, while his second was as head of the elected government

Kwame Nkrumah was the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1952 to 1966

Republic of Ghana formed in 1957. Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence

Between the restoration of democracy in 1974 and the government-debt crisis the party system in Greece was dominated by the liberal-conservative New Democracy and the social-democratic Panhellenic Socialist Movement

Grenada gained independence in 1974 under Eric Gairy. Succeeded in 1979 after a coup by Maurice Bishop, who built an international airport with financial assistance from Cuba to develop tourism

Ahmed Sekou Toure became President upon Guinea's independence from France in 1958, establishing a one-party dictatorship

Janet Jagan was the first woman President of Guyana, from 1997 to 1999

Bharrat Jagdeo was President of Guyana from 1999 to 2011

Francois Duvalier was President of Haiti from 1957 to 1971. Duvalier first won acclaim in fighting diseases, earning him the nickname ‘Papa Doc’

Jean-Claude Duvalier (nicknamed ‘Baby Doc’) succeeded his father, ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier as the ruler of Haiti from his father's death in 1971 until his overthrow by a popular uprising in 1986

Althing is the parliament of Iceland. Oldest parliament in Europe, founded in 930

Iceland formally became a republic (independent from Denmark) in 1944, with Sveinn Bjornsson as the first President

In 1980, Icelanders elected Vigdís Finnbogadottir as president, the world's first directly elected female head of state

Olafur Ragnar Grimsson has been president of Iceland since 1996

Johanna Siguroardottir  became Iceland's first female Prime Minister and the world's first openly lesbian head of government in 2009

Parliament of India consists of two houses: The Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States)

Jawaharlal Nehru was first prime minister of India, and served from 1947 to 1964

When India became a Republic in 1950, Rajendra Prasad was elected its first President by the Constituent Assembly

Indira Gandhi served from 1966 to 1977 and then again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. She is the only woman to hold the office. Indira Gandhi was the only child of the first Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru

Operation Blue Star was an Indian military operation which occurred in1984, ordered by Indira Gandhi in order to establish control over the Harmandir Sahib Complex in Amritsar. Four months after the operation, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards, in what is viewed as an act of vengeance

Rajiv Gandhi was the seventh Prime Minister of India, serving from 1984 to 1989. He took office after the death of Indira Gandhi, his mother, to become the youngest Indian prime minister. He was assassinated in 1991

Sonia Gandhi is an Italian-born Indian politician, who has served as President of the Indian National Congress party since 1998. She is the widow of Rajiv Gandhi

KR Narayanan was the tenth President of India, serving from 1997 to 2002. He was the first Dalit and the first Malayali to become President

Narendra Modi was elected as Prime Minister of India in 2014

Sukarno was the leader of his country's struggle for independence from the Netherlands and was Indonesia's first President from 1945 to 1967. He was replaced by one of his generals, Suharto, who held the office for 32 years

Indonesia declared independence from Netherlands in 1945, but this was not recognised until 1949

Abolhassan Banisadr was the first President of Iran after the 1979 Iranian Revolution abolished the monarchy

Mir Hossein Moussavi, Iran's former prime minister, is a painter and architect who withdrew from the political front for two decades. He served as the seventy-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was President of Iran from 2005 to 2013

Hassan Rouhani became President of Iran in 2013

Chaim Weizmann was President of the Zionist Organization, and the first President of the State of Israel. He was elected in 1949, and served until his death in 1952. Weizmann was also a chemist who developed the ABE-process, which produces acetone through bacterial fermentation

Albert Einstein declined the presidency of Israel in 1952 following the death of Chaim Weizmann

Moshe Katsav was President of Israel from 2000 to 2007. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for rape and other charges in 2011

Reuven Rivlin is the current President of Israel

Notable Prime Ministers of Israel

1948-1954, 1955-1963 David Ben-Gurion
1969-1974 Golda Meir
1974-1977, 1992-1995 Yitzhak Rabin
1977-1983 Menachem Begin
1983-1984, 1986-1992 Yitzhak Shamir
1984-1986, 1995-1996 Shimon Peres
1996-1999, 2009- Benjamin Netanyahu
1999-2001 Ehud Barak
2001-2006 Ariel Sharon
2006-2009 Ehud Olmert

David Ben-Gurion was the first prime minister of Israel

Golda Meir was Israel’s first woman prime minister. Born in Kiev

Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli radical named Yigal Amir, who was opposed to the peace process

Menachem Begin’s most significant achievement as Prime Minister was the signing of a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, for which he and Anwar Sadat shared the Nobel Prize for Peace

Ehud Barak is the joint most highly decorated soldier in Israel's history

Shimon Peres served twice as the Prime Minister of Israel and twice as Interim Prime Minister

Ariel Sharon was prime minister until he was incapacitated by a stroke in 2006

Benjamin Netanyahu is the current prime minister. Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister born in Israel after the establishment of the state. His brother was killed in Operation Entebbe in 1976

Italy has been a democratic republic since 1946, when the monarchy was abolished by popular referendum

Giulio Andreotti served as Prime Minister of Italy from 1972 to 1973, from 1976 to 1979, and from 1989 to 1992. He was elected seven times

Forza Italia (People of Freedom) is led by Silvio Berlusconi

Berlusconi was Prime Minister for nine years in total, making him the longest-serving post-war Prime Minister of Italy

Romano Prodi served two terms as Prime Minister of Italy. He was also the tenth President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004

Minimum age for Italian president is 50

Lega Nord (Northern League) is a federalist and regionalist political party in Italy. At times it has advocated secession of the North, which it calls Padania

Allesandra Mussolini is the granddaughter of Benito Mussolini, and the niece of Sophia Loren. She is the founder and former leader of the national conservative political party Social Action; from 2004 until 2008, Mussolini also served as a Member of the European Parliament

The current President is Sergio Mattarella and the current Prime Minister of Italy is Mario Draghi

Norman Manley served as Premier of Jamaica from 1959 to 1962

Jamaica was granted independence in 1962 and Alexander Bustamante served as the independent country's first Prime Minister until 1967

Norman Manley served as Prime Minister of Jamaica from 1972 to 1980 and from 1989 to 1992

Portia Simpson-Miller served as Prime Minister of Jamaica from 2006 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2016

The current Prime Minister of Jamaica is Andrew Holness

Japan is a multi-party parliamentary representative democratic Constitutional monarchy where the Emperor acts as the ceremonial Head of state, and the Prime Minister acts as the Head of government. Legislative power is vested in the Diet, which consists of the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors

Liberal Democratic Party held power in Japan from 1955, but were defeated by Democratic Party in 2009

Hideki Tojo was Prime Minister of Japan from 1941 to 1944, and was responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor

Shinzo Abe was Prime Minister of Japan from 2012 to 2020

The current Prime Minister of Japan is Yoshihide Suga

Jomo Kenyatta served as the first Prime Minister (1963–64) and President (1964–78) of Kenya

Daniel arap Moi served as the second President of Kenya from 1978 to 2002

Mwai Kibaki served as the third President of Kenya from 2002 to 2013

Uhura Kenyatta, the son of Jomo Kenyatta, is the current President of Kenya

Kuwait gained independence from UK in 1961

Saeima – parliament in Latvia

Indulis Emsis became Prime Minister of Latvia in 2004, the first member of any Green Party to become Prime minister

Lebanon gained independence in 1943, while France was occupied by Germany

Samuel Doe – President of Liberia from 1980 to 1990. Liberia is Africa’s oldest republic

William Tolbert was President of Liberia from 1971 until 1980, when he was killed in a coup d'etat

Libya gained independence from Italy in 1951, and was ruled as a constitutional monarchy under King Idris I

Taking power in a coup d'etat, Muammar Gaddafi ruled as Revolutionary Chairman of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977 and then as the "Brotherly Leader" of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011, when he was ousted in the Libyan Civil War

In the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Landtag is the sole national parliament Liechtenstein was the last place in Europe to give women the vote, in 1984

Jacques Santer was Prime Minister of Luxembourg from 1984 to 1995 and President of the European Commission from 1995 to 1999

Hastings Banda was the leader of Malawi and its predecessor state, Nyasaland, from 1961 to 1994

Tunku Abdul Rahman was Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya from 1955, and the first Prime Minister of Malaysia from independence in 1957

Abdul Razak Hussein was the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, ruling from 1970 to 1976

Malta became an independent state in 1964

Malta is a republic whose parliamentary system and public administration are closely modelled on the Westminster system. The unicameral House of Representatives is made up of 69 members of parliament

Benito Juarez was a Zapotec Amerindian who served five terms as President of Mexico, between 1858 and 1872

Porfirio Diaz served seven terms as President of Mexico, totaling three and a half decades between 1876 and 1911

The current President of Mexico is Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO

Morocco gained independence from France in 1956

Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) was a liberation movement which was founded in 1962 to fight for the independence of the Portuguese Overseas Province of Mozambique. Independence was achieved in 1975

Sam Nujoma was the first President of Namibia. He was inaugurated as President in 1990 and was subsequently re-elected in 1994 and 1999. He was also President of the South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) from its founding in 1960 until 2007

The Executive Wing of New Zealand Parliament Buildings in Wellington is commonly known as “The Beehive”

Notable Prime Ministers of New Zealand

1856 Henry Sewell (first Colonial Secretary)
1869-1872 William Fox (first Premier)
1893-1906 Richard Seddon
1906-1912 Joseph Ward (first Prime Minister)
1975-1984 Robert Muldoon
1990-1997 Jim Bolger
1997-1999 Jenny Shipley
1999-2008 Helen Clark
2008-2016 John Key
2016-2017 Bill English
2017- Jacinda Ardern

Richard Seddon is the longest-serving Prime Minister of New Zealand

Norman Kirk died in office in 1974

Jenny Shipley was the first woman Prime Minister of New Zealand

Fighters of the left-wing Sandinista National Liberation Front overthrew the regime in the republic of Nicaragua in 1979. President Somoza fled to the US

Nnamdi Azikiwe served as the last Governor-General from 1960 to 1963 and the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966

Goodluck Jonathan was President of Nigeria from 2010 to 2015. Succeeded by Muhammadu Buhari

Kin Il-Sung led North Korea from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1994

Kim Jong-il was the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), commonly referred to as North Korea, from 1994 to 2011. Succeeded by Kim Jung-un

Storting –parliament of Norway. The Storting in its present form was first constituted at Eidsvoll in 1814

The first Prime Minister of Pakistan was Liaquat Ali Khan who was appointed to the position by the first Governor-General, Muhammmad Ali Jinnah in 1947

Iskander Mirza was the last Governor-General of the Dominion of Pakistan (1955 to 1956) and the first President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (1956 to 1958)

Pakistan was readmitted into the Commonwealth in 2004

Pervez Musharraf served as the tenth President of Pakistan from 2001 until tendering resignation to avoid impeachment in 2008. Succeeded by Asif Ali Zardari

Mamnoon Hussain is the current President of Pakistan

Francisco Lopez was president of Paraguay from 1862 until his death in 1870. Lopez equipped his army with exact copies of uniforms of Napoleonic army. He ordered for himself an exact replica of Napoleon's crown

Alfredo Stroessner served as President of Paraguay from 1954 to 1989

Colorado Party was in power in Paraguay from 1947 to 2008

Emilio Aguinaldo was the first president of the Philippines, in 1897

Imelda Marcos is the widow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos best known for her collection of some three thousand pairs of shoes. She served as First Lady from 1965 to 1986

Ferdinand Marcos was succeeded by Corozon Aquino, the first woman to hold that office, and the first female president in Asia. Her husband, Benigno Aquino, was assassinated in 1983 upon returning to the Philippines from exile in the United States

Joseph Estrada was the 13th President of the Philippines, from 1998 to 2001. He was peacefully overthrown by the Second People Power Revolution after his aborted impeachment trial in the Senate

Gloria Arroyo was President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010

Rodrigo Duterte succeeded Benigno Aquino III as President of the Philippines in 2017

Sejm is the lower house of the parliament of Poland

Ignacy Paderewski was a Polish pianist, composer, diplomat, politician, and the third Prime Minister of Poland, in 1919

Solidarity was founded in 1980 at the then Lenin Shipyards, and originally led by Lech Wałesa

Wojciech Jaruzelski was President of Poland from 1989 to 1990, and was succeeded by Lech Wałesa, the first President elected by popular vote

Lech Kaczynski served as the President of Poland from 2005 until 2010. He was the identical twin brother of the former Prime Minister of Poland Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Died in an air crash in 2010

Donald Tusk was Prime Minister of Poland from 2007 to 2014. He resigned to become President of the European Council

The current Prime Minister of Poland is Mateusz Morawiecki

The current President of Poland is Andrej Duda

Antonio Salazar was the President of the Council of Ministers of Portugal (Prime Minister) and the de facto dictator of the Portuguese Republic from 1932 to 1968

Manuel de Arriaga was first elected president of the First Portuguese Republic following the abdication of King Manuel II in 1911

Anibal Silva was President of Portugal from 2006 to 2016. He was previously Prime Minister of Portugal from1985 to 1995. His tenure of ten years was the longest of any Prime Minister since Salazar

Iron Guard was a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II

Nicolae Ceausescu was the first President of Romania, serving from 1974 to 1989. Ceausescu and his wife were then shot by a firing squad on 25 December 1989. He was succeeded by Ion Iliescu

According to the Constitution of Russia, the country is a federation and semi-presidential republic, wherein the President is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government. The Russian Federation is fundamentally structured as a multi-party representative democracy

Duma is the lower house of the parliament of Russia

Politburo was formed in 1919. Called the Presidium between 1952 and 1966

Nikolai Podgorny served as leader of the Ukrainian SSR, from 1957 to 1963 and as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1965 to 1977. He was replaced in 1977 by Leonid Brezhnev

Nikolai Bulganin served as Minister of Defence (1953–55) and Premier of the Soviet Union (1955–58)

Leaders of the Soviet Union and Russia

1917-1924 Vladimir Lenin
1924-1953 Joseph Stalin
1953 Georgy Malenkov
1953-1964 Nikita Khrushchev
1964-1982 Leonid Brezhnev
1982-1984 Yuri Andropov
1984-1985 Konstantin Chernenko
1985-1991 Mikhail Gorbachev
1991-1999 Boris Yeltsin
1999-2008, 2012- Vladimir Putin
2008-2012 Dmitry Medvedev

Nikita Khrushchev was First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 and Chairman of the Council of Ministers from 1958 to 1964. He was removed from power by his party colleagues in 1964, Alexei Kosygin and Leonid Brezhnev becoming Premier and First Secretary respectively

Leonid Brezhnev was the General Secretary of the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982

On 19 August 1991 Communist hard-liners, haven taken Mikhail Gorbachev hostage, sent tanks into Moscow. They were stopped by Boris Yeltsin, leading to the fall of the Soviet Union

Boris Yeltsin was the first popularly elected leader in Russian history, in 1991

Vladimir Putin was Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000. He has been President since 2012. He married Lyudmila Shkrebneva in 1983

Mikhail Mishustin is the current Prime Minister of Russia

The Captains Regent are the two heads of state of San Marino. They are elected every six months by the Grand and General Council – the country's parliament

Leopold Senghor was the first President of Senegal, from 1960 to 1980

Slobadan Milosevic was the President of Serbia from 1989 to 1997 and President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000

Milton Margai was the first prime minister of Sierra Leone. He was the main architect of the post-colonial constitution of Sierra Leone and guided it to independence in 1961

Lee Kuan Yew was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore from 1959 to 1990

British Somaliland became independent in 1960 as the State of Somaliland, and the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somaliland) followed suit five days later. On 1 July 1960, the two territories united to form the Somali Republic

Jan Smuts served as Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 until 1924 and from 1939 until 1948. He was the only person to sign the peace treaties ending both the First and Second World Wars

Pass laws in South Africa were designed to segregate the population and were one of the dominant features of the country's apartheid system. Introduced in South Africa in 1923, they were designed to regulate movement of black Africans into urban areas. Outside of designated homelands, black South Africans had to carry pass books at all times. The system of pass laws was repealed in 1986

Helen Suzman was the only anti-apartheid MP in South Africa in 1960s

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) was founded by Chief Buthelezi in 1975

The Tricameral Parliament was the name given to the South African parliament and its structure from 1984 to 1994. While still entrenching the political power of the White section of the South African population (or, more specifically, that of the National Party), it did give a limited political voice to the country's Coloured and Indian population groups. The majority Black population group was still excluded

Walter Sisulu, ANC general secretary, released from Robbin Island in 1989, died in 2003

Presidents of South Africa

1994-1999 Nelson Mandela
1999-2008 Thabo Mbeki
2008-2009 Kgalema Motlanthe
2009-2018 Jacob Zuma
2018- Cyril Ramaphosa

African National Congress (ANC) is South Africa's governing political party, supported by its Tripartite Alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party, since the establishment of multi-racial democracy in 1994

Democratic Alliance (DA) is a South African political party and has been the official opposition at national level since the 1999 general election

Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu was King of the Zulu nation under the Traditional Leadership clause of South Africa's republican constitution from 1968 until his death in 2021. Succeeded by Misuzulu Zulu

Syngman Rhee was the first president of South Korea, from 1948 to 1960

Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies (the lower house) and the Senate (the upper house)

Felipe Gonzalez was Prime Minister of Spain from 1982 to 1996

Jose Zapatero was Prime Minister of Spain from 2004 to 2011

Pedro Sanchez succeeded Mariano Rajoy in 2018 as Prime Minister of Spain

ETA is a Basque organization founded in 1959. It wants four Spanish provinces and three French ones to secede and form an independent state, hence the slogan ‘4 + 3 = 1’

Ceylon gained independence in 1948. D. S. Senanayake was the first Prime Minister of Ceylon. Became Sri Lanka in 1972

Sri Lanka is the oldest democracy in Asia

Following the parliamentary election in 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the prime minister and the world's first elected female head of government

Ranasinghe Premadasa was the third President of Sri Lanka, from 1989 to 1993. He was assassinated in Colombo in a suicide bombing

Maithripala Sirisena succeeded Mahinda Rajapaksa as President of Sri Lanka in 2015

Sudan gained independence in 1956 from UK and Egypt

Suriname became independent in 1975

Riksdag is the unicameral parliament of Sweden

Olaf Palme was assassinated in Stockholm in 1986

Stefan Lofven succeeded Fredrik Reinfeldt as Prime Minister of Sweden in 2014

Federal Council is the seven-member executive council which constitutes the federal government of Switzerland and serves as the Swiss collective head of state

Switzerland is the closest state in the world to a direct democracy. For any change in the constitution, a referendum is mandatory (mandatory referendum); for any change in a law, a referendum can be requested (optional referendum)

Hafez al-Assad was president of Syria from 1971 to 2000. He was succeeded by his son, current president Bashar al-Assad

Julius Nyerere served as the first President of Tanzania, from the country's founding in 1961 until his retirement in 1985

Trinidad and Tobago gained independence in 1962

Habib Bourguiba was the Founder and the first President of the Republic of Tunisia from 1957 until 1987

Tunisia gained independence from France in 1956

Milton Obote, Prime Minister of Uganda from 1962 to 1966 and President of Uganda from 1966 to 1971 and from 1980 to 1985, was a Ugandan political leader who led Uganda to independence from the British colonial administration in 1962

Idi Amin was President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. He died in Saudi Arabia in 2003

In 1828 the Treaty of Montevideo, fostered by the United Kingdom, gave birth to Uruguay as an independent state. The nation's first constitution was adopted in 1830

Tabere Vasquez succeeded Jose Mujica as President of Uruguay in 2015

On 2 July 1976, North and South Vietnam were merged to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Ngo Dinh Diem was the first president of South Vietnam, from 1955 to 1963. He was assassinated during a coup d’etat

Ho Chi Minh was prime minister (1946–55) and president (1945–69) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam)

Le Duc Tho was Head of the Central Organizing Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam from 1976 to 1982

Kenneth Kaunda served as the first President of Zambia, from 1964 to 1991

Bishop Muzarewa became the first black Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in 1979

Canaan Banana served as the first President of Zimbabwe from 1980 until1987, when Mugabe took over

Ian Smith was the leader of the Rhodesian Front party

Ian Smith declared UDI in Rhodesia in 1965

Ian Smith and Harold Wilson held two rounds of direct negotiations, both of which were held aboard Royal Navy ships off Gibraltar. The first took place aboard HMS Tiger in 1966, while the second, aboard HMS Fearless, were held in 1968

The Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) is a Zimbabwean Socialist party that has been the ruling political party in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, led by Robert Mugabe, first as Prime Minister with the party simply known as ZANU, and then as President from 1988 after taking over ZAPU (Zimbabwe African People’s Union, led by Joshua Nkomo) and renaming the party ZANU-PF

Prior to its split in 2005, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was a Zimbabwean political party organized under the leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai. The party split over whether to contest the 2005 senate election

Emmerson Mnangagwa replaced Robert Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe in 2017

United Nations

United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization established in 1945 to promote international co-operation. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was created following the Second World War to prevent another such conflict. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The headquarters of the United Nations is in Manhattan, New York City

Secretary-General of the United Nations

1945–1946 Gladwyn Jebb UK Acting Secretary-General
1946–1952 Trygve Lie Norway Only Secretary-General to resign
1953–1961 Dag Hammarskjold Sweden Only Secretary-General to die in office
1961–1971 U Thant Burma Longest serving
1971–1982 Kurt Waldheim Austria Third term vetoed by China
1982–1991 Javier Perez de Cuellar Peru
1992–1996 Boutros Boutros-Ghali Egypt Second term vetoed by USA
1997–2006 Kofi Annan Ghana
2007–2016 Ban Ki-Moon South Korea
2017– Antonio Guterres Portugal

Limit of two terms introduced after 1982

Alexander Cadogan was Britain's representative to the United Nations from 1946 to 1950


Colour revolutions or Flower revolutions are the names given collectively to a series of related movements that developed in post-communist societies in Central and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. So far these movements have been successful in Serbia (the 2000 Bulldozer Revolution), Georgia (the 2003 Rose Revolution), Ukraine (the 2004 Orange Revolution), and (though more violent than the previous ones) Kyrgyzstan (the 2005 Tulip Revolution). The Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, unlike the revolutions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, followed not a disputed election, but rather the assassination of opposition leader Rafik Hariri in 2005.

Purple Revolution – a name first used by some hopeful commentators and later picked up by United States President George W. Bush to describe the coming of democracy to Iraq following the 2005 Iraqi legislative election

Blue Revolution – a term used by some Kuwaitis to refer to demonstrations in Kuwait in support of women's suffrage beginning in March of 2005

Singing Revolution is the commonly used name for events between 1987 and 1990 that led to the regaining of independence of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania

Jasmine Revolution was an intensive campaign of civil resistance, including a series of street demonstrations taking place in Tunisia. The events began in December 2010 and led to the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011


The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg was set up under the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950 in order to monitor compliance by Signatory Parties. The European Convention on Human Rights is one of the most important conventions adopted by the Council of Europe. All 47 member states of the Council of Europe are signatories of the Convention

Single European Act (1986) was the first major revision of the Treaty of Rome that formally established the single European market and the European Political Cooperation

Maastricht Treaty (1992) led to the creation of the European Union and was the result of separate negotiations on monetary union and on political union

The 1985 Schengen Agreement is an agreement among most European countries which allows for the abolition of systematic border controls between the participating countries

European Commission is the executive branch of EU

Council of Ministers is the principle decision making institution in the EU

European Council (referred to as a European Summit) is the highest political body of the EU

Council of Europe headquarters is in Strasbourg

The Paris Charter was adopted by a summit meeting of most European governments in addition to those of Canada, the United States and the Soviet Union, in Paris in 1990. The charter was established on the foundation of the Helsinki Accords, and was further amended in the 1999 Charter for European Security. Together, these documents form the agreed basis for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. However not all OSCE member countries have signed the treaty

Copenhagen criteria are the rules that define whether a nation is eligible to join the European Union

President of the European Commission

1958-1967 Walter Hallstein Germany
1967-1970 Jean Rey Belgium
1970-1972 Franco Maria Malfatti Italy
1972-1973 Sicco Mansholt Netherlands
1973-1977 Francois-Xavier Ortoli France
1977-1981 Roy Jenkins United Kingdom
1981-1985 Gaston Thorn Luxembourg
1985-1995 Jacques Delors France
1995-1999 Jacques Santer Luxembourg
1999-2004 Romani Prodi Italy
2004-2014 Jose Manuel Barraso Portugal
2014-2019 Jean-Claude Juncker Luxembourg
2019- Ursula von der Leyen Germany

President of the European Council

2009-2014 Herman van Rompuy Belgium
2019-2019 Donald Tusk Poland
2019- Charles Michel Belgium

European Court of Justice is in Luxembourg

EU elections are held every five years

European Free Alliance (EFA) consists of various regionalist political parties in Europe advocating either full political independence (statehood), or some form of devolution or self-governance for their country or region. Founded in 1981

From 1 January 2007 (when Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU), there were 785 MEPs, but their number fell back to 736 at the elections in 2009, though this will eventually rise to 751, with each member state having at least six and at most 96. Elections occur once every five years

The European People’s Party (EPP) has been the largest party in the European Parliament since 1999, the European Council since 2002 and is also by far the largest party in the current European Commission

Frontex is an agency of the European Union established in 2004 to manage the cooperation between national border guards securing its external borders. Based in Warsaw

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty enables a country to withdraw from EU

Dublin Regulation is an EU law that determines the EU Member State responsible to examine an application for asylum seekers seeking international protection under the Geneva Convention and the EU Qualification Directive, within the European Union


The African Union (AU) is an organization consisting of fifty-three African states. Established in 2001, the AU was formed as a successor to the amalgamated African Economic Community (AEC) and the Organization of African Unity (OAU)

The only African state that is not a member of the African Union is Morocco, which left the AU's predecessor, the OAU, in 1984, when the other member states supported the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The AU's secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is a government in exile founded by the Polisario Front in 1976. It does not currently control the majority of its claimed territory, the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara. Currently, Morocco administers the majority of the territory as its Southern Provinces, called 'Occupied Territory' by the Polisario; the SADR claims to control the rest as what it describes as the Free Zone, seen as a buffer zone by Morocco

Middle East

The term Green Line is used to refer to the 1949 Armistice lines established between Israel and its neighbours (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The Green Line separates Israel not only from these countries but from territories Israel would later capture in the 1967 Six-Day War, including the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula (the latter has since been returned to Egypt). Its name is derived from the green pencil used to draw the line on the map during the talks

Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party was founded in Damascus in 1940 by the Syrian intellectuals Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Bitar

Khaled Mashal been the main leader of the Palestinian organization Hamas since 2004

Fatah is a leading secular Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the confederated multi-party Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

South America

Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is an intergovernmental union integrating two existing customs unions: Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations, as part of a continuing process of South American integration. It is modelled on the European Union

Mercosur is composed of five sovereign member states: Argentina; Brazil; Paraguay; Uruguay; and Venezuela


Commonwealth of Nations is a political association of 54 member states, most of which are former territories of the British Empire

Commonwealth Secretary-General is the head of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the central body which has served the Commonwealth of Nations since its establishment in 1965, and responsible for representing the Commonwealth publicly

Commonwealth Secretary-General

1965-1975 Arnold Smith Canada
1975-1990 Sonny Ramphal Guyana
1990-2000 Emeka Anyaoku Nigeria
2000-2008 Dom McKinnon New Zealand
2008-2016 Kamalesh Sharma India
2016- Patricia Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal Dominica/UK

Group of Seven (G7)

The forum originated with a 1975 summit hosted by France that brought together representatives of six governments: France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, thus leading to the name Group of Six or G6. The summit became known as the Group of Seven or G7 in 1976 with the addition of Canada. Russia was added to the group from 1998 to 2014, which then became known as the G8. The European Union was represented within the G8 since the 1980s but could not host or chair summits

Russia was suspended following the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the group has returned to its previous name of Group of Seven or G7

France and the UK have expressed a desire to expand the group to include five developing countries, referred to as the Outreach Five (O5) or the Plus Five: Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. These countries have participated as guests in meetings that are sometimes called G8+5