President David Kabua nominated Ebon Nitijela Member John Silk to Cabinet Tuesday, and Speaker Kenneth Kedi confirmed the nomination late Tuesday afternoon.
This is the President’s second appointment of a former opposition Nitijela Member to his Cabinet, a development that largely blurs political lines in Nitijela, giving the President wide latitude to choose from the membership for Cabinet replacements.
Silk was sworn into his new post by High Court Chief Justice Carl Ingram Wednesday morning in a ceremony at Cabinet. He is taking up the Natural Resources and Commerce portfolio, replacing Majuro Nitijela Member Sandy Alfred, who has been sidelined by illness much of this year.
Silk is one of the more experienced Nitijela members currently serving. He was first elected to parliament in the 1999 national election. He served as Minister of Resources and Development — the forerunner to NRC —during President Kessai Note’s term in office from 2000-2008. He was minister of Foreign Affairs during President Hilda Heine’s term in office, 2016-2020.
President Kabua’s appointment of Silk is the second change in the past month, adding two former opposition party members to his Cabinet. New Finance Minister Brenson Wase was the first change in the President’s Cabinet lineup, made last month.