Three of the four newly appointed Cabinet ministers were sworn in during a ceremony at the ICC Tuesday morning.
Chief Justice of the High Court Carl Ingram with Clerk of Courts Ingrid Kabua officiated at the swearing in. This followed a blessing and then brief remarks from President David Kabua. The President described the Cabinet changes, made this past weekend, as an effort to “patch holes” and he added that it took time for him to consider the changes needed prior to making the decision.
Ingram administered the oath of office to new ministers:
• Jack Ading, Minister of Justice, Immigration and Labor
• Ota Kisino, Minister of Culture and Internal Affairs
• Joe Bejang, Minister of Health and Human Services.
Also named to the Cabinet as part of President Kabua’s shakeup of his top leadership was Nitijela Member Wilbur Heine. He was on Mili Atoll and unable to return by boat in time for Tuesday’s ceremony. President’s Office staff said an oath ceremony would be scheduled for Heine when he returns to Majuro.
Since late last year, when the President made his first change to the Cabinet, President Kabua has switched out six of the 10 initially appointed members of his inner circle.
Coupled with six out and six new members in the Cabinet since last October, the President also switched portfolios for two Cabinet ministers remaining in the Cabinet.
Late last year, Alfred Alfred, Jr. and Sandy Alfred were replaced by Brenson Wase and John Silk in Finance and Natural Resources and Commerce, respectively.
In the past week, the President shifted Kessai Note from Justice to Transportation and Communications and Kitlang Kabua from Education to Foreign Affairs. The latter move placed Kitlang in Foreign Affairs two weeks after she was named as chairperson of RMI’s Compact Negotiations Committee. She replaced former Minister Casten Nemra in both roles, while Note took over Donald Capelle’s portfolio.
The four members who were dropped from Cabinet in the past few days were Capelle, Nemra, Jemi Nashion, and Bruce Bilimon.
The four new members are Joe Bejang, Wilbur Heine, Jack Ading and Ota Kisino.
The new appointments were effective Monday this week.