New RMI leaders sworn in

President David Kabua, third from left seated, with his new Cabinet at the January 13 swearing-in ceremony at the ICC in Majuro. Seated, from left: Ministers Kessai Note and Chris Loeak, President Kabua, Ministers Bruce Bilimon, Kitlang Kabua and Sandy Alfred. Standing, from left: Ministers Casten Nemra, Donald Capelle, Alfred Alfred, Jr., Jemi Nashion and Jiba Kabua. Photo: Hilary Hosia.

President David Kabua’s new Cabinet lineup was officially announced to RMI ministry secretaries and department heads last Friday by the Clerk of Cabinet, Earlie Bing.
According to the memo, Speaker Kenneth Kedi formally appointed President Kabua as the ninth president of the RMI last Friday. He was elected by Nitijela Monday of the same week.

Following this protocol appointment, Kabua then proceeded to allocate 10 ministerial portfolios. Kabua and his 10 ministers were sworn in Monday this week by High Court Chief Justice Carl Ingram.

Three of the ministers receiving portfolios are starting their first term in office as members of parliament (MPs): Jaluit’s Jemi Nashion, Minister of Culture and Internal Affairs, Kwajalein’s Kitlang Kabua, Minister of Education, Sports and Training, and Majuro’s Sandy Alfred, Minister of Natural Resources and Commerce.

Two others who received portfolios are back in office after a one or more term hiatus: Former Nitijela Speaker Donald Capelle, Minister of Transportation, Communication and Information Technology, and Jiba Kabua, Minister of Works, Infrastructure and Utilities.
Former President Kessai Note, the longest-serving member of Nitijela, is back in Cabinet for the first time since he left the presidency in 2008: He is the Minister of Justice, Immigration and Labor.

Former President Chris Loeak is the Minister in Assistance to the President and of Environment, former President Casten Nemra is Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Bruce Bilimon is Minister of Health and Human Services, and Alfred Alfred, Jr. is Minister of Finance, Banking and Postal Service — the latter three are second term MPs.

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