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President Kabua’s inauguration set for Monday in Majuro

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MAJURO — The formal inauguration for the new government of Marshall Islands President David Kabua is set for today, Monday in Majuro, with heads of state from arriving this weekend to attend the ceremony.

Marshall Islands President David Kabua takes the oath of office January 13 in Majuro as his wife, first lady Ginger Kabua, holds the Bible. High Court Chief Justice Carl Ingram and Clerk of Courts Ingrid Kabua conduct the oath ceremony.
Marshall Ilands President David Kabua, seated third from left, with his new cabinet, including Education Minister Kitlang Kabua, seated second from right, the youngest member of parliament ever elected at 28. She is one of two women in parliament including former President Hilda Heine.  Photos by Hilary Hosia

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie is scheduled to join Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr., Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo, Nauru President Lionel Aingimea, and other heads of state in Majuro for the ceremony taking placed two weeks after Kabua was elected the ninth president of the Marshall Islands.

Kabua and his 10-member cabinet took their oath of office January 13 after the cabinet lineup was announced. The new cabinet includes the youngest member of parliament, and one of only two women in the 33-seat parliament, new Education Minister Kitlang Kabua, who was elected for the first time in the November 18 national election to represent Kwajalein in the Nitijela (parliament). At 28, she is the youngest MP ever elected to Nitijela and to gain a cabinet portfolio. She and former President Hilda Heine are the only women in Nitijela.

The cabinet also includes three former presidents: Kessai Note in Justice, Christopher Loeak as Minister in Assistance to the President and for Environment, and Casten Nemra, the new foreign minister.

The new President is expected to deliver a state of the nation speech during the inauguration ceremony on Monday. In brief remarks when he was elected January 6, Kabua said negotiation of a new financial aid package with the United States, concerns about nuclear test contamination at the former nuclear test site of Enewetak Atoll, and climate change were three of the items on his agenda.

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