David Kabua

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David Kabua
David Kabua official portrait.jpg
9th President of the Marshall Islands
Assumed office
13 January 2020
Preceded byHilda Heine
10th Minister in Assistance to the President
In office
11 January 2016 – 28 January 2016
PresidentCasten Nemra
Preceded byWilbur Heine
Succeeded byMattlan Zackhras
Personal details
Born (1951-05-26) May 26, 1951 (age 71)
Majuro
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Ginger Kabua[1]
Children3
Parent(s)

David Kabua (born May 26, 1951) is a Marshallese politician who has served as President of the Marshall Islands since 13 January 2020. He has represented Wotho Atoll in the Legislature of the Marshall Islands since 2008 and served terms as Minister of Health and Internal Affairs.

Early life[edit]

Kabua was born in Majuro in 1951 as the second son of the first President of the Marshall Islands, Amata Kabua, and his wife Emlain Kabua.[2][3] He was educated in Xavier High School in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia where he graduated in 1971 and later studied at the University of Hawaii.[3][4] Kabua subsequently worked as teacher aid, student liaison officer and general manager of the Marshall Islands Development Authority. He was the consul general of the Marshall Islands in Orange County, California, United States, for four years. He also worked as a private business owner for a decade.[3]

Political career[edit]

In the 2007 Marshallese general election Kabua was elected to the Legislature of the Marshall Islands for Wotho Atoll for the first time. He was re-elected in the 2011 Marshallese general election.[3] During his second term he served as Minister of Health from 2012 and 2013[5][6] and in 2014 he was made Minister of Internal Affairs in a cabinet reshuffle.[7] He was once again elected in the 2015 Marshallese general election.[3] He was Minister in Assistance to the President of Marshall Islands in the cabinet of Casten Nemra in January 2016.[citation needed]

During the 2019 Marshallese general election he was re-elected for Wotho Atoll with 120 votes.[8] On 6 January 2020 Kabua was elected President of the Marshall Islands by the national legislature by a vote of 20–12 with one abstention. He succeeded Hilda Heine, who was seeking a second term, but lost in the first session vote.[9] Kabua said that combating climate change, negotiating with the US regarding the extension of a funding arrangement that expires in 2024 and addressing the issue of Runit Dome as the top priorities of his presidency.[10] Meaghan Tobin, writing for the South China Morning Post described Kabua as a moderate politician who would continue the country's relationship with Taiwan.[11]

In September 2020, in the lead up to the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations Kabua wrote a public letter to The Guardian in which warned about the risks of climate change to his country, stating that his country could disappear.[12]

Cabinet[edit]

Kabua and his cabinet were sworn into office by Chief Justice Carl Ingram of the High Court of the Marshall Islands on 13 January 2020.[13]

Ministry Minister Period
Minister in Assistance to the President and of Environment Christopher Loeak 13 January 2020
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Casten Nemra 13 January 2020
Minister of Health and Human Services Bruce Bilimon 13 January 2020
Minister of Finance, Banking and Postal Service Alfred Alfred Jr. 13 January 2020
Minister of Transportation, Communication and Information Technology Donald Capelle 13 January 2020
Minister of Works, Infrastructure and Utilities Jiba Kabua 13 January 2020
Minister of Justice, Immigration and Labor Kessai Note 13 January 2020
Minister of Culture and Internal Affairs Jemi Nashion 13 January 2020
Minister of Education, Sports and Training Kitlang Kabua 13 January 2020
Minister of Natural Resources and Commerce Sandy Alfred 13 January 2020

Personal life[edit]

Kabua is married to Ginger Kabua, together they have three children.[1][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Johnson, Giff (20 January 2020). "Marshalls' President Kabua's inauguration set for Monday". Radio New Zealand. Archived from the original on 18 October 2020.
  2. ^ Loeak, Anono Lieom; Kiluwe, Veronica C.; Crowl, Linda (September 14, 2004). Life in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. editorips@usp.ac.fj. ISBN 9789820203648 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "President". Office of the President and Cabinet. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Members". Legislature of the Marshall Islands. Archived from the original on 21 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Presidential Cabinet". Rmiembassyus.org. Archived from the original on 30 March 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  6. ^ Inc., IBP (4 April 2013). Marshall Islands Land Ownership and Agricultural Laws Handbook - Strategic Information and Basic Laws. Lulu.com. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-4387-5952-4.
  7. ^ "Marshall Islands - Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak has defeated a second vote of no confidence last Tuesday, by a vote of 17-13". Tfbmicronesia.com. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  8. ^ "RMI Final Election Results". Marshall Islands Guide. 24 September 2019. Archived from the original on 13 September 2020.
  9. ^ "New president for Marshall Islands". Radio New Zealand. 6 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Marshalls' president-elect anticipating challenging term". Radio New Zealand. 6 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  11. ^ Tobin, Meaghan (6 January 2020). "Marshall Islands' new president David Kabua likely to keep diplomatic ties with Taiwan". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 8 June 2020.
  12. ^ "The climate crisis will sweep away my country if the world doesn't keep its promises". The Guardian. 20 September 2020. Archived from the original on 28 October 2020.
  13. ^ "New RMI leaders sworn in". The Marshall Islands Journal. 16 January 2020. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020.
Political offices
Preceded by President of the Marshall Islands
2020–present
Incumbent