New Cook Islands Prime Minister Jim Marurai and his Cabinet were sworn in on Tuesday afternoon.
In the new Cabinet are Demo Party Tumu deputy leader Marurai and party member Peri Vaevae Pare, Piho Rua (Independent), and Cook Islands Party members Sir Geoffrey Henry, Tupou Faireka and Tom Marsters.
Marurai’s name was put forward for PM in a motion of confidence moved by Deputy Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Henry and seconded by Faireka.
Addressing Parliament before his swearing in, Marurai, the country’s first Mangaian prime minister, said his government would respect the very things Cook Islanders valued – love for one another, hard work, sustainable development, vigorous economic pursuits, fear and worship of God, and protection of the environment.
He also thanked his constituency and wife and family for their support.
“To all the people of Mangaia, I am proud to be given this honour to lead our country for the next two years.”
The prime minister also expressed his gratitude to coalition partner the Cook Islands Party.
“We the Demo Tumu Party look forward to working with you and your party as a loyal partner for the next four years and beyond. To the people of this nation, I ask for your prayers and support for our coalition government.”
Earlier in the day former Atiu MP Norman George was chosen as Speaker of the House and sworn in by Queen’s Representative Sir Frederick Goodwin.
An informal vote by MPs saw him win the position over Democratic Party nominee Mapu Taia, 13-9.