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Jim Marurai

Assumed office 
December 14, 2004
Preceded by Robert Woonton
Constituency Ivirua

Born July 9, 1947
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Tuaine Marurai (deceased) **did not die in 2005**

Jim Marurai (born 9 July 1947) has been the prime minister of the Cook Islands since December 14, 2004 when he was elected by parliament by a vote of 14-9. He is a member of the Democratic Party (named Democratic Alliance Party from 1997 to 2003), the same party as his predecessor, Robert Woonton. Due to internal disputes, he left the Democrats in 2005 to form the Cook Islands First Party, governing in coalition with the Cook Islands Party. This agreement later broke down, and he formed a new coalition with the Democrats. He returned to the Democrats before the 2006 elections, remaining Prime Minister but not becoming party leader. Marurai was previously the minister of education. Marurai is a graduate of University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. As a secondary school student Marurai attended Tereora College in Rarotonga and was known as Niu World. He is from Ivirua, Mangaia.

Marurai's wife, Tuaine Marurai, died on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 in Auckland, New Zealand after suffering from cancer. She was 56. She was buried on her home island of Mangaia.[1]

In May 2006, Marurai had a private audience and courtesy call with Emperor Akihito of Japan at the Tokyo Imperial Palace.[2] Marurai visit was part of the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 2006), which was held in Okinawa on May 26-27, 2006.[2]

On 23 December 2009, Marurai sacked his Deputy Prime Minister, Terepai Maoate, sparking a mass-resignation of Democratic Party cabinet members[3][4] He was subsequently expelled from the Democratic Party.[5]

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