Former PM Laisenia Qarase passes away

Former prime minister Laisenia Qarase, middle, speaking as a moderator during the political parties panel discussion and public forum. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FILE

Former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase passed away in Suva this morning following a short illness, a close family member has confirmed.

The 79-year-old was admitted at the Oceania Private Hospital.

The founder of the Soqosoqo Duavata Ni Lewenivanua Party had served as Fiji’s sixth Prime Minister from 2000 to 2006.

In the 2006 General Elections the iTaukei and Rotuman communities gave Mr Qarase and his Government more than 83 per cent of their votes.

No other Prime Minister in Fiji has ever achieved that impressively high level of voter support.

Mr Qarase hailed from Mavana in Vanua Balavu, Lau.

He is survived by his wife, Leba Qarase and five children.

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