Former Fiji PM Ratu Tevita Momoedonu dies

Fiji is mourning the loss of a former prime minister who headed the country twice but for the shortest period during one of the darkest moments of its history.

Ratu Tevita Momoedonu died last Thursday at Lautoka Hospital aged 74.

He was prime minister twice - each time briefly. Both appointments were engineered to get around constitutional technicalities during political turmoil which followed Fiji's 2000 coup.

His first term of office - on 27 May 2000 lasted only a few minutes. His second term lasted two days - from 14 to 16 March 2001.

Momoedonu also served in various senior government positions and was an ambassador to Japan and South Korea.

Using his chiefly title of Taukei Sawaieke, he had pushed for the Yasana of Ba (province) to secede from the Burebasaga and Kubuna Confederacies.

He sought to form a fourth confederacy under the Tui Vuda, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, who died in 2011.

Momoedonu recently hosted the Ba Provincial Council meeting at the chiefly village of Viseisei in Vuda.

Preparations by the vanua of Vuda are underway for his funeral on Friday.

Momoedonu is survived by his wife, five children, 26 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.