24 Apr 2004

Fiji's President Iloilo wants to come back for Mara funeral

7:47 am on 24 April 2004

Fiji's ailing 83-year-old President Iloilo wants to return from Australia in time for the funeral of the longtime prime minister and former president, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

President Iloilo has undergone medical treatment in Sydney.

Well-informed government sources say President Iloilo has undergone surgery and is recuperating, but his official spokesman would not confirm this.

The spokesman would only say that President Iloilo would be back in time for Ratu Mara's state funeral service in Suva next Friday.

Meanwhile, the vice-president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, who tried to usurp the presidency from Ratu Mara during the May 2000 coup, is acting as president and receiving condolences on President Iloilo's behalf.