1 Nov 2011

Fiji's first post-coup interim prime minister Senilagakali dies

3:32 pm on 1 November 2011

Fiji's first post-coup interim prime minister, Ratu Jona Senilagakali, has died at the age of 81.

In 2006, he was the surprise appointment as head of the interim government when the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, seized power.

A historian at the Australia National University, Dr Brij Lal, says Ratu Jona had a long and distinguished career.

"He became a medical doctor, was then inducted into the civil service - he was permanent secretary - and played quite a critical role in aspects of Fiji's political evolution in the last 20 years or so. His last act was to become the first interim prime minister appointed by Commodore Bainimarama, from which post he was very quickly dismissed."

Dr Brij Lal of the Australia National University