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First female speaker of Fiji Parliament dies at 72

Dr Jiko Luveni, the first female speaker of Fiji’s Parliament, has died in office at the age of 72.

Her death Saturday morning was announced by the Office of the Secretary-General to Parliament. No cause of death was released, but Luveni was said to have died after a short illness.

Luveni first served for eight years as minister for women, social welfare and poverty alleviation in the interim government of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who seized power in a 2006 coup.

She won formal election to Parliament in 2014 and became Fiji’s first female speaker in October that year. She was re-elected in last month’s general election and retained the role of speaker.

Luveni was also the first woman to graduate in dentistry from the Fiji School of Medicine.

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