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Sudden death comes as Fono prepared to be High Commissioner to PNG

By Douglas Marau HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 28, 2011) – In the Solomons, former deputy Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Central Kwara’ae Fred Iro Fono passed away on Monday night.

The late Fono passed away at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) at about 11pm.

He was believed to have suffered from a short illness over the weekend after returning from Auki, Malaita province last week on Friday.

The late Fono started feeling sick over the weekend after experiencing stomach ache which led to excessive vomiting, relatives confirmed.

He was rushed to the NRH on Monday night but doctors could not do much to save him.

[PIR editor’s note: In a separate story, ‘Prime Minister Lilo describes the news of the late Fono’s death as shocking, unbelievable and sad news for the country.’]

The late Fono was preparing to take up his new role as the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea next year.

He has been the MP for Central Kwara’ae for 13 years from 1997-2010 until he lost the seat to current MP Jackson Fiulaua.

Late Fono served as chief commercial officer of the corporate division of the ministry of commerce & primary industries and as provincial secretary for Malaita province before being elected to Parliament in 1997.

Whilst in Parliament he held various posts such as the Development Planning Minister, deputy Speaker, National Planning Aid Coordination Minister, Opposition Leader and once as the deputy Prime Minister under the Sikua led regime (CNURA).

The 49 year old politician is survived by his wife Abby, his two daughters Joy and Rachel and his son Fred Junior.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo yesterday paid tribute to his fallen comrade describing him as a ‘true friend’.

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