Seasoned politician and FLP president Padarath passes away

FLP president Lavinia Padarath died today at 74, family member confirms. Picture: FT FILE

FIJI’S seasoned politician and the president of the Fiji Labour Party(FLP) Lavinia Padarath has passed away, aged 74.

This was confirmed to Fiji Times Online by her son Benjamin Padarath who confirmed that the late Ms Padarath died at the CWM hospital this morning after a short illness.

“We are deeply saddened on the untimely passing away of my mother. We are at peace that she is at a better place right now in Heaven,” Mr  Padarath said.

He said family members had met earlier this afternoon and they had also informed relatives overseas as well.

Meanwhile, FLP  leader Mahendra Chaudhry said Ms Padarath’s passing was a great loss to the party.

According to Mr Chaudhry, the late Ms Padarath was a well-known women’s rights activist and trade unionist.

Ms Padarath was one of the founding members of the FLP and served as its Minister for Women, Culture and Social Welfare in the 1999/2000 Labour Government, and appointed a Senator in the Upper House in 2006.

She was among five other Labour Ministers who were held hostage at gunpoint in Parliament for 35 days following the 2000 coup.

She was appointed party president in 2011 following the passing away of former president Jokapeci Koroi.

Ms Padarath is survived by her two sons, Ben and Julian, daughter Anna and four grandchildren.

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