I had a lengthy interview with Dr Jiko when I was last in Fiji. She struck me as a very able, sincere and warm-hearted woman. Parliament will miss her guidance. My condolences to her family. May she Rest in Peace. -- Croz Walsh
The Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni has passed away.
Dr Luveni was 72 years of age and became Speaker when she was elected to the position on 6 October 2014.
Her appointment was a historic one as it was the first time in Fiji’s history that a woman was elected to the position of Speaker of Parliament.
During the 2014 General Elections, she was among eight women candidates who won seats in Fiji’s new Parliament.
Dr Luveni was re‑elected again in Parliament on Monday 26 November this year, straight after the 2018 General Elections.
Luveni is from the village of Nukuni on the island of Ono‑i‑Lau.
She graduated as the first woman dentist from the Fiji School of Medicine as well as from the University of Sydney.
Dr Luveni served as a dentist in all Divisions in Fiji for 20 years with special interest in Public Health Dentistry.
She was also a tutor in Public Health Dentistry at the Fiji School of Medicine.
In 1988, she worked as a Program management officer for the United Nations Population Fund and for 15 years she served various Pacific island countries.
Dr Luveni worked as the HIV/AIDS Project Officer for the Ministry of Health for five years. In this role, she helped set up the organisation, Fiji Network for People Living with HIV and AIDS, that played an effective role in reducing fear and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS throughout Fiji.
She was also the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation for 8 years before the General Elections in 2014.
A full statement is expected to be released by the Parliament Secretary General Viniana Namosimalua.