Josefa Iloilo, the former Fijian president whose scrapping of his island nation’s constitution and sacking of its legislature enraged regional powers Australia and New Zealand, has died aged 91.

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Josefa Iloilo, the former Fijian president whose scrapping of his island nation’s constitution and sacking of its legislature cemented the grip of a 2006 military coup that isolated his country and enraged regional powers Australia and New Zealand, has died aged 91.

Canberra and Wellington have reacted to the death of Iloilo – described by many as a good man caught in a bad situation – with deafening silence. This is a bad sign for the already-dismal relations between the countries, who have been at odds since his 2009 moves effectively legitimised the military government of Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who then began Fiji’s recently accelerated drift away from their sphere of influence.

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