Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama undergoes urgent heart surgery in Australia
Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is recovering in Australia after undergoing urgent heart surgery, according to the Fijian government.
Mr Bainimarama underwent unexpected surgery after a routine check-up in Melbourne revealed a cardiovascular problem
The 67-year-old is expected to make a full recovery and return to his role by the end of February
News of Mr Bainimarama comes after he has not been seen in public for over a week
Fiji Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told a press conference on Saturday that the Prime Minister is currently in Melbourne where he underwent surgery on Thursday morning.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, who is also caretaker prime minister, said the 67-year-old was recovering and had been in contact with his family after the operation.
“We are very happy to report that it was a great success. He is now on the right path to recovery,” he said.
Mr Bainimarama had been in Melbourne a week before for a scheduled medical examination when he was told he would need urgent medical treatment.
“Our Prime Minister has been advised by his doctor that he needs to undertake urgent surgery related to the cardiovascular system,” Mr Sayed-Kaiyum said.
Mr. Bainimarama is expected to make a full recovery and return to duty by the end of February.
“According to doctor’s orders, this type of surgery takes at least weeks to recover from,” Sayed-Kaiyum said.
The news of Mr Bainamara comes after questions about his whereabouts were raised by local media due to his inability to travel to affected areas after Tropical Cyclone Cody on January 10.
The Prime Minister had not been seen in public since January 5 and government officials only confirmed that he was abroad.
Earlier rumors that the prime minister was in New Zealand were dismissed as ‘fake news’ by the man himself, tweeting a selfie from a shop in the Fijian capital, Suva.
It is common for Pacific leaders to seek treatment in neighboring countries such as Australia or New Zealand.