Tuvalu’s acting prime minister Seve Paeniu says his country is mourning the loss of an important and influential figure after its deputy prime minister Alapati Taupo died while attending a community event on Monday.
60 year-old Taupo was a VIP guest on the island of Nui to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the Chapel on the island.
But soon after delivering his remarks he collapsed in the meeting hall and could not be resuscitated.
“He held a very important ministerial portfolio in cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister but also in terms of fisheries being the single highest source of revenue and income to Tuvalu under his portfolio fisheries.
So he played and held a very important role within the government and within cabinet,” the acting PM said.
Paeniu said plans are still being put together by the government and his family for Taupo’s state funeral.