A former Solomon Islands Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu has died in Honiara at the age of 56.
The National Referral Hospital has confirmed that Mr Ulufa'alu died before midday today after suffering from a long illness.
Mr Ulufa'alu became the prime minister in 1997 but was forced from office in June 2000 following a coup led by the Malaita Eagle Force militia.
He founded the Solomon Islands General Workers Union and was leader at the time of independence in 1978.
He later founded the Solomon Islands Liberal Party.