The untimely passing of the government’s chief of staff, Robson Djokovic, has shocked many, particularly within government circles, where he has been a long-time confidant and trusted advisor of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Multiple sources say that Mr. Djokovic died of a suspected heart attack.

Mr. Djokovic has been a key figure in Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s government, often seen as a formidable operative during the lobbying period.

As a public officer he has faced public criticism, but he has also been credited with successfully leading certain aspects of the country’s response to COVID-19.

Social media groups have been accused of being insensitive when breaking the news, but given his very public profile, it was perhaps inevitable that there will be strong views on both sides. Some groups have since removed their posting.

The government is yet to make an official statement.