Nearshore Americas

Former PM of Jamaica Edward Seaga Dies Aged 89

Edward Seaga, who served as Jamaica’s prime minister from 1980-89 and was the country’s longest-serving member of parliament, has died aged 89.

Seaga won a landslide victory in 1980 as leader of the Labour Party in elections marred by violence, in which around 800 people died in clashes between rival partisans.

Despite his defeat in the 1989 elections, Seaga remained Labour’s leader until 2005.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1930 to Jamaican and Lebanese parents, Seaga was appointed to the country’s upper house, the Legislative Council, in 1959, at the age of 29, the youngest member to be appointed.

He was elected a member of parliament for West Kingston in 1962 and, in the same year, was among the legislators who drafted the country’s constitution when Jamaica gained its independence from Britain.

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A Harvard graduate, prior to entering politics Seaga was deeply involved in Kingston’s music scene and owned and managed the West Indies Records label.

Adam Critchley

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