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Prime Minister Andrew Holness recently flew to Miami to visit 89-year-old former Prime Minister of Jamaica, The Rt. Hon. Edward Seaga, who has been hospitalized there since Wednesday, May 8. After visiting his mentor, the PM issued a statement in which he disclosed that the former JLP leader is being kept under close medical supervision; and is believed to be in good spirits. The reports appearing in the Caribbean media about his illness and subsequent hospitalization received official confirmation through a statement issued by his wife, Clara. She thanked everyone for their prayers and love expressed through messages etc.
Seaga Was Still Active at 89
Edward Seaga has an active career holding a three-year appointment at the University of Technology (UTech) as its Chancellor through to November 2020. The reports that he suddenly took ill when he was travelling appear to be true. He officially turns 89, later this month, on May 28th. He had earlier served as an honorary distinguished fellow at the professorial level at the University of the West Indies (UWI). This was after he quit active politics in 2005 after being one of the longest serving Members of Parliament.
Long Political Career: 9 Years as Prime Minister of Jamaica
Any mention of Edward Seaga would be incomplete without referring to his being the only surviving member out of the framers of the Constitution. His entry into politics preceded the country’s independence. He became a member of the then Legislative Council in 1959, three years before independence. The significance of his popularity among the voting public can be gauged by the fact that he remained an MP for West Kingston, from 1962 to 2005. No other politician in Jamaica has had that kind of a record.
As the undisputed leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), the crowning glory of Edward Seaga’s political career was serving as the country’s Prime Minister for 9 years from 1980 to 1989. Political pundits say he played a key role in designing the country’s financial and planning infrastructure once Jamaica obtained independence from British rule. He had a special eye for the national heritage and took steps to preserve them.
Onlookers and loved ones remain hopeful that Former PM Seaga will recover from his illness and celebrate his 89th birthday at home. PM Holness’ statement indicates that Seaga was informed of “the many expressions of concern, love, prayers and good wishes for him from the Jamaican people” and the former PM “expressed his deep gratitude and love for the Jamaican people whom he served all his life”.