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Edward Seaga | Leaders react to former PM's passing

Published:Tuesday | May 28, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga - File photo

The country’s leaders and former heads of government have reacted to today’s passing of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga.

He died in a Miami hospital today where he had been receiving treatment for cancer and related complications.

Seaga, who was Jamaica's fifth prime minister, died on his 89th birthday.

Here are their reactions:

Governor- General Sir Patrick Allen:
​His Excellency Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has expressed his deep sorrow at the passing of Edward Seaga, a former Prime Minister and one of the principal architects of Jamaica’s post-Independence governmental structure.  Sir Patrick said Seaga’s long list of achievements in national and political leadership, enlightened policy development, and efficient implementation marked him as a strategic thinker and man of action. He further said the former prime minister evoked a brand of loyalty which was a combination of deep respect and unquestioned love. “Mr. Seaga leaves us a legacy of visionary leadership, sustainable institutional development, and a wealth of ideas and information.  His formidable record of service will ensure the perpetuation of his contribution to the ongoing political maturing of our nation. “We extend our deepest sympathy to his beloved wife, Carla, to his children, grandchildren, other close relatives and friends, and to all who grieve his passing here in Jamaica and across the world,” said the Governor General.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness:
I consider Mr Seaga my political father. He has been a great mentor, friend and guide in imparting the skills on strategic leadership and in building a nation. I owe him & indeed Jamaica owes him a debt of gratitude. He will forever remain in our hearts and minds. #RIPMrSeaga

Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips:
The Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition and President of the People's National Party, Dr Peter Phillips, has described Jamaica’s fifth former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, as a giant in the cultural, social, economic life of independent Jamaica. Phillips says his passing today represents the end of an era in our political and social development. For close to sixty years, Mr Seaga was a gigantic and powerful presence, having started out as an anthropologist, he made his commitment to representational politics and became the first Member of Parliament to serve more than one term in Western Kingston, a seat he represented for a record 43 years, from 1962 until his retirement in 2005.

Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding:
With the passing of Edward Seaga, Jamaica has lost one of its most accomplished nation builders. His contribution to national development spanned more than fifty years from the early 1950s when he conducted research into the social structure and folk culture of both rural communities and Kingston’s city slums. His trailblazing achievements as Minister of Development and Welfare, Minister of Finance and Planning and Prime Minister have left an indelible mark on Jamaica’s institutional development and constitute a huge legacy from which the Jamaican people continue to benefit. He was a strong leader, firm in his convictions and fearless in his approach. He was never daunted by criticism or controversy once he was convinced that the path he was pursuing was the right one. In so many respects, history has vindicated him. Edward Seaga has earned his prominence in the annals of Jamaica’s journey as a nation and his contributions will be one of the pillars on which the greatness that we achieve will rest. He was the youngest member of the Joint Legislative team which crafted our Independence Constitution.

Former Prime Minister PJ Patterson:
In pursuit of his huge and valued portfolio responsibilities, he was trusted with the task of completing the matrix of institutional building which was essential for the modern nation state.  He set out to preserve and promote our rich cultural legacy, while spawning new modules far and wide for our island's development.  He was a leader of strong convictions and purpose, courageous and energetic in the pursuit of a vision dedicated to our uplifted in the eyes of the world.  As the longest serving Parliamentarian, his incisive questions and at times devastating wit enriched the quality of legislative deliberations. Edward Seaga to the very end was blessed with the mental acuity to maintain his attention span for sports, music and the learning process which had influenced the course of his earlier life.

READ: Edward Seaga has died at 89

READ: 10 things about the former prime minister

READ: A snapshot of his political journey

READ: Vim, Vigour And Vitality… Quips and quotes by Edward Seaga

READ: Seaga's family says thanks to Jamaica

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