Monday 22 July, 2019

SEAGA UPDATE: Wife says he is in stable condition

Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga (centre) being greeted by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the renaming ceremony of the North South Highway in June 2018. Seaga's wife, Carla (right) looks on.

Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga (centre) being greeted by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the renaming ceremony of the North South Highway in June 2018. Seaga's wife, Carla (right) looks on.

Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Edward Seaga, is in stable condition and receiving excellent care in the Miami hospital where he was admitted in the United States, his wife, Carla, has said in a statement that was issued through Jamaica House on Thursday.

News broke earlier in the day that Seaga, who served as Jamaica’s fifth prime minister between 1980 and 1989, was admitted to hospital in serious condition. He had reportedly been receiving medical care for a number of weeks.

While the release did not indicate the nature of his health challenge, a source close to the family said the former Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader is being treated for cancer.

The statement quoted Mrs Seaga as saying that her husband is “receiving excellent medical care and is sustained too by the love of his family and friends.

"We continue to pray for him and support him in his present stable environment," she added, while expressing thanks to persons who have been offering their love, prayers and support.

Mrs Seaga said her husband, who turns 89 on May 28, will continue to receive treatment at the facility where he has been admitted.

Seaga famously won a landslide victory over Michael Manley’s People’s National Party (PNP) in the hotly-contested October 1980 General Elections on his ‘deliverance’ agenda.

The JLP comfortably remained in office for nine years, as the PNP boycotted a snap election that was called by Seaga in 1983.

Seaga is the last surviving member of the framers of the Jamaican Constitution. He served as JLP leader for 31 years, and as Member of Parliament (MP) for West Kingston for 43 years, from 1962 until his retirement in 2005, the longest ever by a Jamaican politician.

His retirement from active politics marked the end of an era, as he was the last of Jamaica’s serving politicians to have entered public life before independence in 1962, him having been appointed to the Legislative Council (now the Senate) in 1959.

On his retirement from active politics in January 2005, he was appointed honorary distinguished fellow at the professorial level at the University of the West Indies (UWI).

He currently serves as Chancellor of the University of Technology (UTech), where he was reappointed to a three-year term with effect from November 17, 2017.

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