Monday 15 July, 2019

State funeral for Seaga

In this October 16, 2002 file photo, former Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga leaves a polling station after voting in the general election, in Kingston, Jamaica. Seaga, who shaped the island s post-independence politics and cultural life, died Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Seaga was 89. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)

In this October 16, 2002 file photo, former Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga leaves a polling station after voting in the general election, in Kingston, Jamaica. Seaga, who shaped the island s post-independence politics and cultural life, died Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Seaga was 89. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)

Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Edward Seaga, will be accorded a state funeral.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in a brief statement to the parliament on Tuesday.

Holness said Seaga’s remains will be flown back to Jamaica at the earliest possible time and his body will lie in state at a date to be announced.

Meanwhile, both Holness and Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen have expressed sorrow at the passing of the country’s fifth prime minister.

In a statement issued earlier, Holness, who shared a close bond with Seaga who introduced him to politics, informed that he transitioned Tuesday at approximately 1:00 pm Jamaica time. 

He noted that Seaga had been receiving treatment in the United States and had his family with him. Holness had visited with Seaga last Wednesday. He passed away on his 89th birthday on Tuesday.

Holness also shared that the Seaga family has asked that he express gratitude on their behalf for the many prayers and messages of comfort and support offered by the people of Jamaica.

Meanwhile, Sir Patrick described Seaga as “one of the principal architects of Jamaica’s post-Independence governmental structure.”

“His 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 evoked a brand of loyalty which was a combination of deep respect and unquestioned love,” Sir Patrick said.

He added that: “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.”

While some Members of Parliament paid tribute on Tuesday, a special sitting of the parliament will be convened to properly pay tribute to the man who served in the House of Representatives for 43 unbroken years as MP for West Kingston.

The House observed a minute’s silence in his honour on Tuesday.

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