Kingston May 28, 2019 (JIS) - Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the late former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, was truly a great Jamaican.
Mr. Seaga, who was Jamaica's fifth Prime Minister, died in a hospital in the United States today (May 28), where he had been receiving treatment. He was 89 years old.
Speaking in the House of Representatives, Mr. Holness said Mr. Seaga assisted in framing the country's Constitution.
"He served this country for most of his life. He was in this Parliament for over 40 years. He is truly, a great Jamaican. He participated in the framing of the Constitution and the development of so many institutions which now define Jamaica,” Mr. Holness said.
The Prime Minister said arrangements are in place for the body of the late former Prime Minister to be flown back to Jamaica.
"We expect that he will be accompanied by his wife and other family members and he will be received by the Government with the appropriate honour guard in place. Thereafter, there will be a State funeral and before that, his body will lie in State and we will advise of a period of mourning," the Prime Minister said.
He said a special sitting of the House will be held where Members can pay their respect to the late Prime Minister. The Prime Minister said the passing of Mr. Seaga was a difficult time for him.
"It is, personally, a trying time for me, and I know it is also a very trying time for his family. And though they were prepared and I was prepared, at the point of the event you still can’t help but feel the emotional void that has been created by his passing," he said.
He said Mr. Seaga expressed thanks to the Jamaican people for their prayers when he visited him in the hospital.
"All Jamaica should know that when I was about to leave the hospital room, I held his hands and he squeezed my hands and said, ‘Thank you, Andrew, and tell the Jamaican people thanks for everything’," he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Opposition, Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Rev. Ronald Thwaites, expressed condolences on behalf of the Opposition.
He said Mr. Seaga dedicated his life to the Jamaican people.