Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced this afternoon that State protocol has already been engaged, and that the body of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga will be flown back to Jamaica “at the earliest possible time”.
“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,” Holness told the House of Representatives.
He said that Seaga’s body will lie in state over a period of time for mourning prior to his state funeral, and there will also be a special sitting of Parliament to allow members to pay tribute to him and his achievements.
Seaga died today on his 89th birthday surrounded by his family, friends and a team of Jamaican doctors who had been fighting to keep him alive since early May.
The government confirmed his death this afternoon, noting that he had died at approximately one o’clock.
Speculation had been, for the past week, that the globally respected Jamaican politician was close to death, however family and friends stayed and prayed with him hoping that he would overcome his latest challenge and return home.
Seaga was the second person to lead the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), which was founded by the late National Hero, Sir Alexander Bustamante, but he was the longest serving leader of the party he headed for 31 years, 1974 to 2005, compared to Sir Alexander’s 24 years as leader (1943 to 1967).