Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, 67, announced in a national broadcast on Sunday (March 15) that he would resign on March 28 because of poor health.
Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, 67, announced in a national broadcast on Sunday (March 15) that he would resign on March 28 because of poor health. He has undergone five major operations in recent years.
Manley became prime minister in 1972, won another term of office in 1976, but lost the 1980 general election to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
He and his People's National Party (PNP) boycotted elections in 1983, accusing the JLP of not honouring an agreement over reform of the electoral rolls.
In July 1986, Manley's PNP won 57 per cent of the vote in local elelctions for 14 district councils, against 43 per cent for the JLP, signalling that his fortunes had turned.
He returned to power after a resounding victory against his old JLP rival Edward Seaga in 1989 elections, which were marked by violence.
Manley, who in previous terms as prime minister had steered his country leftwards and strengthened ties to Cuba, has made private investment and close ties to the United States a priority in his present term.
But Manley's health problems, which have included blood clots and prostate cancer, have marred his efforts to run the former British colony.
He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1969, the same year that he succeeded his father as PNP leader, which automatically made him parliamentary opposition leader.