Seaga, Edward

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Edward Seaga (sē´ägä), 1930–, prime minister of Jamaica (1980–89). Born in Boston, Mass., to Jamaican parents of Lebanese and Scottish descent, he was a record producer before entering politics. Elected to parliamnent in 1962, he was minister of welfare and development (1962–67) and finance minister (1967–72). He became leader of the conservative Jamaican Labor party (JLP) in 1974, and in 1980 the JLP won the elections and he became prime minister. Seaga severed relations with Cuba, promoted close ties with the United States, and emphasized free-market policies. In 1989 the JLP lost to the People's National party in a landslide and Michael Manley became prime minister. Seaga retired from parliament and as JLP leader in 2005.