Barbados’ former Prime Minister Owen Seymour Arthur has died.
Seventy-year-old Arthur died Monday morning at 12:26 am, after being hospitalized earlier this month at the Queen Elizabeth for heart complications.
To date, he was the longest serving Barbadian Prime Minister. He was Leader of the Opposition in Barbados from 1 August 1993 to 6 September 1994; and from 23 October 2010 to 21 February 2013.
He led the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to victory in the 1994 general election and won general elections again in 1999 and 2003. In the 2008 general election, his party was defeated by the Democratic Labour Party and its leader David Thompson. Arthur stepped down as party leader, but remained the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Saint Peter. He subsequently returned to lead the BLP in 2010, but he was replaced as party leader after the BLP lost the 2013 general election.
Since the news of Arthur’s passing, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed his condolences.
“Today I pause to pay my respects to a man who served Barbados and the Caribbean with distinction, former Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Seymour Arthur. I am truly saddened by his passing. Owen Arthur was passionate about his country and the dream of regional integration. In the 1990s and early 2000s he helped to shape the political scene in the region. I extend sincere condolences to the family of Owen Arthur and the people of Barbados,” he wrote on Instagram.
The government of Barbados has declared three days of mourning, beginning today.