Wednesday, September 07, 2005
R.I.P Eugenia Charles
Dame Mary Eugenia Charles, DBE (born May 15, 1919 in Pointe Michel, Dominica; died Septenber 7, 2005 in Martinique) was the prime minister of Dominica from July 21, 1980 until June 14, 1995.
She began campaigning in politics during the 1960s against restrictions on press freedom. She helped to found the Dominica Freedom Party of which she served as leader from the early 1970s until 1995. She was elected to Parliament in 1970 and became opposition leader in 1975. Though she and her party were characterized as conservative, this was partially in comparison to socialist leaders in the Caribbean, as she did support some soicial welfare programs. Other issues that were important to her were anti-corruption measures and individual freedom.
Charles became prime minister when her party won elections shortly after Dominica gained full independence from British rule in 1979. She was the first female prime minister in the Caribbean. She resigned when her party lost elections. She also served as foreign minister of Dominica from 1980 to 1990. She was created a dame in 1992.
On August 30, 2005 Eugenia Charles was taken to a hospital for hip replacement surgery and died from complications on September 7, 2005.
rest in peace!