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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Jan. 6, 2004 – Dominica's Prime Minister Pierre Charles, who had been on a leave of absence for two months because of heart problems, collapsed suddenly on Tuesday afternoon and was pronounced dead at Princess Margaret Hospital in Roseau. He was 49.
The death was announced in a statement by government press secretary Sean Douglas.
In November 2003, Charles's physicians ordered him to take a leave of absence because he "needed to rest," Douglas said on Tuesday.
Last February, Charles underwent an angioplasty surgical procedure in Trinidad after having complained of chest pains while attending a summit of Caribbean leaders. The procedure involves the insertion of a balloon to open narrow or blocked blood vessels. Douglas said the procedure was repeated in August in Atlanta after doctors determined that Charles needed "dilation of his coronary artery."
There had been growing concerns about the prime minister's health in recent months, including calls by members of his own party for him to step down. Since Charles went on leave two months ago, Dominica's trade and foreign affairs minister, Osborne Riviere, has been serving as acting prime minister.
Charles was born on June 30, 1954, in the village of Grand Bay in southern Dominica. He became prime minister following the death in October 2000 of Prime Minister Roosevelt Douglas, who had held the position for only eight months. Prior to that, Charles had served as the country's minister of communication and works.
Throughout Tuesday evening, radio stations on the island of some 70,000 inhabitants played solemn music in Charles's memory.
Arrangements for a state funeral were to be announced.

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