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Barbados PM David Thompson dies of pancreatic cancer

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David Thompson is the third Barbados leader in 25 years who has died in office, according to the Jamaica Observer. The Prime Minister died at his home in the early hours yesterday aged just 48. He had been seriously ill for the past few months and was officially diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September.

Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney General Freundel Stuart had taken over Thompson’s role during his illness and has since been sworn in as the country’s new leader.

Thompson, who had been Prime Minister of the Carribean nation since 2008, delivered an address to the nation last month. He decided to appear on radio instead of television, so people would focus on his words rather than his appearance, the LA Times states.

In the speech, he announced he would be reshuffling his Cabinet and passing on many of his own responsibilities to other ministers.

Other Carribean leaders have issued messages of condolence following his death, such as Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, who said: “It is a loss to not only the people of Barbados, but also the people of the Caribbean,“ the Press Association cites.

Thompson was the protege of Errol Barrow, the founder and leader of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), who led to country into independence 44 years ago, the Jamaica Observer states. In 2008, Thompson rose to power with a landslide victory.

Other celebrities who have battled with pancreatic cancer include opera legend Luciano Pavarotti, jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie, actor Patrick Swayze and Bollywood star Nargis Dutt.

Images: Wikimedia Commons

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