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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Profile: Jamaica's PJ as PM
Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson
PJ Patterson has been Jamaica's premier for the past 10 years

Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson is hoping to win his third consecutive election to make a fourth straight term for his party in Wednesday's poll.

Mr Patterson, an attorney by profession, has been prime minister since March 1992 when he was chosen by his People's National Party to succeed Michael Manley, who retired because of ill health.

PJ Patterson
Life:
Born: 1935
Educated: University College of the West Indies; London School of Economics
Profession: lawyer
Political career:
1967: Nominated to Senate
1972-77: Minister of industry and tourism
1978-80: Foreign minister
1978-80; 1989-91: Deputy prime minister
1992: Succeeds Michael Manley as party leader and prime minister
1993: Wins general election
1997: Wins general election
Mr Manley, known as a champion of the developing world, espoused a brand of Caribbean socialism during his early years in office between 1972 and 1980 and angered the United States with his close ties to Cuban President Fidel Castro.

However, by the time he was re-elected in 1989, Mr Manley had refashioned himself as an advocate of the free market.

Mr Patterson's career in politics has shown views similarly diverse to those of Mr Manley.

Described as an architect of Mr Manley's later economic policies, Mr Patterson continued on the road of reform taken by Edward Seaga, who was prime minister in the 1980s and is challenging for the job again at this election.

But Mr Patterson also followed Mr Manley with his criticism of the US embargo against Cuba.

When President Castro visited Jamaica in 1998, Mr Patterson said: "We are opposed to the blockade of Cuba, which is morally wrong. No-one is going to cause us to ignore that we are close neighbours."

Farmer's son

Percival James Patterson was born at St Andrew, Jamaica.

Poster for People's National Party
Patterson's People's National Party has been ahead in opinion polls
His father was a farmer and his mother a teacher.

He studied at home and overseas, and was nominated to the Senate when he was 32.

He joined the House of Representatives in 1970 and started a steady climb up the political ladder.

See also:

10 Aug 02 | From Our Own Correspondent
30 Jul 02 | Country profiles
16 Oct 02 | Americas
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