Former JLP Cabinet minister Douglas Vaz is dead

Former Minister of Industry and Commerce, as well as former Member of Parliament (MP) for North East St Andrew and North Central St Andrew, Douglas Vaz, is dead.

Douglas died in his sleep on Sunday. He was 83 years old.

The late Douglas Vaz (left) with son, Daryl Vaz (Photo: Instagram – Prime Minister Andrew Holness)

Douglas was Minister of Industry and Commerce when the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) won the 1980 elections. The JLP would win again in 1983, but lost the 1989 general election.

He was also the MP for the new constituency of North East St Andrew between 1989 and 1993. Delroy Chuck is the current MP for the constituency.

Douglas also served as MP for the North Central St Andrew constituency between 1976 and 1989, when he opted to switch to North East St Andrew. He won three elections in this seat as he won 1976, 1980 and the 1983 election, the latter of which the then Opposition, People’s National Party, opted not to contest.

The JLP’s Karl Samuda, who has won five elections since 1989, currently holds the North Central St Andrew seat.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who also serves as president of the JLP, said on his social media pages, “It is with deep sadness that we learn of the passing of former Industry and Commerce Minister, Douglas Vaz. Mr Vaz passed away in his sleep. Douglas served our party and Jamaica with distinction. My thoughts are with the Vaz family at this time.”

Daryl Vaz, the Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, with responsibility for land, environment, climate change and investments, is Douglas’ son.