October 1, 2000

Prime minister of Dominica dies, government says

                  ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) -- Prime Minister Roosevelt Douglas of Dominica died
                  unexpectedly at his home Sunday morning, the government said, a day after he
                  returned from a summit of Caribbean leaders in Jamaica. He was 58.

                  Douglas, a former Marxist, was elected in January promising to clean up
                  corruption and diversify the sluggish economy of this Caribbean country of
                  66,000 people.

                  His death was confirmed in a brief statement on state radio by Communications
                  and Works Minister Pierre Charles, who said he had become acting prime
                  minister. Charles did not give a cause of death.

                  The Dominica Broadcasting Corp. earlier reported that Douglas was discovered
                  dead at about 10 a.m. in his house in Portsmouth, about 30 miles from the capital,

                  Douglas' Dominica Labor Party called an emergency meeting in Portsmouth
                  Sunday morning. It was not clear whether new elections would be called.

                  Douglas, who oversaw the Labor Party's gradual move to the center, ousted the
                  government of Edison James in January elections.

                  Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.