Pierre Charles (Dominican politician)

Last updated
Pierre Charles
Pierre Charles dominica.jpg
5th Prime Minister of Dominica
In office
3 October 2000 6 January 2004
President Vernon Shaw
Nicholas Liverpool
Preceded by Roosevelt Douglas
Succeeded by Osborne Riviere (acting)
Member of Parliament
for Grand Bay
In office
11 March 1985 6 January 2004
Succeeded by John Fabien
Personal details
Born(1954-06-30)June 30, 1954
Grand Bay, Dominica
DiedJanuary 6, 2004(2004-01-06) (aged 49)
Roseau, Dominica
Political party DLP
Spouse(s)Justina Charles
ChildrenAmilcar T. Charles, Faiza A. Charles, Camilo C. Charles
Residence Grand Bay, Dominica

Pierre Charles (30 June 1954 6 January 2004) was Prime Minister of Dominica from 2000 to 2004 as well as Member of Parliament for Grand Bay, Dominica from 1985 until his death.



Charles was born in Grand Bay [1] in Saint Patrick parish. He began his high-school education at the Dominica Grammar School and completed it at the St. Mary's Academy before pursuing studies at the local teachers' college. He served as a teacher and community organizer before entering elective office.

He became ill in February 2003, and had angioplasty surgery. Concerns about his health led to calls for him to step down. However, he continued to serve as prime minister until his death, which occurred during a medical leave of absence. Osborne Riviere acted as Prime Minister in Charles' stead. However, upon return from his medical leave of absence, Charles succumbed at the age of 49 to a heart attack while being driven home from a Cabinet meeting. [2]

Political ascendancy

In 1979, at the age of 25, Charles was appointed a Senator in Dominica’s Parliament. In the general elections of 1985, he contested the Grand Bay seat, and won, though his Dominica Labour Party (DLP) led by Rosie Douglas’s brother Michael Douglas lost to the incumbent Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) under the leadership of the formidable Dame Eugenia Charles, Dominica's longest serving head of government. For the next 15 years, Pierre Charles remained in that position, as irremovable from Grand Bay as Rosie Douglas was from Portsmouth.

When the DLP (in coalition with the DFP) came to power in 2000 under the leadership of Rosie Douglas, Charles was appointed Minister of Public Works and Communications. During the eight months of Douglas’s rule, Charles was often called upon to function as the acting Prime Minister. When Douglas suddenly died in October 2000, Charles was elevated as Douglas’s successor. He continued in office until his sudden death in January 2004.

Charles was an Honorary Member of The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.

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  1. Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations: World leaders. Thomson, Gale. 2002. ISBN   978-0-7876-6610-1.
  2. "Dominica’s former Prime Minister remembered", DaVibes, 8 January 2013.
Preceded by
Rosie Douglas
Prime Minister of Dominica
October 2000 – January 2004
Succeeded by
Roosevelt Skerrit