Dominica's news magazine


The Prime Ministers of Dominica
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Patrick Roland John (July 1975 - June 1979)

Patrick John led Dominica to independence on November 3, 1978, after taking over from E O Leblanc and leading the Dominica Labor Party to victory at the polls in 1975.

PJ as he was more popularly known was born in Roseau on January 7, 1938. He attended the St. Mary's Academy, and later became a teacher at the same school before leaving to become Mayor of Roseau.

He was Leblanc's surprise replacement beating out deputy leader of the party R O P Armour.

His reign as prime Minister was arguably the most turmultuous period in Dominica's history. He was responsible for the infamous "Dread Act", which was meant to combat the lawlessness of countless Ddominican youth.

On May 29, 1979, in the face of widespread protests to his austere leadership, soldiers fired on demonstrating crowds. In the ensuing melee, a young man was shot dead and several persons were injured.

Resistance to his rule strengthened as public servants went on strike and the country was completely shut down. He was eventually forced to resign after several of his cabinet miniters deserted the party.

In 1985 he was found guilty of conspiracy in attempting to overthrow the Freedom Party government of Dame Eugenia Charles, and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

In 1990 he was pardoned by Dame Eugenia Charles and released from prison. Today he serves as president of the Dominica Football Association.