Patterson, P. J. (Percival James Patterson), 1935–, Jamaican political leader, prime minister of Jamaica (1992–2006). A lawyer, he became an active member of the People's National party (PNP) in the 1950s. From 1972 to 1980 Patterson held various ministerial posts, including minister of finance. In 1989 he became deputy prime minister under Michael Manley, and when Manley resigned in 1992 Patterson was appointed party leader and prime minister. He won an electoral victory the next year and was returned to power in 1997 and 2002. In a time of economic difficulties for Jamaica, he pursued privatization and other free-market reforms, but crime remained a persistent problem, and his tenure was marred by corruption allegations. He retired in 2006, and Portia Simpson-Miller succeeded him as prime minister.
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