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Bahamas opposition official dies while campaigning

Charles Maynard, the chairman of the main opposition party in the Bahamas and a former cabinet minister, died Tuesday while campaigning for a candidate in a parliamentary election, officials in the island chain said. He was 42.

Maynard suddenly collapsed from an apparent heart attack while riding in a car with another party official in North Abaco after leaving a campaign event, his Free National Movement said in a statement. He was taken to a clinic, but emergency medical personnel were unable to revive him.

He and the other official, Party Secretary General Michael Foulkes, were campaigning for a candidate in a by-election to fill a vacancy left open by the resignation of former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.

The Free National Movement and Ingraham lost power to the Progressive Liberal Party in the island chain east of Florida following general elections in May.

Ingraham said in a statement that he was saddened by the sudden loss of Maynard. "Charlie had a wonderful future," he said. "He had so much more to contribute to our party and our country. He will be difficult to replace and will be terribly missed."

Maynard previously served in parliament, representing the Golden Isles district of New Providence, the island that includes Nassau, and was a former minister of youth, sports and culture. John Dinkelman, the chargé d'affaires for the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas, issued a statement of condolences and said his "untimely passing will stand as a great loss due to his devotion to the service of others."

He is survived by his wife, Zelena, and three daughters.