CARICOM Countries to Vote for Commonwealth Secretary-General Post

Belize and CARICOM Chairman Prime Minister John Briceno
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CNW- Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders will vote for “a candidate of their choice” when Commonwealth leaders meet in Rwanda next month to choose the next Commonwealth Secretary-General, CARICOM chairman, John Briceno announced on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, Jamaica apparently scuttled any attempt by the 15-member CARICOM grouping to have a consensus candidate for the position with Kingston defending the decision to nominate its Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith for the post.

In April, the Caribbean leaders had issued a statement indicating that they were still divided in their support for the two candidates, including the incumbent, Baroness Patricia Scotland, for the position agreeing instead to appoint a sub-committee to delve further into the matter.

CARICOM did not announce a date as to when the regional sub-committee of leaders would meet with the two Caribbean candidates for the post

Scotland was elected to the post at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta in 2015 and her re-election is scheduled to take place during the June 20-25 Commonwealth summit here.

The Dominica-born Scotland is the second Secretary-General from the Caribbean and the first woman to hold the post.

In his statement, Briceno, who is also the Prime Minister of Belize, said that the election of the Commonwealth Secretary-General will take place during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which takes place 20-25 June in Kigali, Rwanda.

“The conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community maintains that it is still the turn of the Caribbean to provide a candidate for the position.

“In that regard, two candidates from the Caribbean Community have been nominated for the post… (and) member states of the Community will vote for the candidate of their choice,” Briceno said.

Last month, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said he remains “very confident” that Scotland would be re-elected “and at the end of the day countries have to vote and we know how elections run.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne had regarded Johnson Smith’s entry into the race as a “monumental error”.


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