Prime Minister Andrew Holness has defended the decision of his Jamaica Labour Party government to put forward Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, as a candidate for the position of Commonwealth Secretary-General.
This move by Jamaica comes despite the fact that the incumbent, Dominica-born Baroness Patricia Scotland, has indicated that she will be standing for re-election in June.
Holness’ defence in a statement in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, followed criticism from Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, who has warned that Jamaica’s decision to put forward a candidate will only serve to divide Caricom.
But, Holness is sticking to his position.
The prime minister told the House that towards the latter part of the initial term of the current secretary-general, several countries, including Jamaica, were approached regarding the possibility of nominating a candidate for the post.
“Jamaica took the view at that time that whatever the issues that gave impetus to members seeking alternative candidates, the first order of response would be to resolve, with dialogue, to avoid disruption,” said Holness.
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