While Caricom leaders grapple on their nomination for secretary general of the Commonwealth, Jamaica’s nominee is getting the nod from India, a country which constitutes for more than half of the 2.4 billion people living in the 54-member commonwealth
In a report, the Jamaica Gleaner said India’s high commissioner Masakui Rungsung is supporting Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith in her bid to topple Baroness Patricia Scotland who currently holds the position.
The newspaper report said Rungsung welcomed Jamaica’s candidate saying she is “strong and fit” for the job
According to The Gleaner Rungsung said India is confident that Johnson Smith possesses the ability to address transparency issues plaguing the Commonwealth Secretariat which resulted in the suspension of discretionary funding from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia
Funding for several secretariat programs were pulled after allegations surfaced that Scotland circumvented the usual competitive tendering rules to award a lucrative consulting contract to a company headed by a friend
That allegation and others have plagued the commonwealth secretariat under Scotland’s leadership.
Rungsung said that his government is confident that Johnson Smith has the quality to uphold the Commonwealth’s core value of transparency, inclusiveness and consensus.
‘We are happy and we welcome her candidature,” The Gleaner quoted him as saying. “We seriously think that she has that leadership quality in terms of her experience, in terms of her personal commitment to these values. This is an election and we will be supporting the candidate who carries these values
He went on to say India will support to the person who gives deference and who puts a lot of emphasis on inclusiveness and conducting business in a transparent manner
Rungsung added these are the instruments needed to run the Commonwealth smoothly and take it to a higher level, according to The Gleaner report.
The vote for the next Secretary General will take place during the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit in Rwanda in June.