The Republic of Maldives has announced that it will be backing Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith’s bid to unseat Patricia Scotland as Commonwealth Secretary-General.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday saying he discussed the matter during a phone call with the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Michael Holness that that same day.
According to the statement, the Maldivian president stated that Johnson Smith is the “most qualified” candidate for the post due to her “extensive” experience, as well as her background.
He said his government will support Johnson-Smith, “without hesitation”.
Solih also expressed confidence that The Maldives and other Small Island Developing States will be well represented at the Commonwealth under Johnson-Smith’s tenure, according to the statement.
The Maldives, a nation of islands in the Indian Ocean, is the latest member of the Commonwealth to openly support Jamaica’s candidate.
The matter has become a contentious issue among CARICOM with many member states saying they support Scotland.
When Jamaica announced it was nominating Johnson Smith for the post, Antigua’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne slammed the decision saying it was a monumental error which could divide the region.
The 54-member Commonwealth bloc will elect a new Secretary-General in Rwanda in June.