After initially backing the incumbent Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland of Dominica for a second term as Secretary-General, the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is now allowing member states to vote for a candidate of their choice.
CARICOM’s new position followed the entry of the Jamaican Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson in the race for the top Commonwealth job.
While the incumbent Secretary-General was hoping that the Jamaican candidate was going to pull out of the race, the Government of Jamaica has started an aggressive campaign across the Commonwealth to get its candidate elected.
In a statement today, CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Belize John Briceno said 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 of Commonwealth Secretary-General and 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.
Some CARICOM states had initially criticised the move by Jamaica to submit a candidate for the post, but the Jamaican Government has defended its decision and has pointed to the concerns of Scotland’s leadership of the Commonwealth during her first term.
Members of the Commonwealth will gather in Rwanda in June for their Heads of Government Meeting and the election of a new Commonwealth Secretary-General.