(Jamaica Gleaner) The Jamaican government is dismissing a claim by under-pressure Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland that “there is no vacancy” and that Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith should end her bid for the top post.
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), is arguing that Scotland is on an extended first term since COVID-19 prevented Commonwealth leaders from meeting in 2020 to whether she should get another term.
“Baroness Scotland accepted the terms of that offer of an extension of her first contract, in writing, also acknowledging that a decision on the next term of office would be decided at the time when Member States can meet face to face. The period of extension accepted by the Secretary-General clearly did not constitute appointment for a second term of office, which was already rejected by Heads,” OPM said in a statement this afternoon.
Johnson Smith has rejected a call from Scotland to withdraw her candidacy, which was announced in April.
“That will never happen,” she told Television Jamaica last week.