Maldives backs Johnson Smith for Commonwealth Secretary General
The Republic of Maldives is backing Jamaica's Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith's bid to become Commonwealth Secretary-General.
Johnson Smith is seeking to unseat the incumbent Baroness Patricia Scotland.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih indicated his support for her candidacy during a phone call with Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness today.
In a statement, Solih charged that Johnson Smith was the most qualified candidate due to her extensive experience and background.
"In his conversation, the president noted that Maldives affirms our support for Johnson's candidacy without hesitation."
He expressed confidence that Maldives and other small island developing states would be well represented under Johnson Smith's tenure.
Scotland's leadership has been under the microscope since it was revealed that she had circumvented the customary competitive tendering requirement by awarding a lucrative consultancy contract to a friend's company.
It was also revealed that procurement rules had been waived in more than 50 instances by the secretariat over three years, resulting in the suspension of discretionary funding from the British, New Zealand, and Australian governments until it got its financial procedures in order.
The three governments are reportedly not in favour of a second term for Scotland, whose four-year stint ended in March 2020, but was extended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
She has denied the allegations.
The 54-member Commonwealth will have the final say when it meets in June in Rwanda.
Meanwhile, it was indicated that the two leaders touched upon the close bilateral relationship between the two nations with Solih extending an open invitation to Holness to undertake a visit to the Maldives at a mutually convenient time.
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