Antigua and Barbados at odds over Commonwealth candidate

At least one Caribbean leader is questioning a statement by Barbados Prime Minister and new CARICOM Chairman Freundel Stuart, regarding nominations for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne, has strongly condemned an announcement by Stuart of a decision to refer the matter to the Bureau of Caribbean leaders, claiming that he did not participate in any such decision.

On the final day of the just concluded 36th CARICOM Heads of Government Summit here last weekend, Stuart told the media that regional leaders had ended the annual summit without consensus on a Caribbean candidate for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General.

However, he said they had agreed to refer the matter to the Bureau of Caribbean leaders, of which Stuart is also the chairman, and which includes Prime Minister Perry Christie of the Bahamas and Prime Minister Dean Barrow of Belize.

But in a letter sent to Stuart yesterday, and copied to all the CARICOM Heads of Government as well as CARICOM’s Secretary General Irwin LaRocque, the Antiguan Prime Minister denied participating in any such decision.


Two nominees were up for consideration – the former British Attorney General, Dominican-born Baroness Patricia Scotland, who is Dominica’s candidate, and Antigua and Barbuda’s choice, former diplomat Sir Ronald Sanders.  A third nominee, Trinidad and Tobago government minister Bhoe Tewarie, withdrew from the race.

“It is absolutely true that the Heads of Government did not discuss the matter of candidates for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General. However, it is absolutely inaccurate that there was any decision by Heads to mandate the Bureau to make recommendations. Neither I, nor any member of my delegation, participated in any such decision. Other Heads of Government have also indicated to me that they know of no such decision,” Browne said in his letter dated July 7, 2015.

“The reports convey misleading information to other Commonwealth governments, very likely the fault of the reporter, and I dutifully request that your government correct this statement,” he added.

Furthermore, Browne strongly objected to the matter going before the Bureau, and called for the body to play no part in the recommendation.

The letter continued: “In any event, my Government objects to this important matter being reviewed by the Bureau and for the Bureau to make recommendations. Therefore I expect the Bureau to take no action whatsoever.”

He argued that the 12 Commonwealth Caribbean Governments had ample time to consider the matter, but had been unable to make a decision due to the “obfuscation by a few”.

“It seems to me, Prime Minister, that the matter is now beyond the Commonwealth Caribbean Governments,” he suggested.

On a related matter, Browne also raised issue with “an inaccurate and misleading” statement which was posted on the Barbados Government Information Services website.

He claimed the statement, which affirmed that a candidate must be put forward by the region to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference to be held in Malta in November this year, was false.

“This is of course entirely inaccurate, Prime Minister, and distorting. There are no ‘Commonwealth regulations’ that require a ‘candidate must be put forward by the region,’ as we all know. Every candidate for the post of Secretary General over the history of the Commonwealth has been nominated by his own Government and that is the only requirement,” Browne maintained.

“In this regard, may I ask you to consider instructing the web manager that the inaccurate statement be removed.”

8 Responses to NEW HURDLE

  1. Tony Webster July 9, 2015 at 4:07 am

    I did not know that one could be even more distantly-related than a stranger to the truth, than this. Even Little Green Men freshly landed from Mars, would be given a little more lee-way…for “mis-understanding”, or “mis-appreehening”, less alone grasping that elusive blob of mercurial alum: The Truth, the Whole Truth, and n’ere a scintilla of doubt between the both. This is razor-blade broth, bohsie! Mon Dieu, Monsieur Gaston, it’s enuf to give both writer and reader , indigestion after such a fine HOGS-thing

    It’s gonna be a “brisk” six-month sojourn, Bossman, and you yet have to get this same “gentleman”…to hand-over LIAT’s hub….to GAIA, hmmm? Good Luck.

  2. harry turnover July 9, 2015 at 7:15 am

    From the time this Hitler moustached PM got the reins he has been attacking Barbados and Bajans.
    Don’t know if he is telling the truth or not,but I wonder what Barbados or a Bajan has done to this man for him to CONSTANTLY act as though his life depends on every little petty squabble between those of the same ilk as he and those who are not his equal

  3. Patrick Blackman July 9, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Caricom was a great idea and still is the way to go but when individuals are hell bent on being seen as a key player we always drop the ball. Stop this silly fighting and get the job done.

  4. Alex Alleyne July 9, 2015 at 8:38 am

    I think the LIAT issue got these 2 Leaders at Lock-a-heads.

  5. Alec Pierre July 9, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Mr Brown, Dis is par fuh de course down hey!

  6. Carl Harper July 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Only one day as head of CARICOM and Barbados PM Stuart in “hot water” already, just as with running his country. SMH

    Now he’s taking his same local dictatorial style to the regional level.

  7. J. Payne July 9, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    This is WHAT I MEAN….. THE CARICOM meeting room’s seats aren’t even cooled yet from the last bambam that was parked in them and the entire body is over-run with squabbles again. Barbados leader ent consult other leaders on refering something to CARICOM to make a decision on something….

    Anyway Barbados government, if you have nothing else better to do, then go put CARICOM on front burner again and waste all your time and energy rather than per-suing some sort of a NATIONAL Barbadian development strategy at this time to get Barbados back on track as soon as possible. No, instead Go and spin top in mudd with CARICOM again for the next 6 months getting nowhere and then ofcourse act shocked in 2016 when CARICOM has achieved nothing new.. Yes go spend your time and energy on something that hasn’t worked in the last 60 years and is poised to be another 60 years right dey. That’s why Dominican Republic doesn’t need to fear CARICOM because the Dominican Republic would have concluding Free Trade Agreements with Canada, EU, USA (already as they have) and CARICOM will still be just talking about looking at these things.

  8. Tony Waterman July 10, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Why did a GREAT LEADER like “Lee Kuan Yew” had to die, we needed him to run Barbados for JUST TWO Years, he took Singapore from not more that we had to being the LARGEST Transhipment Port in his Neck of the woods

    During the three decades in which Lee held office, Singapore grew from a developing country to one of the most developed nations in Asia. Lee often stated that Singapore’s only natural resources are its people and their strong work ethic


    This is the type of Person we NEED badly in Barbados.
    The Froon is NOT Cutting It, he Can’t even get the requirements for the Commonwealth POST Right. AN he ain’t saying NUTTIN


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