Sir Ron back in the race for Secretary General

Two months after withdrawing his nomination, former diplomat Sir Ronald Sanders is back in the race for Secretary General of the 54-member Commonwealth.

Sir Ronald Sanders
Sir Ronald Sanders

Word of this from Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who in a letter to fellow Commonwealth Caribbean Heads of Government, dated February 12th, 2015, revealed that when the matter comes up for discussion at the upcoming inter-sessional meeting, which will be held in the Bahamas, he would be asking that Sir Ron again be considered.

The former Antigua and Barbuda High Commissioner to London withdrew from the race last December 10, two days after the matter received the consideration of regional leaders at a meeting in Havana, Cuba. However, in announcing his withdrawal, Sir Ron said he was “deeply anguished” that the region had not been able to settle on one candidate.

“It has been impressed on me that Sir Ronald had the declared support of nine of the 12 Commonwealth Caribbean governments at our December 8 meeting [in Cuba], and that it is still open to me to put him forward as the candidate of Antigua and Barbuda for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General,” said Browne, who also pointed out that no other regional candidate had mustered more than two votes.

The Antiguan prime minister also noted that even though there was no consensus requirement, he was still anxious for the Caribbean to agree on a single candidate for the Commonwealth top post.

“I have therefore strongly urged Sir Ronald to withdraw his intimation of standing down his candidacy despite his earlier decision in what he considered to be the interest of our Region. He, too, would still prefer the Region to go forward as one, and has told me of the great sense of honour he felt at receiving the backing of so many Heads of Government.

“I am pleased to say that in the circumstances he has accepted my proposal, and will make himself available to the Commonwealth as I have requested on the basis of the Caribbean’s consensus candidate,” informed Browne, who intends to seek consensus for Sir Ronald’s candidature as the next Commonwealth Secretary General at the February 27 meeting.

“Given that in Cuba last month there was majority support of Sir Ronald, I look forward in fraternity to your backing,” said Browne, who said he had been overwhelmed by messages of regret and requests for reconsideration from within and beyond the Caribbean, following news of Sir Ron’s withdrawal  last December.

The other contenders in the race are the Dominica-born, British legislator Baroness Patricia Scotland, who is said to enjoy the support of Dominica and Barbados and Trinidadian scholar Dr Bhoendradatt Tewari, who has been put forward by his country.

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