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Johnson Smith's Commonwealth bid was ill-advised, Ward maintains

Ambassador Curtis Ward
 
Former Jamaican Ambassador to the United Nations, Curtis Ward, has said Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith ran a good race for the Commonwealth Secretary-General position and her loss is not a reflection of her qualifications.
 
However, Ambassador Ward reiterated that Jamaica's campaign at this time was ill-advised.
 
"Certainly, she is qualified, but I think the whole context of her nomination to begin with was poorly scripted. I think the idea that she would pose that challenge at this point in time may not have been good politics and that will also reflect on the Jamaican government," he asserted in an interview with Radio Jamaica News on Friday morning.
 
The preliminary results of the vote by Commonwealth leaders at the Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, were announced Friday morning. 
 
In the end, Mrs Johnson Smith polled 25 votes while incumbent Baroness Patricia Scotland received 27 votes. 
 
Ambassador Ward said he is concerned that Mrs Johnson Smith's failed campaign for the Commonwealth post will compromise her in her official duties as Foreign Affairs Minister as she may begin to question which leaders supported her bid. Beyond that, he is worried about how other countries may view her in light of the election loss. 
 
"She is Jamaica's top diplomat on the international scene and she has to interact, and now she will be seen as having lost a very important race... and there will always follow her the stigma of being the candidate for the UK - whether that is justified or not, it doesn't really matter. This is how she will be looked at, and that may have cost her the election as well," he argued. 
 
Ambassador Ward added that he does not think Mrs Johnson Smith should make another bid for the Commonwealth Secretary-General position, suggesting it would be a "big mistake" since the next campaign should be the turn for African candidates.
 


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