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Commonwealth Governments reject automatic re-election of Baroness Scotland

The BBC reported on Wednesday that Commonwealth governments have rejected a fresh attempt to give the organization’s secretary-general Baroness Scotland an automatic second term of office.

Dominican born Baroness Patricia Scotland was elected to the post of Commonwealth secretary-general on 1st April 2016 for a term of four years.

Last year, Dominica and other CARICOM states supported Baronness Scotland to serve a second term.

But in a letter – obtained by the BBC – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a “significant and diverse number” of heads of government “from across the Commonwealth” opposed the idea of Lady Scotland being reappointed for another four years without facing re-election.

The prime minister – who is the current Chair for the Commonwealth – said that he hoped the heads of government can instead agree just to extend Lady Scotland’s contract temporarily until they meet next year.

The 54 heads of government had expected to decide Lady Scotland’s future at their biennial summit in Rwanda this month but the meeting was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the BBC report, Commonwealth governments now have until 22nd June to decide whether to extend Lady Scotland’s current term until next year.

There is a need for haste because Lady Scotland’s existing contract expires on 27th June.

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