Kamina Johnson-Smith, who met with Prince William and Kate on their recent visit to the Caribbean island, has announced she is challenging Baroness Scotland of Asthal for the post.
It follows Jamaica making clear its intention to sever ties with the British monarchy last month when the country’s Prime Minister told reporters “we are moving on” during the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ comments about the country’s ambition to become independent sparked questions about whether the former colony would leave the Commonwealth.
Surprisingly though, Ms Johnson-Smith, the country’s Foreign Minister, is now expected to stand for election as the next Commonwealth Secretary-General.
Ms Johnson-Smith met with Prince William and Kate on their recent visit.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also visited Belize and the Bahamas during their Caribbean tour last month to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Delano Franklyn, a former Jamaican foreign minister, spoke of how the move followed the royal visit – which featured protests from citizens asking for slavery reparations.
Mr Franklyn claimed: “As chairman of the Commonwealth, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is doing everything to ensure that he has a secretary-general of the Commonwealth who will fall in line with the thinking of British conservative politics.”
READ MORE: Royal fan frenzy as Prince William looks like ‘Russian tsar’ in snaps
The decision has, however, sparked controversy among some in the Caribbean as Antigua’s Prime Minister, Gaston Brown, described it as a “monumental error”.
He said: “Jamaica was party to a recent Caribbean Community (Caricom) consensus endorsing the re-election of Baroness Scotland.
“I think Jamaica’s proposed candidature for Commonwealth secretary general is a monumental error, which could only serve to divide the Caribbean.”
The Commonwealth heads of government meeting was scheduled to be held in 2020 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning Lady Scotland’s term has already been extended.