Thursday, Nov 21, 2019
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Smith appears set for GG post

Veteran politician and most recent non-resident ambassador to Panama, C.A. Smith has claimed he will be the country’s next governor general and will be sworn in to the post before the end of this month.

Smith, in a video that was posted on social media, was speaking to a group that appeared to be staff at the Passport Office in Grand Bahama, where his office is located, about his recent resignation as ambassador to Panama and five other countries.

Smith said he resigned to become governor general after Queen Elizabeth II appointed him.

It could not be determined up to press time exactly when the video was captured.

“It is no secret that I tendered my resignation with effect from today to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and after midnight tonight, I’ll no longer be ambassador to six Central American countries,” Smith told the small group.

“But the resignation was really more not of retirement but more of transition.

“As a result of Her Majesty the Queen appointing me to be the governor general, I found it necessary to have to resign from the position that I had to be transited to another position.”

Smith said the swearing in ceremony will take place on the last Friday of June in Nassau.

He told those in attendance that all of them would be receiving invitations to attend.

The group applauded the announcement.

“I understand they may be arranging for Bahamasair to put on a couple of flights, reduce the cost for one day so that my friends from Grand Bahama could be there,” Smith said.

“And therefore, even though it’s going to cost a little money, it’s going to be cheaper than going on your own.”

Smith went on to reflect about his life.

“You know, the journey to where I am today has been long, but really, was one that I really enjoyed,” he said.

Smith added that he was in the process of finishing a book he was writing about where he has come from, growing up as a boy in Snow Hill, Long Island to working in Washington, D.C.

He said the title of the book was going to be “From Snow Hill to Capitol Hill”, but he noted the title may change as his journey continues.

The government has not released any public commentary about Smith being appointed as governor general.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also not released any information about Smith resigning his ambassadorial appointments.

When contacted yesterday, Smith said he had no comment about the video.

When asked to confirm he had been chosen as the next governor general, he said, “An announcement will be made at the appropriate time.”

Dame Marguerite Pindling, widow of former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling, has served as governor general since July 2014.

Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip Brave Davis yesterday expressed surprise at the video, calling it a “violation…of all protocols” and an insult to Dame Marguerite.

“I was shocked out of my socks to see the statement by former ambassador C.A. Smith on video that he has been appointed by the queen to be governor general,” Davis said in a statement yesterday.

“This is a violation in my view of all protocols.

“These announcements must come from the queen and normally do not come until the queen has agreed that the now governor general should demit office.

“This is another example of the loosening of standards under the FNM.

“Anything goes and our traditions and conventions are dispensed without so much as a by your leave.

“To make matters worse, Mr. Smith goes on to predict that the national airline is going to make special arrangements for his swearing in as governor general.

“Who will pay the price for those arrangements and does he now speak for Bahamasair?

“This is all quite incredible.

“It is a shocking breach of protocol and insulting to the present holder of the office.”

Davis said he was not consulted or informed by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis about any changes regarding the governor general’s office.

“While there is no constitutional requirement to do that, given that the office is a national one which serves all of every stripe, I would have thought that courtesy and convention would suggest that the leader of the opposition be informed before a public statement is made.

“The prime minister spoke to me on Friday last when I objected to the extension of the appointment of Ruth Bowe-Darville as a judge, but he said not a word about the governor general.”

Smith, who lives in Grand Bahama, previously served in the House of Assembly and in the Cabinet, as well as in diplomatic positions.

Juan McCartney

Broadcast Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Juan McCartney is the senior editor of The Nassau Guardian.

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