Mahama rallies support for Ayorkor Botchwey for Commonwealth position

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Former president John Mahama has declared his support for Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the foreign minister of Ghana, in her campaign to become the next secretary-general of the Commonwealth.

Patricia Scotland, the current president of Dominica, will step down at the end of 2023, and Ms. Botchwey hopes to take her place.

“I’m learning for the first time that our minister of foreign affairs is considering running for secretary-general of the Commonwealth.

“It’s Africa’s turn, why not, I mean we will have a Ghanaian Secretary- General, female. It’s something I will support,” At a public lecture he gave last Friday at Chatham House in the United Kingdom (UK), Mr. Mahama made this statement.

“Africa’s strategic priorities and global role” was the lecture’s topic.

At the conclusion of this term, the current Secretary-General would have served a total of two four-year terms.

The Secretary-General may be elected to a maximum of two terms of four years each by Commonwealth leaders.

At the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta, Ms. Scotland was chosen.

She is the first woman and second Secretary-General from the Caribbean to occupy the position.

Botchwey has shown interest in serving as the seventh Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, and should her wish come true, she would be the second woman to hold that position.

For the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2024, leaders of Commonwealth countries will assemble in Samoa (CHOGM).

The choice of a new Secretary-General for the 56-member organisation will be on the agenda.

“I have worked closely with Baroness Patricia Scotland, she’s chosen me to lead several election observation missions in Kenya, Sierra Leone and other places,” Mahama said.

“I know her very well; she’s been quite a capable Secretary-General. Incidentally, she comes from the Caribbean, Dominica. And so if it’s Africa’s turn, why not? he asked.

The backing of the former president of Ghana for Ms. Botchwey is not the first time a leader of one party has backed a candidate from the other party.

Five years ago, Hannah Tetteh, a former foreign minister for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), ran for a position with the UN with the backing of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Later on, she was made the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and the Director of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU).

Additionally, the NPP endorsed Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas’ campaign for the position of ECOWAS Commission President in 2006.

Prior to his position at ECOWAS, Dr. Chambas held various cabinet ministerial roles during the NDC administration.


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