Cornelius A Smith was sworn in as deputy to the governor general at Government House in 2018 by Acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Vera Watkins.
By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
OPPOSITION Leader Philip Davis yesterday called on the Minnis administration to abandon former Cabinet minister and diplomat CA Smith as their choice to become the next Governor General.
Mr Davis insisted Mr Smith’s appointment has not yet been approved by Buckingham Palace despite claims made in a viral video prematurely announcing the decision.
The Cat Island MP noted Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ silence on the matter.
“CA Smith also said that his appointment was approved by Buckingham Palace. This is untrue and is therefore of great concern to us,” Mr Davis said at a press conference yesterday, “I now note that he has, in fact, apologised.”
When questioned further, Mr Davis said: “I think (the FNM) needs to revisit the matter. The apology for example did not take into account this mistake on his part.
“But what we know is,” he continued, “if a person is so (blatant), unless he has some reasonable explanation why he would have said what he said, in other words, if for example the prime minister told him, ‘well I already got the answer from Buckingham,’ and he’s repeating the prime minister, then I can excuse him and then I’ll go after the prime minister.
“But on the face of it, we know that, that has not happened as yet.”
Yesterday, the Office of the Prime Minister declined comment on the matter.
Mr Smith broke the news to staff at a farewell luncheon at the Passport Office in Grand Bahama - a move he later explained was done in “strictest confidence”.
The farewell lunch marked Mr Smith’s resignation as the non-resident ambassador to Panama, and a portion of his remarks were recorded on a cell phone and shared on social media.
“As a result of Her Majesty the Queen appointing me to be governor general I found it necessary to have to resign in the position,” Mr Smith said in the video, “I had to be transited to another position. The swearing-in will take place on the last Friday of June in Nassau.”
Mr Smith has declined further comment on the matter.
In his written apology, he explained his announcement was done in “strictest confidence” as a private discussion that was never intended to be made public.