By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday called the controversy surrounding his pick for Governor General, C A Smith, “unfortunate,” insisting the circumstances of his gaffe would be taken into consideration by Buckingham Palace.
Dr Minnis, in addressing the issue on the sidelines of a swearing-in ceremony for the nation’s new Chief Justice Brian Moree, QC, said it was unfortunate the country had arrived at a point where private conversations cannot be held without individuals feeling the need to record them for social media.
“It’s unfortunate we’ve reached that degree in our society,” he told reporters, adding: “But that’s a matter Buckingham (Palace) will view.”
Last month, Mr Smith was captured on video detailing the circumstances behind his decision to resign as the non-resident ambassador to seven South American countries.
“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, recorded at a farewell luncheon at the Passport Office in Freeport. “I had to be transited to another position. The swearing-in will take place on the last Friday of June in Nassau.”
His comments came as a bit of surprise, as there were no formal indications of the government’s intent to replace the current Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling.
Mr Smith was first sworn in as deputy to Dame Marguerite last year.
Mr Smith has since issued an apology for the mishap.
Shortly after the blunder, Official Opposition Leader Philip Davis called it a shocking breach of protocol. He urged Dr Minnis to abandon Mr Smith’s appointment, asserting his break in protocol set a bad precedent for someone ascending to high office.
Meanwhile, Dr Minnis yesterday also confirmed that he is awaiting “correspondence” from Queen Elizabeth on his recommendation to have Mr Smith replace Dame Marguerite in the coming weeks.
Commenting on the status of the ongoing process, the Killarney MP said: “(Dame Marguerite) would’ve gone over to visit Her Majesty, after which I would’ve sent forth a recommendation for a replacement but that is not completed until it’s confirmed by the Queen, after which they would send that correspondence back so the process was really in train right now.”
Dame Marguerite was appointed Governor General on July 8, 2014, by the last Christie administration.