Former Attorney General (AG), Anil Nandlall raised several concerns over the abolition of the post of Director-General of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the government’s plan to recall heads of mission abroad.
In a televised programme called “Issues in the News”, Nandlall said that the government’s tenure as a caretaker regime came to an end on September 18 – three months after the validation of the no-confidence motion was made by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Nandlall contends that the government, therefore, has no “legal authority” to recall ambassadors, who are abroad doing the state’s work.
“Those recall of those ambassadors are illegal,” Nandlall said.
The former Legal Affairs Minister said that the demotion of Audrey Jardine-Waddell was unjust. Running with the narrative that Jardine-Waddell was demoted because she and the Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Karen Cummings are not on equal grounds, Nandlall said that Dr. Cummings – as a “newcomer” – should have facilitated, rather than dismiss the expertise of her subordinate.
“The abolition of the post, Director-General at the Foreign Affairs Ministry is absolutely illegal. She’s a quintessential professional public servant. Dr. Karen Cummings is trained in Medicine, and goes into the Foreign Affairs Ministry – as a “newcomer” – and refuses to take the advice of people trained in that area (Foreign relations). That is ignorance, and that is a lack of intelligence. I know the law, [but] if I go to do something outside of the law, I will accept the advice of people who are trained in that area,” Nandlall said.
On December 2, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the removal of Jardine-Waddell from the post of Director-General. The Ministry also announced that the government has decided to “bring to an end the services of a number of heads of mission, especially those who might have enjoyed an extended tenure of duty beyond the official limit.”
The Ministry noted, “As it is well known, the tenure of an Ambassador runs to approximately three to five years. However, for a variety of reasons and factors, some of our Ambassadors have been abroad for as long as two decades. This situation has become an impediment to other younger and rising Foreign Service Officers whose performance and professional competence might require that they should be appointed to the summit of the Foreign Service.”