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Johnson Smith's CHOG campaign cost government $18.2m

It has been disclosed that Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith's failed campaign for the Commonwealth Secretary-General post cost the government $18.2 million.

A media release from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said the sum accounts for lobbying expenses related to air and ground transportation, COVID-19 tests, meals and accommodation, and communications support activities for the staging of events, such as the launch and engagements with delegations.

It also included IT support, the printing of documents, photography, food, and beverages.

An additional sum of more than $25 million was spent for the Jamaican delegation to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda in June, where the vote took place.

The OPM says the cost to attend the conference was split among three ministries, with the Office of the Prime Minister shouldering $12.8 million, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade paying $7.7 million, and the Ministry of Tourism contributing the remaining $5.1 million.

Mrs. Johnson Smith was defeated by the incumbent Baroness Patricia Scotland at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.