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KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Heads of government from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have approved the appointment of a chief justice and a director-general of the regional bloc’s civil aviation agency.

But OECS chair, Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told a press conference at the end of the 55th Meeting of the OECS Authority, which ended here on Tuesday, that the names of the appointees would be announced after they have been formally informed.

“… we have had to put certain procedures in place so I really don’t want them to hear on the radio, on the TV, that his or her appointment has been approved. They have to hear about it in a proper manner,” he told the post-meeting press briefing.

“We have also done the same thing in relation to an appointment of a director-general of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA). This is important for civil aviation. You know ECCA has brought us to the stage where we have a Category 1 status in terms of our regime and of our airports and this is a very important position,” he further stated.

Gonsalves further said that in the case of the chief justice, while OECS heads of government selects the person, that individual is appointed by letters patent through Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who is ceremonial head of all OECS countries.

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The chief justice is head of judiciary and the Judicial and Legal Service Commission the only judicial post in which the OECS Authority has any say, Gonsalves noted.

He said that a committee reviewed and graded applicants for the office of the Director-General of ECCA and a meeting of OECS civil aviation minister he chaired in Kingstown a few months ago recommended two top candidates.

“… it is not going to be good, if you are a serious professional, you apply for a job and before anybody call you and say you have it or you don’t have it, you hear it on the airwaves, especially if you didn’t get it….” Gonsalves said.

“We have to treat people with respect. So while we want to deal with the question of the openness, in time, you will get to know…

“Because, between the Director-General [of the OECS Dr. Len Ishmael] and myself as Chairman, we will make the necessary telephone calls in all of this things and sort them out and then we will have no problem hereafter in making the announcement,” Gonsalves said.

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