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Monday, May 15, 2006 

Montague elected Commonwealth Local Government Forum chairman
Observer Reporter
Monday, May 15, 2006

Mayor of Port Maria Robert 'Bobby' Montague was elected chairman of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) at a CLGF board meeting in Kampala, Uganda late last month.

Mayor Montague was one of two vice-chairmen of the 10-year-old forum that consists of all 53 member countries of the Commonwealth.

Bobby Montague (left), the mayor of Port Maria, with Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni. Montague was in Uganda last month for a board meeting of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. He was elected chairman of the Forum.

Montague was nominated by the Asia/Pacific region. His nomination was seconded by the African contingent. There were no other nominations. He is the first Caribbean/Americas regional person to hold the chair of the Forum.

In nominating Mayor Montague, Basil Morrison from New Zealand spoke to Montague's knowledge and passion for local government and stated that as a young man, the mayor has the ability to simplify issues while giving an ear to everyone.

Emmanuel Edou, Cameroon's minister of local government, in seconding the nomination, described Montague as colourful, charismatic and energetic, adding that he was the type of person the Forum needs to go into the next 10 years.

Tariq Bhatti, senior advisor to the government of Canada, was enthusiastic in his support and stated how pleased the people of Canada and the Americas were with Mayor Montague's work. He stated that they were fully in support of the Jamaican and ready to work with him.

Mayor Murchison Brown of Port of Spain, Trinidad said that as a Caribbean person he was proud to have worked with Mayor Montague, and was happy that not only was a Caribbean person elected, but he was one who believed in regional integration.

Brown also noted that Mayor Montague was the acting president of the Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities.

Secretary-General of the CLGF Carl Wright stated that the forum was pleased that Mayor Montague was the first Caribbean person to head the body. He also said how pleased the Commonwealth Secretariat was with the new chairman as he has worked with them in the past and they, including Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon, have a lot of respect for Montague.

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