AU presidential commission elections postponed until next January

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma remains the AU commission chairperson till next January

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma remains the AU commission chairperson till next January

All the three candidates on the list did not obtain the two-thirds of votes required to chair the AU. The elections are therefore postponed. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma remains the chairperson till next January.

Elections took place last Monday morning in Kigali on the last day of the summit of the Heads of African States. None of the three official candidates obtained the required two-thirds of votes. “Everything is postponed till next January when the candidate list is updated”, says the current AU President Idriss Deby.

That deferment was welcomed by some countries like the DRC and West African countries that didn’t vote. According to a communiqué issued by 15 Heads of West African States, who had asked for the postponement of the elections a month ago, those three official contenders were not the right candidates. According to them, that postponement “allows Jakaya Kikwete, the Tanzanian and Abdoulaye Bathily the Senegalese, to enter the race”.

The three candidates on the list were the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Botswana and Equatorial Guinea along with Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, the former Vice-President of Uganda.

Absolute Silence on Burundi

No word about Burundi appears anywhere in the final press release of the 27th summit. And yet, “the Burundi issue” was on the agenda of Monday, just as the elections of the presidential commission and the return of Morocco to African Union. One East African diplomat revealed: “several alternatives were explored by those Heads of States behind closed doors. But there was no consensus”. He added: “one EAC country suggested the dispatching of East African military contingents to protect the population of Burundi. That proposition was not, however, unanimously approved”. For that reason, the result of discussions over Burundi was not made public, concluded the diplomat.

Morocco is back to AU

The return of Morocco to the African Union was welcomed by Idriss Deby, the Chadian president and the current chairman of the AU. “There are no other conditions to be agreed upon. That’s not what’s important. What’s important is that all Africans understand that the union is a necessity. None has the right to object to a country like Morocco returning to its family”, he said.
Pierre Claver Niyonkur translated by Innocent Habonimana

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