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Moussa Mahamat Elected New Chair of African Union

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  • Moussa Mahamat Elected New Chair of African Union

    According to international reports Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat has been elected as the new chairperson of the African Union (AU).

    He was elected in a vote held at the AU’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Monday, January 30, 2017.

    After seven rounds of voting, the Chadian foreign affairs minister was selected over other finalists Amina Mohamed of Kenya and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily.

    Two other candidates, Botswana’s Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, and Mba Mokuy, of Equatorial Guinea, were also considered for the seat.

    The 56-year-old and father-of-five succeeds South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the first woman to lead the AU of 54 states. Zuma did not seek a second term in office after completing a four-year term.

    Kenya was the first to congratulate the newly-elected AU chief.

    “Kenya congratulates him on a race well won. We pledge to work with him to defend the pan-African agenda of integration for Africa, as well as democracy, sovereignty and prosperity for all of its people,” a statement by Kenya’s State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said.

    Faki is not new to the workings of the AU, having previously served as the body’s chair of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council.

    Heads of state from the 54-member countries cast their vote in a private ballot.

    A candidate needs to secure at least a two-thirds majority, 36 votes, to be declared winner.

    According to reports the AU was supposed to pick a new leader in July last year but the election was postponed following three rounds of voting after candidates failed to garner the required number of votes.

    More than 50 percent of the member states abstained from the second round of voting last year.

    After the selection of Mahamat the AU voted to readmit Morocco as an AU member. Morocco is the only country in Africa that is not part of the organization.

    Morocco withdrew from the union in 1984 to protest against the admission of disputed Western Sahara territories.

    By Shujaa Kwanzaa
    Moussa Faki Mahamat
    Last edited by Tariq; 02-01-2017, 12:45 AM.