Kenya, Senegal and Chad will each nominate a candidate for election to the presidency of the African Union Commission (AU) to be held next January in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa according to the list of candidates seen by AFP.
Kenya’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Amina Mohamed, her Chadian counterpart Moussa Faki Mahamat and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily, a UN representative in Central Africa, are among the favorites on this list of five names that is yet to be made public by the AU. The deadline for applications had been set for Friday.
The three candidates came forward after the failure of a first vote which had been scheduled to take place at the AU Summit in Kigali in July.
The African heads of state postponed to January 2017 the election of a successor to the current president, South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who declined to run for a second term as the head of the organization.
Two other contenders, Agapito Mba Mokuy (Equatorial Guinea) and Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi (Botswana), maintained their candidature despite their failure to meet the necessary two-thirds majority in July in Kigali, with many states considering that they “lacked scale.”
The election of the vice chair of the AU, currently occupied by a Kenyan Erastus Mwencha, will take place between a candidate from Ghana, Kwesi Quartey, and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s, Claude-Joachim tiker tiker.
Eight other posts of Commissioners are also open for running, including the coveted Commissioner for Peace and Security, for which no fewer than six candidates are running including the current portfolio holder, Algerian Smail Chergui.
The chairmanship of the African Union Commission has traditionally been an informal rotation between the regions in the continent. In 2012, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who is an anglophone was elected after she defeated Gabon’s Jean Ping who is from the Francophone region after an acrimonious campaign.