Dlamini-Zuma to vie for AU top job again

2012-01-31 07:34
Addis Ababa - SA says Nkosazana Dlamaini Zuma will vie for the African Union’s top job in the next election after she failed to secure two-thirds of votes needed to become commission chairperson of the bloc.

"Nothing stops us from fielding the same candidate because she has shown or proven to be a formidable candidate that the incumbent could not defeat," South Africa's International Relations Minister Maite Nkoane Mashabane said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the African Union on Tuesday extended the mandate of its top official Jean Ping.

"We have decided to prolong the mandate of the current commission until the next summit in Lilongwe Malawi" in June, bloc chairperson, Benin's president Thomas Boni Yayi, said at the end of a two-day summit in Addis Ababa.

Intense campaigns had preceded the vote for commission chief which dominated the AU summit in the Ethiopia capital, where leaders gathered to discuss broadening trade within Africa and tackling conflict hot spots.

Gabon's Ping, 69, who has headed the African Union Commission since 2008, sought a new term but was unable to obtain the required two-thirds majority in a tight race with Dlamini-Zuma, ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma.

"We went for an election and none of the two candidates emerged as a winner," Zambian President Michael Sata told reporters after the vote.

Criticism

Analysts say the vote for the AU agenda-setting position has exposed political fault lines between English- and French-speaking Africa, as well as between different geographic regions.

"The result has shown up divides in the continent," Jakkie Cilliers, executive director of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria, told AFP at the summit. "South Africa worked hard to reduce Ping's support base."

But Boni Yayi insisted: "The continent is united and there is hope that it will continue to be united."

Ping led Dlamini-Zuma in the first three rounds with 28 votes to 25, 27 to 26 and 29 to 24, AU sources said.

Dlamini-Zuma was then forced under AU rules to pull out, leaving Ping to face a fourth round on his own, but he still failed to muster the necessary votes.

Ahead of the vote, sources said Ping had been confident of re-election, counting on support from French-speaking West and Central Africa countries.

However, he has appeared to have fallen foul of criticism that he performed poorly in recent crises on the continent, after a year that saw a post-election conflict in Ivory Coast as well as the Arab Spring revolutions.

The AU was holding its first summit since the death of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, a key financier of the bloc, but who had allies mainly in French-speaking West Africa.

Tough campaign

Dlamini-Zuma had launched a tough campaign and had the backing of the 15-member Southern African Development Community, as Pretoria lobbied hard across Africa to drum up support.

South African delegates broke into song and dance after the stalemate vote conducted at the summit in the new ultra-modern AU headquarters built by the Chinese and unveiled at the weekend.

But Cilliers warned that while Dlamini-Zuma supporters were celebrating, her failure to win suggested many might oppose South Africa for the post too.

"Importantly, this result may mean that Africans don't want a key country such as South Africa in the position of chair," he said.

No woman has held the post.

"It's a good sign for gender politics in AU that a woman came so close for the vote to such a position," said Cheryl Hendricks of the ISS thinktank.

On Sunday, the 54-member African Union elected Yayi as its new chairman, a rotating post held for one year.

On the sidelines of the summit, protracted disputes between South Sudan and Sudan over oil and borders brought a warning from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Sunday that they threatened regional security.

"The situation in Sudan and South Sudan has reached a critical point, it has become a major threat to peace and security across the region," Ban told reporters.

- SAPA
Read more on:    un  |  au  |  jean ping  |  michael sata  |  jacob zuma  |  nkosazana dlamini-zuma  |  ban ki-moon  |  sa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
41 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

13 summer safety tips

Summer time and the burning is easy. Get some great tips to ensure sunburn doesn't spoil your holiday!

 
 

I love summer.24

This sleeping bulldog is you during the holidays
This man's reaction to his Christmas present is priceless!
LOL! Cats destroying Christmas trees
Great tips for surviving the holidays

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Short term gratification seems like fun at the time; just remember that your boundaries are down right now and there s a tendency...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.