AU to hold first-ever debate for contenders seeking to replace Dlamini-Zuma

2016-11-23 12:00
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (AFP)

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (AFP)

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Cape Town – The African Union Commission is reportedly set to hold its first-ever debate for the five candidates seeking to head the continental body and take over from the current chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

According to BBC Live, an invitation from the commission stated that all the candidates who had expressed interest in contesting would take part in a "town hall-style" debate on December 9 at the AU’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The elections were due in January 2017.

"It is our sincere belief that this debate will help in the transformation of our union and Africa, as often elections of the union leadership occur behind closed doors, thus denying the broad African public an opportunity to be informed and participate in the work of the commission," the commission was quoted as saying.

African heads of state failed to elect a new head of the commission in July after they were unable to agree on a successor to lead the executive branch of the continental body during its 27th summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

None of the three candidates at the time was able to muster the two-thirds majority required to win the secret ballot.

Five contenders had shown interest in next year’s elections. See their names below:

Botswana’s Penelope Venson – currently foreign minister

Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat – currently foreign minister

Equatorial Guinea’s Agapito Mba Mokuy – currently foreign minister

Kenya’s Amina Mohamed – currently foreign minister

Senegal’s Bathily Abdoulaye – currently special UN envoy for Central Africa 

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