Nominations to replace Dlamini-Zuma at AU open again

2016-08-10 17:35
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma speaks during a press conference as head of the African Union (AU) Commission. (Simon Maina, AFP)

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma speaks during a press conference as head of the African Union (AU) Commission. (Simon Maina, AFP)

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Johannesburg - Nominations for the next African Union Commission chairperson have opened again after countries failed to elect a replacement for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at July’s summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

In a press release on Wednesday, the continental body said that countries have until the end of September to formally nominate candidates for the position of chairperson and deputy chairperson.

News24 has learnt that Botswana's foreign minister, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, would be throwing her hat in the ring once again after failing to make the cut at the summit.

Moitoi managed to get the most votes out of all the three candidates at last month's AU summit, but with 13 out of 54 votes didn't muster the two-thirds majority needed to be elected to the position of AU chairperson.

SA supported her by virtue of her being the Southern African Development Community candidate. It is unclear whether she needs a formal endorsement from SADC again, but an informed source said she likely does, and the matter could be discussed at the upcoming SADC summit in Swaziland at the end of this month.

Senegalese politician and diplomat Abdoulaye Bathily's name has been mentioned as another possible candidate, while there is also support for former Tanzanian president Jikaya Kikwete to step up as a candidate - even though his chairpersonship could, according to AU officials, cause protocol problems.

ANC presidential campaign

Dlamini-Zuma has agreed to stay on until the January summit, even though the AU's rules provided for her deputy, Erastus Mwencha, to step up and fill that role.

She is set to stay for three months after the January summit in order to oversee a handover, although by all accounts her campaign to position herself as the next ANC president in 2017 has started already.

The AU in its statement said the nominations process for the position of deputy chairperson as well as eight commissioners for the AU commission has re-opened.

"The AU Commission has officially informed all member states, providing detailed timeframes and deadlines for the submission of candidatures for the 10 positions that are open," the statement said.

Nominations for commissioners should be submitted to the relevant regions before August 19, and before the AU by September 16.

The names of candidates would be circulated to the member states by October 14, more than three months before the election, scheduled for January 30 to 31 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, it said.

Read more on:    au  |  nkosazana dlamini-zuma

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