‘AU not leaderless’

2012-07-10 11:54

African Union (AU) Commission deputy chairperson Erastus Mwencha has denied claims that the continental body has been rudderless since the January election stalemate.

Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and AU Commission chairperson Jean Ping will square off for the second time at this weekend’s AU summit.

In January, both Dlamini-Zuma and Ping could not garner the required two-thirds majority.

AU Commission staff close to Ping have rubbished claims that he attempted to broker a deal with South Africa to allow Dlamini-Zuma to stand unopposed. Ping is expected to clarify his position at a press briefing on Thursday.

Mwencha said the AU was functioning.

“Leaders (AU assembly made up of heads of state and government) will address the matter in their collective wisdom,” Mwencha said.

He likened the situation at the AU to the election of World Trade Organisation director-general Pascal Lamy when he contested the position with Uruguayan Carlos Castillo.

“This is not the first time this has happened, this is democracy,” Mwencha said.

Dlamini-Zuma is expected in Ethiopia on Friday.

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