The African Union (AU) has re-opened nominations for the next Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and eight Commissioners of the AU Commission.
The elections are scheduled to be held during the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, scheduled for 30-31 January, 2017, at the AU Headquarters in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, according to the statement released on Wednesday.
The statement said that the election of the members of the AU Commission held in Kigali, Rwanda in July this year were suspended since none of the three contenders for the position of the Chairperson of the Commission obtained the required two-thirds majority, after seven rounds of voting. Re-opening the process allows for both the former candidates, as well as new candidates to run for any of the ten positions, it said.
“According to the rules of procedure of the Assembly and Executive Council, the statutes of the commission as well as modalities for the election of members of the commission, the candidatures for the posts of the chairperson, deputy chairperson and the commissioners are required to be circulated to member states at least three months before the election,” said the AUC.
A ministerial panel will meet to finalise the list by October 7 and the AUC will circulate the list of candidates to all member states on or before October 14, ahead of the January 2017 elections.
Previously, there were three candidates vying for the position of African Union chairperson: Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, former Ugandan vice president, Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, Botswana Foreign Minister, and Agapito Mba Mokuy, Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister.
During the first round of the election, the Botswana candidate got 16 votes, Equatorial Guinea, 12 votes, and Uganda’s candidate got 11 votes, reports indicate.Reports indicated that the ECOWAS bloc which had petitioned earlier for the postponement of the election on the grounds that none of the candidates was qualified enough for the position, did not participate therefore reducing the number of votes to meet the majority.
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