Election of AUC chief postponed after fierce contest

The election of the chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) has been postponed to July this year during the next AU summit, a South African official attending the summit said on Monday. 
African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping addresses an emergency summit of the AU Peace and Security Council in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping addresses an emergency summit of the AU Peace and Security Council in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

The election of the chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) has been postponed to July this year during the next AU summit, a South African official attending the summit said on Monday.  

After three rounds of fierce competition, none of the two candidates -- incumbent AUC Chairperson Jean Ping and Ms. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, current interior minister of South Africa - got the required two-thirds of votes. The AUC then decided to suspend the election.

An AUC source told Xinhua. Spokesperson of South Africa’s International Relations Ministry, Clayson Monyela, wrote on his twitter that the current deputy chairperson of the AUC, Erastus Mwencha from Kenya, will run the commission until the 19th summit in Malawi in July.
An AUC source told Xinhua that Jean Ping stayed ahead of Dlamini- Zuma in the three rounds of voting.  In the first round, “it is 28 votes against 25, which does not give him an absolute majority,” said the official. 

In the second round, Jean Ping won 27 votes while the South African candidate got 26. In the third round, they obtained 29 and 24 votes respectively. According to the AU’s rule, the chairperson must get a majority of two thirds of votes from members with the right to vote, that is, member states that are not under sanction. If not, automatically, a following round is imposed.

The Closed-door voting was held in the conference hall of the newly inaugurated AU Conference Center. 

Meanwhile Zambian President Michael Sata said following the postponement of the election of the AUC chief on Monday, that unresolved elections for a new president of the African Union Commission (AUC) does not mean that the continent is divided.

“It does not mean that the continent is divided. When there is an election, the election always divides people,” said the Zambian president. 

Xinhua

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