AU Summit suspends election of Commission Chairperson

Ousman Sillah reporting from Kigali

African heads of state and government at the closing of the 27th Summit of the African Union (AU) in Kigali, Rwanda, on Monday, 19 July, suspended the election of a new Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) after all the three contestants failed to secure the two thirds majority of the votes of the member states as required by the rules.An AU Commissioner Martial de Paul Ilounga told the media that the voting proceeded as scheduled with 51 out of 55 participating and out of which 28 abstained while 23 voted for their candidate of choice but which is short of the two-thirds majority required.
The Botswana Foreign Minister, Dr. Pelonomi Venson, who led in the contest, got 16 votes, while the Equitorial Guinea Foreign Minister, Agapito Mba Mokuy and the former Ugandan vice president Specioza Wandira Kazibwe got 12 and 11 votes respectively.
Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the AUC Chairperson, who wanted to serve for only one term, will therefore continue until a new head is elected as this is not the first time that such a situation has occurred. Jean Ping was asked to stay on before Dr. Zuma was elected in June 2012.