Kenya has nominated its Foreign Minister Amina Mohammed for the job of African Union’s (AU) Commission Chairperson.
Elections for the replacement of Ms Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who is stepping down after one term would take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January.
According to Africa Review, Zuma is tipped to run for the South African presidency.
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A vote in Kigali, Rwanda, during the 27th Heads of State Assembly in July failed after none of the three candidates – Bostwana’s FM Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, her counterpart from Equatorial Guinea Agapito Mba Mokuy and former Vice President of Uganda, Specioza Wandira Kazibwe – collected the two-thirds of the votes required to win.
Member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) abstained from the July ballot amidst concerns about the quality of the candidates.
The three candidates are eligible to run again but Uganda has already withdrawn Ms Kazibwe’s name from nominations that closed on September 30.
Dr Moitoi, who topped the July polling with 23 votes after seven rounds of balloting, is expected to be on the list of new nominees to be released later this month, maintaining her position as the official candidate of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
While the nominees have not been made public, diplomatic sources say apart from Ms Mohammed, the list is also likely to include Fowsiyo Yusuf Haji Adan, Somalia’s first female foreign minister who held the position between 2012-2014.
Also is Senegalese diplomat and politician Abdoulaye Bathily who is currently the UN Secretary General’s special representative for Central Africa.
Mr Mukoy came second in July and is likely to return as the Central African candidate, buoyed by the generous financial support Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema offers the AU – support that has become ever more important since the departure of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.
Chad’s President Idriss Deby, who currently holds the AU rotational leadership, is also believed to have put forth the name of his foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat, who served as prime minister between 2003 and 2005, and who would present a second candidate for the Central African bloc.