ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Jan 30 – The African continent goes to the ballot as it were on Monday to elect a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Kenya has fronted its Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for Monday’s vote which should have taken place in June but was pushed forward as the current Chairperson Nkosazana Dlaminia Zuma seeks to contest the South African Presidency.
Kenya is targeting a minimum of 20 votes in the first round of voting but is pragmatic that it is unlikely to secure a two-thirds win right off the bat.
Kenya goes into the election not in as strong a position as it initially thought given some of those whose backing it was confident of falter; among them Uganda and Djibouti.
But in a counter measure, President Kenyatta met and held talks with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana , Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and Jacob Zuma of South Africa; Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe Patrice Trovoada and not forgetting Hage Geingob of Namibia with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and President Paul Kagame on hand to led Kenya support.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration remains adamant that Ambassador Mohamed presents the best option as the Union looks to finance its own programmes and rely much less heavily on development partners.
An ideal shared by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda: “We cannot leave implementation and institutional reforms to chance or treat it as routine. Both in the Assembly of Heads of State and the AU Commission, the responsibility for delivery of the reform agenda must be clearly assigned.”
Kenya however scored an early goal as the vote on Morocco’s readmission was taken off the pre-election agenda for the AU Heads of State and Government.
President Kenyatta’s administration led by Mohamed have differed with Morocco on the autonomy of Sahrawi and, “heatedly,” debating its readmission — government officials told Capital FM News — could offset delicately negotiated pacts for the post of Chairperson’
Such a, “divisive,” debate, the officials told Capital FM News could, “muddy,” the elections by altering the mood of the Assembly.
Morocco according to analyst Francois Conradie in an article published by Bloomberg: “To advance its interests in this complicated debate, Rabat will want a friend as chair. Morocco will seek to have a friendly figure chairing the AU Commission which is in charge of the day-to-day management of the union and so has substantial influence on what the body does.”
Up against Ambassador Amina (EAC) are Pelonomi Venson Moitoi of Botswana (SADC), Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily (ECOWAS), Moussa Faki Mahamat of Chad (North Africa) and Equatorial Guinea’s Agapito Mba Mokuy (Central Africa).