ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Jan 30 – There were actual tears shed by the Kenyan delegation when it became clear that Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed would not become Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Soon after the vote, President Uhuru Kenyatta himself left the African Union headquarters leaving his Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu to wish the new AU Chair Moussa Mahamat the very best in his new posting and express a willingness to work together toward reform.
“We pledge to work with him to defend the pan-African agenda of integration for Africa, as well as democracy, sovereignty and prosperity for all of its people.”
It put a brave face on a bitter loss considering the effort spent on, “historically,” sending envoys to each and every member state of the African Union in a lobbying effort and then not have your own neighbours vote for you.
Uganda and Burundi, it emerged after the vote, did not — in the deciding vote — align with Kenya.
Mohamed made it past the first three rounds of voting which left her and Mohamat standing but ended up losing to him in the second and final round by three votes with one abstension: 28-25.
The seventh vote was to give him, standing alone, the opportunity to garner the two-thirds majority required to be officially winner and he garnered 38 votes; the SADC bloc opting out.
Ambassador Mohamed is expected to make a formal statement on the vote on Tuesday when a vote on Morocco rejoining the African Union is also scheduled to take place.
President Kenyatta had championed Ambassador Amina’s candidature on the grounds that she possessed the vision and leadership to deliver on a transformed African Union.
Ghana took the post of Deputy Chairperson.