Chad's Mahamat elected as incoming Chair of the AU Commission

New Chairperson of the African Union
New Chairperson of the African Union

Pretoria - Chad's Foreign Minister, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has been elected the new Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission.

Leaders of AU member nations elected Moussa Faki Mahamat on Monday in a heavily contested vote from five candidates vying for the post during the 28th AU Summit at the continental body’s headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Mahamat replaces South Africa’s Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who decided not to seek a second four-year term.

Mahamat was Prime Minister of Chad from 2003 to 2005. He has also been a president of Chad’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council from 2007 to 2008, and had served as its Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The election of the AU Commission Chairperson was postponed after no candidate managed to secure the required number of votes to win the race during the election held at the last AU summit in July 2016.

In order to be declared a winner, a candidate should obtain at least two-thirds of the vote, which is 36 votes. However, after three rounds of voting, no candidate was successful during last July’s voting.

Mahamat won on Monday with 39 votes.

The Kenyan Foreign Minister, Amina Mohamed, a strong candidate to replace Dlamini Zuma, congratulated the new AU Commission chairperson and pledged to work with him for a better Africa.

Mohamed only managed to secured 26 votes in the hotly contested elections.

Ghanaian Kwesi Quartet was elected Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission. -