Malawi's President elected AU Chair

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Addis Ababa - African leaders have elected Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika as the new Chairman of the African Union (AU) at the Heads of State and Government Summit currently underway in Ethiopia.

The leaders rejected a bid by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to win a second term. Gaddafi was elected chairman of the 53-nation AU at last year's summit and had wanted to stay on in the post which is usually rotated among the different regions of the continent.

Addressing the summit, Gaddafi said he would continue to promote his vision of a "United States of Africa".

The Executive Council has meanwhile endorsed the 15 members who will serve on the AU Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC).

Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria were elected to serve for three years.

The remaining members, namely Burundi, Chad, Djibouti, Rwanda, Namibia, South Africa, C"te d'Ivoire, Mali and Benin, will also serve for two years.

PSC members are selected on a regional basis, with three members each from central, east and southern Africa and four from west Africa.