African Union leaders at a summit in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, yesterday failed to elect a replacement to South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The voting for a new chair for the African Union Commission was inconclusive as the results could not produce a two-thirds majority for any of the three candidates.
A former Ugandan vice president, Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, polled 11 votes against the 16 scored by Botswana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Pelomi Venson-Moitoi and Equatorial Guinea candidate Agapito Mba Mokuy, who garnered 12 votes.
When the first candidates were eliminated, 23 states voted for Botswana, still short of the required two thirds.
This was because Nigeria and over 27 African countries abstained from voting.
The abstention was reportedly blamed on the West African regional block, ECOWAS, which had raised a “no confidence vote” on the three candidates but failed to stop the elections from proceeding.
Sources at the voting said ECOWAS had tried to introduce a last minute candidate but this was foiled.
The regional block led by Nigeria decided to stop the vote and this led to the deadlock and elimination of all candidates.
As Dlamini-Zuma’s tenure has been extended to January when new election will take place. She would have handed over in October had a successor been elected.
Nigeria may take the opportunity to sponsor a new candidate for the chair.