Chad’s Mahamat Moussa was on Monday elected the new chairperson of the African Union Commission defeating close rival Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s foreign affairs cabinet secretary.
Mahamat Moussa, who garnered 38 votes against his closest rival Aminah Mohamed [26 votes] during the 28th AU ordinary summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, replaces Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who leaves the commission after serving only one term.
Dlamini-Zuma is expected to join the race to replace her former husband, Jacob Zuma as South African president.
Jacob Zuma’s reign has been threatened by a litany of scandals including corruption, abuse of office and superintending a troubled economy that has been characterized by a free-falling South African Rand and rising unemployment.
Political analysts predict that Jacob Zuma will most likely leave before the end of his term in 2019 due to mounting pressure from within his party, African National Congress, and without.
Amina Mohamed, who had been the preferred candidate for the East Africa Community bloc failed to bring the chairperson job to the regional grouping.
The election was carried forward from last year’s 27th summit in Kigali where all candidates, including Uganda’s former vice president Specioza Wandira Kazibwe had failed to garner the required two-thirds majority.
The AU Commission runs the day-to-day operations of the 54-member-state grouping of African countries.
Mahamat Moussa defeated three others including Abdoulaye Bathily of Senegal, Agapito Mba Mokuy of Equatorial Guinea and Pelonomi Venson Moitoi of Botswana.
Earlier Guinean president, Alpha Conde was elected new chairperson of the African Union, taking over from Chadian president Idris Deby.
The chairperson of the African Union is the ceremonial head of the Union elected by an assembly of heads of state for a one-year term.
It rotates among the continent’s five regions – North, Central, East, West and Southern African regions.