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Home / News-archive / African Union Elects New Chairperson

African Union Elects New Chairperson

African Leaders recently gathered in the 19th African Union Summit have elected Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as their Chairperson. The elections were originally scheduled for January. However, in the vote, neither Dlamini-Zuma nor Jean Ping, the Gabonese incumbent, were able to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to win. It was decided that Ping would stay for a further six months until elections on July 15. Dr. Dlamini-Zuma will have a difficult mission: not only overcoming the divisions in the AU, but also addressing issues around the AU’s effectiveness on peace and security questions. In fact, last year the AU hesitated over crisis in Ivory Coast and in Lybia, and many people questioned the organisations’s relevance. Back in 2005 at the Southern African Development Community summit, also President Festus Mogae of Botswana criticised the institution, saying it was “the weakest in getting things done”. Nevertheless, Dlamini-Zuma has an excellent record as a minister in South Africa and her election as the first female chairperson of the AU is a sign of renewal itself. Many are optimistic about her election, and hope that her mandate will start with a firm commitment to accountable and transparent leadership at the AU. Francesca Ghersenti. International democracy Watch. 30 July 2012.


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