Dlamini-Zuma ‘voted’ AU chairperson as some countries abstain

The African Union has chosen South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its leader, making her the first woman to hold the post.

Ms Dlamini-Zuma beat incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon after a closely fought contest for the chairmanship of the organisation.

In January, neither got the required two-thirds majority, leaving Mr Ping in office for another six months.

The dispute has overshadowed other issues, especially security and trade.

Voting had been broadly split along linguistic lines, with English-speaking countries tending to support Ms Dlamini-Zuma and French-speaking countries lining up behind Mr Ping.

In the first round of voting Zuma polled 27 votes to Dr Ping’s 24 votes,while in the second round of voting she got 29 votes to Ping’s 22 and in the third round she polled 33 votes to Ping’s 18 votes, forcing him to fallout of the race as per AU electoral rules.

This implied that Zuma who had won all the three round though without an outright victory had to stand alone in the fourth round to seek the confidence of the Heads of State and Government, and she managed to secure 37 votes, with some Heads of state abstaining from the vote possibly those who backed the candidature of Dr Ping.

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