Dec 16, 2009, 1:38 PM
African heads of state and governments will as from 29 to 30 January 2012, meet within the framework of the 18th African Union Summit. This year, one of the most anticipated moments of the Conference is the election for a term of four years of members of the AU Commission namely, the Chairperson, deputy Chairperson and the eight Commissioners.
Election of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson
In July 2011, the Commission notified member states on the vacancies of the above-mentioned positions, and the deadline for submissions for the candidacies was set for 15 September 2011. As of that date, the Commission received the following submissions: For the position of the Chairperson of the AUC, Dr. Jean Ping from
With regard to the position of deputy Chairperson, the Commission received the submission of Mr. Erastus J. O. Mwencha from
Worth noting is that, during the elections, the Chairperson and deputy Chairperson must not derive from the same region.
The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson are elected by secret ballot and a majority of two thirds of the members with the right to vote, that is, members states that are not under sanction. According to the rules of the AU Assembly, the members must be “competent women and men, with proven experience in the field, leadership qualities and experience in the civil service, parliament, international organizations or any other relevant sectors of the society.”
The election will take place in the afternoon on 29 January 2012, on the day of the official opening of the AU Summit. It will be preceded by the debate on the theme of the
Election of the Eight Commissioners
According to the rules governing the election of the eight Commissioners of the AU, each region is expected to present two candidates, including a woman for each position.
As of the expiration of the deadline on 15 September 2011, submissions for twenty-five (25) candidates from the different regions were received for the following portfolios: Peace and Security, Political Affairs, Infrastructure and Energy, Social Affairs, Human Resources, Science and Technology, Trade and Industry, Rural Economy and Agriculture, and finally Economic Affairs.
These candidates were selected following criteria such as work experience, education and age (35 years minimum).
Among the Commissioners who were elected in 2008, Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra is a candidate for a second term of office for the post of Commissioner for Peace and Security, Professor Jean-Pierre Ezin is a candidate for the position of Commissioner of Human Resources, Science and Technology, and Dr. Elham Mahmoud Ibrahim is candidate for Commissioner of infrastructure and energy.
The statute of the Commission limits the mandate of the Commissioners to four years renewable once.
Therefore, four of them will no longer run in these elections. They are Mrs. Julia Dolly Joiner, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Advocate Bience Gawanas, Commissioner for Social Affairs and Dr. Maxwell Mkwezalamba, Commissioner for Economic Affairs. Late Mrs. Elizabeth Tankeu, Commissioner for Trade and Industry, died in October 2011, while completing her second and final term.
Immediately after the election of the Chairperson and deputy of the Commission by the Assembly, the Executive Council retires to elect the eight Commissioners of the AU. The results are announced at the end of the closed session dedicated for the election during the Executive Council meeting.
The 18th AU Summit will be very interesting and eventful as it will also feature the election of ten members of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the AU for a term of two years.
The AU PSC consists of 15 members, 5 from
This difference in the duration of terms ensures continuity in the monitoring of the PSC records and achievements.
The candidates for the next election are drawn from the following countries: (North)
Meanwhile, according to the rules of procedure of the Assembly, the heads of state at the sidelines of the January Summit elect one of their peers to assume the rotating Chairmanship of the
In 2012, the chairperson responsibility of the Union will go to