RAILA may never become the AU Chairman as the AU Executive Council complicates his bid with new requirements – Look!

Wednesday, April 3, 2024 – The chances of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga becoming the next African Union Commission Chairperson are growing slimmer with each passing day.

This is after the Executive Council Ministerial meeting decided to include the gender requirement in the election of AU leaders.

In the concluded meeting, the council gave the Eastern wing of the union the power to appoint the chairperson.

Subsequently, the Northern region will be tasked with producing the deputy chairperson while Western, Central, and Southern regions will submit candidates for the remaining posts of six commissioners.

The council, however, decided that the two top positions should be occupied by two different genders meaning that if the elected chairperson is male, then his deputy must be female and vice versa.

"The Eastern region shall submit candidates for the position of the chairperson. The Northern region shall submit candidates for the position of the deputy chairperson," the council directed.

"Both regions can submit male and female candidates. The gender of the elected Chairperson will determine the gender of the Deputy Chairperson to be elected."

The council had embarked on a high-level meeting in mid-March ahead of the February 2025 elections to consider the report on the preparation for the election of senior leadership. 

The ministers were expected to discuss the modalities of regional rotation and gender parity for fair distribution of the leadership.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga had expressed his interest in ascending to the chairperson seat and subsequently kicked off a campaign for votes.

So far, Raila's bid has received backing from international leaders including former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and his political foe President William Ruto, among other East African presidents.


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