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Raila inches closer to AU job as key gender obstacle is removed

A key obstacle that threatened Raila Odinga’s quest for top Africa Union job has been removed bringing fresh impetus to the race.

A proposal on rotational gender parity was removed that allowes Kenya and other East African countries to nominate candidates of either gender.

Raila is gunning for the Africa Union Commission chairmanship but the proposal for gender rotation had meant that the outgoing chairman having been a man, the next one should be a woman effectively knocking Raila out of the race.

But with the proposal removed Raila who has already secured the backing of several African presidents has a clear shot to the position.

An update on the election process highlighted key agreements made when the Permanent Representative Committee (PRC) met.

The PRC agreed on the following recommendations and which will be incorporated in the Draft Decision to be presented to the Executive Council:

  1. Inter-regional rotation: The PRC agreed on Approach 2 option (b), which means that Eastern Africa region will be eligible to nominate candidates for the position of chairperson while the Northern Africa region will be eligible to nominate candidates for the position of Deputy Chairperson.
  2. Intra-regional rotation: intra-regional rotation should be based on regional consultations and not on the English alphabetical order.
  3. Rotational Gender parity: The PRC agreed on non-application of gender rotation in the application of the principle of rotational gender parity. The PRC position aligns with Kenya’s interpretation of this principle. Thus, both Eastern and Northern Africa regions are at liberty to nominate candidates of either gender for the posts of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson respectively in the AUC election 2025.
  4. Allocation of Commissioner’s Portfolios: The six (6) Commissioner posts will be open for competition by candidates nominated by the three remaining regions (Central, Southern and Western Africa regions).

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