ETHIOPIA – Ahead of its February 7 election scheduled to hold in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Union Commission, AUC, is currently facing unprecedented outrage ahead of the leadership election.
This is as a result of the incumbent Chairman, Faki Moussa Mahamat of Chad, planning on running unopposed for a second four-year term.
One of the Chairman’s stiff oppositions and potential candidates, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, who is a former African Union Ambassador to the United States, is mobilizing to unseat Mahamat.
Chihombori-Quao was said to have been sacked by Mahamat for allegedly exposing the siphoning billions of euros from some Francophone countries in Africa by a top European country.
This is the first time in its history the incumbent Chairman Mahamat is running unopposed for a second four-year term.
Abebrese’s organization, which partners with the African Union to use sports to build unity across the continent for peace and development, has waded into African Union Commission (AUC) politics ever since the sacking of Arikana in 2019.
Abebrese is backing Arikana and AUC Deputy Chairman, Thomas Kwesi Quartey, to unseat Mahamat come February 7.
With barely a couple of weeks to go for the elections, it has emerged that Mahamat will be the only name on the ballot paper, but the COSUA President is not giving up.
“The rules are clear, that even if he runs unopposed, he is still required to secure the votes of no less than 37 of the 55 Heads of State who will be voting on the 7th,” Abebrese explained in an interview with New Europe.
The COSUA President disclosed that, in a bid to kick Mahamat out of office, the #Catch19agenda’ has been launched to lobby Presidents with the aim of getting up to 19 of them to decline to vote so as to ensure that the incumbent Chairman falls short of the 37-vote requirement.
“This will trigger a six-month postponement of the polls and a re-opening of nominations for other interested candidates to come in,” said Abebrese.
Abebrese noted that Mahamat was the biggest beneficiary of a wise decision by former AU leader, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma of South Africa who had to postpone the elections to allow him (Mahamat) and one other candidate to join in for the re-run, which the Chadian later won.
“Now, he is refusing to return the favor and follow in the democratic precedence set by his predecessor…he must be voted out,” Abebrese concluded.
The AU is made up of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent.
The AUC is the AU’s secretariat and undertakes the day to day activities of the Union.
It is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Its functions include: Representing the AU and defending its interests under the guidance of and as mandated by the Assembly and the Executive Council.
Mahamat, a politician and diplomat, has been Chairperson of the Commission since 14 March 2017.
Maharat, a member of the ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement, MPS, in Chad, has also held the post of Prime Minister of Chad and Minister of Foreign Affairs.