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MOITOI relaunches campaign for AU Chair

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has confirmed she is re-launching her campaign to be the African Union Commission Chairperson on Thursday, starting with a visit to Swaziland.

Elections to appoint the new African Union Commission Chairperson took place on July 18, 2016 with candidates not able to achieve the required two thirds majority.

The assembly then decided to suspend and postpone the elections to the 28th summit scheduled for January 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Venson-Moitoi pointed out that she had no problems with convincing delegates to offer their support during her campaign. The Southern African Development Committee had offered their vote as well as some countries in the eastern, western and northern parts of Africa. She was able to win the first round.

However at the end of the day none of the contenders where able to attain the two third majority required to win the seat. Venson-Moitoi obatined 23 votes while 28 members chose to abstain during the July elections.

The Minister shared that the previous campaign has taught her a lot and that now she is much more experienced and smarter. "I learnt a lot and I am better stronger today. I will not give up yet and I will see it through till the end."

Venson-Moitoi refused to share details on her plan of action, on how she would do things differently to have the AUC chairperson election results in her favour. She however assured Batswana that there is a strategy in place.

"I do have a plan to get 23 votes again, I am the best among the three who are contesting for the chairperson role," said Venson-Moitoi.

In terms of support the Minister and Presidential Spokesperson Dr Jeff Ramsey confirmed that President Dr Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama has been endorsing Venson-Moitoi's campaign.

Ramsey said "The President has been lobbying heads of state and other delegates when they visited Botswana.

Khama never attended the crucial AU summit when elections took place unlike other heads of state, content instead to attend the Makgadikgadi Epic, a sky diving fun event that was held at Nata Bird Sanctuary.

Venson-Moitoi said "The President supports me as he has even convened Parliament and also approved some financial boost to my campaign. He has written to some heads of states in the African continent."

The Minister will on Thursday visit Swaziland to begin her campaign and has committed to visit countries in the ECOWAS region to convince them to choose her come the January 2017 AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

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