Raila Faces Fresh Hurdle as New Candidate Enters AUC Chair Race

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Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga encountered a fresh hurdle on Wednesday after Seychelles announced a new candidate for the Africa Union Commission Chairperson (AUC) position. 

This happened at a time when Djibouti and Somalia have also put forward their own candidates. 

In a statement from the Seychelles Foreign Affairs Department, it was revealed that the East African country would endorse Vincent Meriton. 

Meriton had previously served as the country’s Vice President and Foreign Minister.

Ex-Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday, February 15, 2024, endorsed Raila Odinga for the AU chairperson position



“The Foreign Affairs Department wishes to announce that the Government of Seychelles has endorsed the candidature of Vincent Meriton for the position of Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) in the election scheduled to take place in February 2025,” a statement from Seychelles government read in part. 

Seychelles remarked that Meriton was the best-suited candidate as he had spent his political career championing Seychelles’ position on the Blue Economy on the international stage.

Should he win the position, it was explained that he would improve the implementation rate of the Commission’s executive decisions. 

This would be achieved through addressing barriers to implementation and promoting accountability and compliance.

Raila Odinga was the first person to show interest for the position which will fall vacant in February 2025. 

Immediately after, Somalia nominated ex-Foreign Affairs Minister Fawzia Yusuf Adam to battle it out with Raila. 

Djibouti thereafter, fronted their Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahmoud Youssouf for the same position. 

The seat is held on a rotational basis and it is the turn of East African Region to front candidate to replace Moussa Faki from Chad.

Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, delivering opening remarks of the Africa Fertiliser and Soil Health Summit on May 9, 2024, in Nairobi, Kenya.



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