Raila Odinga Announces Candidacy for African Union Commission Chairmanship

Raila Odinga, a prominent figure in Kenyan politics, has declared his intention to run for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission, seeking to succeed the current chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat, whose term concludes in July.

With the impending end of Moussa Faki Mahamat’s tenure, nations across the African continent are already presenting candidates for the esteemed position.

Raila Odinga, representing the Kenyan opposition, has formally announced his candidacy for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission.

In his bid for the position, Raila Odinga has enlisted the support of Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria and the African Union’s Horn of Africa envoy, to bolster his campaign efforts.

According to reports from the BBC, Odinga, a four-time presidential candidate in Kenya who faced electoral defeat, is actively engaging with various countries to garner support for the upcoming election scheduled for May 2024.

However, Odinga’s candidacy hinges on the approval of President William Ruto of Kenya. Without Ruto’s endorsement, Odinga’s aspirations for the African Union chairmanship may face significant hurdles.

Raila Odinga secure the position of African Union Commission chairman, his eligibility to contest the 2027 Kenyan presidential election would be forfeited, potentially shaping the political landscape of the country.

It’s worth noting that Amina Mohamed, former Kenyan Foreign Minister, vied for the African Union Commission chairmanship five years prior but was unsuccessful in her bid against Moussa Faki Mahamat.

The election for the Chairperson of the African Union Commission occurs quadrennially, and the African Union Charter stipulates that candidates cannot serve more than two terms in the position.

The chairman of the African Union Commission commands an annual salary of $184 thousand, and the election process involves a secret ballot cast by member countries of the union.

As the 44th meeting of the African Union Executive Council convenes in Addis Ababa, attended by foreign ministers from member states, preparations are underway for the 37th summit of the Union scheduled for the upcoming weekend.

In anticipation of the summit, the African Union has issued a cautionary statement, warning against the participation of countries and institutions that have not received formal invitations as observers.

By ethionegari@gmail.com

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