AU chooses Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as leader

The African Union has chosen South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its leader, making her the first woman to hold the post.
The African Union has chosen South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its leader, making her the first woman to hold the post.

July 15, 2012

The African Union has chosen South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its leader, making her the first woman to hold the post.

Ms Dlamini-Zuma beat incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon after a closely fought contest for the chairmanship of the organisation.

In January, neither got the required two-thirds majority, leaving Mr Ping in office for another six months.

The dispute has overshadowed other issues, especially security and trade.

Voting had been broadly split along linguistic lines, with English-speaking countries tending to support Ms Dlamini-Zuma and French-speaking countries lining up behind Mr Ping.

Senior officials had warned that failure to resolve the leadership deadlock would divide the AU and undermine its credibility.

Long-serving minister
Ms Dlamini-Zuma, the former wife of South African President Jacob Zuma, won the leadership of the AU commission in a third round of voting.

She got 37 votes at the 54-member body, giving her the 60% majority she needed to be elected.

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