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Three new candidates have joined the race for the position of AU Commission chair, while two candidates from the first round in July have decided to try again. This brings to five the total number of candidates hoping to replace Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma when voting takes place in January. None of the candidates garnered enough votes to secure the position in July after a large number of countries abstained. Dr Specioza Kazibwe, a former vice-president of Uganda, was knocked out in the first round of voting. She competed against Equatorial Guinea’s Foreign Affairs Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy and Botswana’s Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, both of whom have opted to remain in the campaign. Analysts said at the time that the large number of abstentions were a deliberate move by AU member states in West and East Africa, which felt the candidates did not have the profile for the position. None of the candidates in the July election received a two-thirds majority, leading some countr...

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