Rethinking and reforming the African Union Commission elections

Recently, in July 2012, the high-profile and bitterly fought nine-month race for the post of Chair of the African Union (AU) Commission, between Dr Jean Ping of Gabon, and his main challenger, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, culminated in the latter’s victory. Her victory came after the deadlock at the Eighteenth AU Summit in January 2012. Borne out of the considered need for a quick fix through reliance on a vote of expediency, the election of Dr Dlamini-Zuma represented a political resolution to the crisis that arose due to the earlier ongoing electoral deadlock. Far from being a competitive election by design, the 2012 AU Commission election by default became transformed into an intensely fought campaign that put the AU in the limelight.

Rethinking and Reforming the AUC Elections