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Gambia’s Jammeh and Benin’s Yayi angle for top AU position – posted by – January 20th, 2012

posted by – January 20th, 2012

summits while the election of the chief executive is done by secret ballot.

An AU statement said the poll would be conducted during the 18th heads of state and government summit at its Addis Ababa headquarters on January 29 and 30.

The successful candidate will replace Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema who took over in early 2011. The bloc’s chairperson serves a one-year non-renewable term while the chief executive serves for four years, renewable by another four to make a maximum of two terms.

Clear edge

Sources say Presidents Yayi and Jammeh, who are both from West Africa, have over the last six months been on a diplomatic offensive to lobby members using their ambassadors in various regional capitals.

It is thought the Beninois candidacy holds a clear edge over the controversy-ridden Jammeh, according to Dakar-based diplomatic sources who spoke to AfricaReview on Wednesday.

President Jammeh has gained wide notoriety for his autocractic governance and the frequent disappearances and assassinations of critics and journalists.

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