1 February 2008

Africa: Antoinette Batumubwira Withdraws Her Candidacy for the Presidency of the African Union

Bujumbura — The government of Burundi has withdrawn the candidacy of the current minister of foreign affairs, Mrs Antoinette Batumubwira, for the post of the presidency of the African Union Commission. The ministry of communication publicized this decision of the government through a press release issued today.

The government of Burundi affirms that it did this way in order to help the case of the Gabonese candidate, Jean Ping. The government of Burundi took this decision after consultations with other central African countries. The government of Burundi also says that it is seeking to strengthen its relations with Gabon.

The government of Burundi had actively tried to get support for Batumubwira. During the short visit of the Senegalese President to Burundi last year, the President of Burundi campaigned for his minister for foreign affairs. The Senegalese President showed a moderate position with regard to this candidacy sinc his region has also another candidate. The first Vice-President of the Republic, Dr. Yves Sahinguvu, also tried to persuade east African countries during the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala, Uganda. East-African goverments promised him that they will support Ms Batumubwire, the only candidate from the region.

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