What Raila has to do to win AU Commission Chairperson election in 2025

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 28 Feb, 2024 17:51 | 4 mins read
Presidents William Ruto, Yoweri Museveni and Azimio leader Raila Odinga in Uganda on February 25, 2024. PHOTO/(@RailaOdinga)X

Azimio leader Raila Odinga on February 15, 2024, officially announced his bid for the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson job.

Addressing the media, Raila stated that he had a myriad of consultations with his friends prior to the decision.

"Should the leadership of Africa want my services I am ready and offer myself to be of service to this continent. I'm ready yes to go for the chairmanship of the African Union," Raila said while accompanied by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo.

Obasanjo endorsed Raila's candidacy and said that it is finally time for the AUC Chairperson mantle to rest in East Africa.

Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo with Raila Odinga in Nairobi on February 15, 2024. PHOTO/X (@TheODMparty)

The AUC chairperson seat will fall vacant next year as its current occupant Moussa Faki Mahamat of Chad is set to finish his two-term at the position.

Faki was first appointed in 2017 and won a second term in 2021.

The AUC chairperson is the topmost official of the continental bloc as he/she acts as the Chief Executive Officer, legal representative of the AU and the Commission’s Chief Accounting Officer.

The functions include: overseeing the Commission’s administration and finances, promoting and popularising the AU’s objectives and enhancing its performance, consulting and coordinating with key stakeholders and appointing and managing Commission staff.

The Chairperson also act as a depository for all AU and OAU treaties and legal instruments.


The new AUC Chairperson will be selected at the next AU summit in 2025.

AUC chairperson is elected by the Assembly consisting of the 55 member states for a four-year term, renewable once.

The election is due early next year but the programme to replace the incumbent Faki is set to begin soon as candidates express their desire and file their applications.

Raila Odinga and outgoing AU Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat at a past function. PHOTO/X (@BiancaNaom1)

To be elected AUC Chairperson, a candidate must garner a two-thirds majority support during voting by the 55 member states.

Raila will need at least 36 votes out of the total 55 consisting of all AU member states. Each country has only one vote.

Candidates jostling for the AUC Chairperson seat need the endorsements of their respective governments at home.

Raila already has the support of President William Ruto who has vowed to lobby for his election as AUC Chairperson.

Ruto and Raila jointly met Uganda's President Museveni at his rural home on Sunday, February 26, 2024.

On Monday, Raila publicly thanked Museveni and Ruto for supporting his AUC chairperson candidacy.

"I am very grateful to President Museveni for strongly endorsing my candidacy and to President Ruto for fully backing it," Raila said.

Speaking on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, Raila said that Ruto was in Uganda to discuss oil issues with Museveni, while he (Raila) was there to seek Museveni's support in his bid for the AU Commission chairmanship.

Presidents William Ruto, Yoweri Museveni and Azimio leader Raila Odinga in Uganda. PHOTO/(@Ruto)X

Both Raila and Ruto jetted to Uganda from Namibia where they attended the funeral service of the late Namibian President Hage G. Geingob who died in power on February 4, weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer.

President Geingob’s memorial service was held on Saturday, February 24, at the Independence Stadium and 25 Presidents and Heads of government attended.

Raila rubbed shoulders with several Presidents during the funeral service in Windhoek, Namibia.

Raila Odinga with South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa in Windhoek, Namibia on February 24, 2024. PHOTO/X(@RailaOdinga)

The Azimio leader was also spotted conversing with his close ally President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the funeral service in Windhoek, Namibia.

It can only be assumed that Raila was lobbying for his AUC Chairperson candidature among the Presidents who attended the funeral service in Namibia.

Raila Odinga with DR Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi in Windhoek, Namibia on February 24, 2024. PHOTO/X(@RailaOdinga)

Ruto is also thought to be lobbying for Ethiopia's support of Raila's AUC Chairperson bid as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is in Kenya for a State visit.

Abiy landed on Kenyan soil on Tuesday evening making his first state visit since President Ruto took power.

President William Ruto and Ethiopia Prime Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed embrace each other at JKIA on February 27, 2024. PHOTO/X (@WilliamsRuto)


In Kenya, many people perceive Raila's AUC Chairperson candidacy as a project by President Ruto to provide a suitable exit for the Azimio leader since he has been a real headache to the government.

If Raila wins the AUC Chairperson seat, he will be locked out of the 2027 General Elections in Kenya as he will be just two years into his term at the top continental job.

Several Kenyan politicians allied with the ruling Kenya Kwanza government have openly endorsed Raila's AUC Chairperson candidacy.

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