By Irene Gaitirira
Published May 10, 2017
Two days to the election of the new secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in Spain, Alain St Ange of the Seychelles has withdrawn from the race.
This comes in the wake from the directive of the African Union Commission that Seychelles withdraws St Ange’s candidacy as the mother continent, through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU)–had endorsed Dr Walter Mzembi of Zimbabwe as the African candidate for the position that has six candidates.
The Seychelles cabinet of Ministers under President Danny Faure on May 9, 2017 withdrew the candidature of St Ange ‘in line with established practices governing the endorsement process for candidatures within the international system under the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) frameworks.’
“Having considered the stance taken by Seychelles at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting in March 2016, and at the African Union (AU) meeting of July 2016, where member states, including Seychelles, had unanimously voted to support the Zimbabwean candidate, Cabinet members formally reviewed its decision to support the candidature of Mr. St Ange,” UNWTO Wire reports.
Saying that “St Ange’s capacity to lead the UNWTO is unquestionable, as is his vast experience in the field of tourism,” the cabinet said “the Seychelles Government has decided to withdraw the candidature of Mr. St Ange for the position of Secretary General . . . in light of our standing responsibilities and commitments within the context of the African Union.”
Seychelles will stand in solidarity with the African Union and support the African Union’s officially endorsed candidate from Zimbabwe in the upcoming election, Seychelles said.