Exclusive: Concerns over Qatari money within UNESCO, African votes to Doha's candidate



Mon, 09 Oct 2017 - 09:17 GMT


Mon, 09 Oct 2017 - 09:17 GMT

The first round of the new UNESCO Director-General's election - Egypt Today

The first round of the new UNESCO Director-General's election - Egypt Today

PARIS – 9 October 2017: The first round of the new UNESCO Director-General's election ended on Monday, resulting in a big astonishment to a large number of UNESCO member states.

The Egyptian candidate Moushira Khattab received 11 votes, while Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Kawari of Qatar ended up 19 votes, Audrey Azoulay from France with 13 votes, Polad Bülbüloğlu of Azerbaijan with two votes, Pham Sanh Chau of Vietnam with two votes, Qian Tang from China with five votes, and Vera El Khoury Lacoeuilhe from Lebanon with 6 votes.

The Qatari candidate received 19 votes in the first round, causing questions about the weapon of money, which the Qatari regime uses to buy supportive voices.
There is a conviction that the votes obtained by the Qatari candidate in the first round represent the final ceiling of the votes that can be obtained by money during the voting process.

All the expectations are in the direction that it will decrease during the subsequent rounds. These elections are taking place in several stages, and the commitment of some countries to vote for a particular candidate in the first round can be changed.
Qatar still uses the same approach it did in the FIFA vote that granted Doha the right to organize the World Cup in 2022.

All reactions in UNESCO indicate that a number of permanent delegates in the organization changed the process of voting and gave their votes to the Qatari candidate.
Qatar’s use of bribes is what all candidates warned of before the election, but it seems that the money enticed a number of countries to change their previous commitment to specific candidates.

The members of UNESCO criticized the emergence of the force of money in the UNESCO elections, which causes delegates to choose the candidate based on financial benefits, not on the efficiency and ability of each candidate.

The first round is not a precise indicator of the expected results, but will reveal the form of political interrelationship among the members of the Executive Council.

We can remember that current Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bakova won in the first round of the 2009 elections with eight votes, while Minister Farouk Hosni received 22 votes. Then Bakova and Hosni each received 29 votes, before Bakova managed to win the elections in the final round by four votes, thanks to the European bloc backed by the Jewish lobby.

Therefore, the Egyptian delegation is not relying heavily on the outcome of the first round, instead choosing to mobilize during the upcoming critical rounds after the announcement of the result.

“The Egyptian delegation is assessing what happened in the first round, especially regarding the position of the 17 African countries in the Executive Council that are from the African consensus on the candidate of the continent,” said Ahmed Abu Zeid, spokesman of the Foreign Ministry.

The second round of elections will begin on Tuesday between the seven candidates, while sources inside UNESCO have ruled out the withdrawal of any of them, except after the results of the second round.

We see candidates who are well aware that they are not worthy of competition, but they are running for the first and second rounds, and maybe the third, in the hope of getting a position inside the organization.



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