Moushira Khattab – File Photo
CAIRO – 11 October 2017: UNESCO Director-General’s elections will reach a critical stage at the third round, kicking off on Wednesday at 5 p.m., amid high expectations, and the withdrawal of the candidates that did not amass enough votes in the first and second rounds.
The third and the fourth rounds will largely determine the winner after the first two rounds could not resolve the competition; especially that none of the candidates received the absolute majority of votes necessary for the victory.
If none of the candidates amass 30 votes in the third and fourth rounds, a fifth round will be held between the candidates at the forefront of the elections.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki is in Paris; urging the African countries to commit to the resolution of backing up Moushira Khattab. The resolution was taken in the meeting held by the African group in UNESCO on October 9.
However, the African stances toward the elections are questionable as they constitute 17 out of 58 votes in the Executive Board, whereas only a few of them voted for Khattab in the first and second rounds.
More seemingly, Qatar has used energetic lobbying to win the UNESCO post; involving financial incentives to other countries, especially African countries, to win their support.
As Egypt still ranks third in the first and second rounds, Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry is conducting consultations with foreign ministers of the countries at the Executive Board, trying to get more votes.
The Qatari candidate Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Kawari received 19 votes in the first round and 20 votes in the second round, causing suspicions that the Qatari regime is buying supportive voices.
The winning candidate must obtain 30 votes, which did not occur in the first round but possible by a potential fifth round, to be held on Friday.