After the unexpected victory of the Qatari candidate for UNESCO’s post of director-general, Egypt’s candidate, Moushira Khattab asserts that there is still an opportunity to win the post.
For the results of first round, Khattab received 11 votes ranking in the third place, while the Qatar’s Candidate Abdul Aziz Al-Kawari, received 19 votes, coming in the first place, as the French candidate who was viewed as a strong contender for both earned 13 votes.
The second round of the voting kicks off on Tuesday, with the three candidates who collected the highest votes of the first round.
In her televised phone call to privatively owned CBC channel, Khattab said, “There are still four rounds and the first round is not the base. The outcome of the current round, is promoting us to think about the necessity continual of the voting and political movements,” she continued.
She continued that some African countries did not vote for Egypt, stressing that the battle is divided into two parts, the first related to the efficiency of the candidate and the other is political.
Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry is currently in Paris to support Khattab. He has coordinated a series of meetings with representatives of different countries over the past months.
The ministry’s spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zaid commented on the result of the first round, saying it is still “not a measure of victory”, adding that recently the elections of the UNESCO became politicised, clarifying that different political stances of countries impact results.
“Egypt is dealing with this battle with honourable behaviour, through presenting a candidate worthy of this post, which is supported by the African, Arab, and European countries,” he added.
Abu Zaid concluded that all means are used in such elections, especially in UNESCO.
It was believed among different public figures that the Qatari candidate would have less chance of winning the candidacy due to Qatari crisis of cutting ties. However, the candidate has one factor that helped overcome this drawback, which is among the qualifications required for the post, his financial resources.
It is a top priority for the next director to contribute in shoring up finances, as the UNESCO is suffering some economic issues, after the US and Israel have suspended their funding over the Palestinian membership issue.
None of the candidates earned the votes that requires him/her to qualify for winning the post.
The candidates are scheduled to face further rounds until Friday, where only two candidates will be selected for final votes from those who received the highest votes throughout the voting process.
The winner must be selected by 30 out of 58 members of the UNESCO’s executive broad, and approved by the UNSECO’s members in a general assembly in November.
The new Director-General is scheduled to take office on 15 November, after the resignation of the current Bulgarian Director-General Irina Bovoka, who was elected for two consecutive terms.