July 19, 2018

Egypt: Khattab Gets 12 Votes in 2nd Round of Unesco Election

13 October 2017, 11:43 | Devin Moran

No results in third stage of voting to elect UNESCO director general

Egypt: Khattab Gets 12 Votes in 2nd Round of Unesco Election

The six candidates who made it to the vote were Moushira Khattab (Egypt), Audrey Azoulay (France), Polad Bülbüloglu (Azerbaijan), Juan Alfonso Fuentes Soria (Guatemala), Pham Sanh Chau (Vietnam), Qian Tang (China), and former Qatari Minister of Culture Hamad Abdul Aziz al-Kawari, who is now the cultural affairs adviser to the Emir of Qatar.

Egypt submitted an official note to UNESCO's outgoing chief, Irina Bokova, on Friday morning to request the verification of "violations that have been detected throughout the electoral process", foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron hailed her victory on Twitter, saying: "France will continue to fight for science, education and culture in the world". If votes are equal for both, the director general will be chosen through a ballot.

Azoulay will now face off against Qatar's Hamad Al-Kawari in a vote due to be held at 6:00 pm (1600 GMT).

France's Audrey Azoulay poled 31 votes at a run-off vote of the UNESCO executive board members against 25 for Egypt's Moushira Khattab.

They are divided between backers of oil-rich Qatar and its poorer rival Egypt, which is part of a Saudi-led coalition that has been blockading Qatar since June over its alleged support for radical Islamists and ties to Iran.

The agency's outgoing head, Bulgaria's Irina Bokova, told French radio that UNESCO's "universal mission was in jeopardy".

"Now more than ever UNESCO needs a project... which restores confidence and overcomes political divisions", the French foreign ministry said in a statement reacting to the United States pullout.

Qatar has generously funded UNESCO in recent years and lobbied intensively for the post, which would have helped bolster its worldwide status at a time when it faces isolation in the Gulf.

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