Egypt loses in UNESCO runoff vote to French candidate

Egypt’s candidate for the post of Director-General of UNESCO, Moushira Khattab, lost the runoff vote to her French rival, who will run the final round against the Qatari candidate on Friday.

The French candidate, Audrey Azoulay, garnered 31 votes while Khattab gained 25 votes.

Egypt’s Permanent Mission to the UNESCO submitted an official complaint to UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova on Friday over alleged violations during the election of the new director general, which began Monday, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid after Khattab’s loss.

The results of the fourth round of the UNESCO election were 22 votes for Qatar, 18 for Egypt and 18 for France, which required a runoff.

China and Lebanon withdrew earlier from the race after the third round.

Egypt’s candidate passed on Thursday the third round of the organization’s election held in Paris, France.

The Qatari and French candidates, Hamad bin Abd elaziz alKawari and Audrey Azoulay garnered 18 votes each, Khattab garnered 13 votes, China’s candidate Qian Tang 5 votes, and Lebanon’s Vera El Khoury Lacoeuilhe 4 votes.

The fifth round of voting is likely to be held for selecting the new director-general without the condition of obtaining an absolute majority. If votes are equal for both, the director general will be chosen through a lot.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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