The contest between Kenya and Djibouti will head to the second round of voting Thursday after the first phase saw Nairobi’s victory insufficient to win the UN Security Council seat.
In the first round, Nairobi scored 113 votes against Djibouti’s 78. And although Kenya was firmly in the driving seat, the rules of the elections demand at least two-thirds of the eligible UN member states voting to be declared winner.
On Wednesday, the election that started at 4pm Kenyan time saw 192 of the 193 member states voting. Only Venezuela was barred from casting its ballot as it is still in arrears for its membership in the UN.
It means Nairobi’s diplomats will have to work a lot harder to lobby countries across the world for one more vote each to see off a Djibouti that rejected AU’s decision to endorse Kenya and went ahead to conduct parallel campaigns for the only seat allocated for Africa.
The UN Security Council is the most powerful organ of the UN, charged with maintaining global peace and security. Its decisions, by law, must be obeyed by all UN member states, giving its prestige and power.
Nairobi, if it wins, would be among the 10 non-permanent members, who often work alongside the permanent five (Russia, China, UK, US, France) to pass resolutions touching on global peace and security.