Moushira Khattab to run in UNESCO election's fourth round Thursday

Pauline Gross
October 14, 2017

The board has held secret ballot votes every day this week, whittling down the seven candidate to Azoulay and former Qatari culture minister Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari.

She will be UNESCO's second female chief and its second French chief after Rene Maheu, UNESCO's director general from 1961-74.

The ministry said the request made Friday was submitted by Egypt's permanent mission to UNESCO.

Egypt's candidate for the position of UNESCO director-general, Moushira Khattab, was out of the race on Friday after failing to move on to the final round of voting.

During the months leading up to the election, Egypt and three other Arab nations were engaged in a boycott of Qatar over allegations that the government funds extremists and has overly warm ties to Iran.

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The new director-general will replace Irina Bokova in this post and be confirmed at the UNESCO General Conference in November. The outcome was a blow for Arab states that have long wanted to lead the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The election of UNESCO's new chief has been narrowed down to two candidates, one from Qatar and the other from France.

The final vote comes the day after the USA and Israel said they plan to pull out of the Paris-based organization over perceived anti-Israel bias.

In a fifth round, it is not required to get 30 votes, and if the two candidates obtain the same number of votes, a draw of lots will decide the victor.

The agency's inclusion of Palestine as a member state in 2011 complicated this push, as did Qatar's diplomatic dispute with Arab neighbors over accusations of sponsoring Islamic extremism.

Other reports by GizPress

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