19.05.2005 Business & Finance

ADB Elections in Stalemate

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>From Gideon Sackitey, GNA Special Correspondent, Abuja

Abuja, May 19, GNA - After almost five hours of voting, Governors of the African Development Bank (ADB) yesterday failed to elect a new President of the institution, as the two finalists - Nigeria's Olabisi Ogunjobi and Donalds Kaberuka of Rwanda - could not muster enough votes for the high office.

The voting, which run late into the night, was postponed to Thursday.

The rules state that after five ballots, a candidate should obtain the double majority of 50.1 per cent of the votes of the regional member countries and 50 per cent of the total votes of the member countries. At the fifth round of voting, neither Dr Ogunjobi nor his Dr Kaberuka, could garner the necessary majority from the Regional and Non-Regional votes to clinch victory.

Ogunjobi polled the majority of votes from the Regional members where he got 59.40 per cent, while Kaberuka got 40. 53 percent. But the story was the opposite among Non-Regional members made up of non-African countries. Kaberuka got 58.22 per cent of those expatriate votes while Ogunjobi received 41.79 per cent.

In terms of the country-by-country votes, Rwanda was marginally ahead of Nigeria with one vote. While 39 nations voted for Rwanda, Nigeria got the votes of 38 countries.

Before the voting commenced, Egypt withdrew from the race, leaving Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Zimabawe. The voting pattern of the ADB is through the elimination of the candidate with the least vote at every round of votes. At the end of the first round, Cameroon fell out having placed sixth with total Regional votes of 1.76 per cent. Only two countries voted for Cameroon.

Ghana and Zimbabwe fell out in the second and third rounds, respectively, while Gabon fell at the end of the fourth round. Ghana had nine countries voting for her, representing 13.44 per cent and a total Regional voting of 12.08 per cent to place fifth. In the second round, one country abandoned Ghana to put the total country votes for her at eight and total African votes of 11.7 per cent and placing fifth again.

Nigeria is ADB's largest shareholder with a total of 197,553 shares, representing, 8.99 per cent of the bank's stake. Rwanda has 3,581 per cent or 0.163 per cent. Africa's voting power stands at 60.070 per cent.

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