7 UNWTO Mzembi challengers disqualified

Dr Walter Mzembi

Dr Walter Mzembi

SEVEN candidates, including Tourism and Hospitality Minister, Walter Mzembi, successfully filed their nomination papers in time for the election of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) secretary general set for May, while seven others were disqualified, the UNWTO said on Friday.

The UNWTO secretariat said the deadline for submission of papers had closed on 11 March. Minister Mzembi will battle it out with Vahan Martirosyan of Armenia, Brazil’s Márcio Favilla and Jaime Alberto Cabal Sanclemente of Colombia.

Georgia’s Zurab Pololikashvili, Alain St. Ange of Seychelles and the only woman in the race, Young-shim Dho of South Korea complete the list of candidates.

“The Secretariat received seven other applications which were not accompanied by the required documents,” the UNWTO said.

“Consequently, the applications will not be submitted to the 105th session of the Executive Council.”

The emergence of the Seychelles candidate came as a surprise, as the African Union had endorsed Mzembi as the continent’s official candidate. The UNWTO’s 105th session to be held from 9 to 12 May in China will elect the next secretary general who will take over from Jordanian, Dr Taleb Rifai who completes his second four-year term at the end of this year.

The specialised arm of the United Nations has 157 member countries, six territories and over 500 affiliate members.

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