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Frequently Asked Questions - Election for the Office of President of the Bank Group
The President is elected by the Board of Governors of the Bank. The composition of the Board of Governors is made up of representatives of the member states, usually ministers of finance, planning or central bank governors or their duly designated alternates.
The election of the President is held during the Annual Meeting of the Bank closest to the end of the term of office of the serving President. 2. The current President assumed office on 1 September 2015, following his election in May 2015. Accordingly, his term of office will elapse on 31 August 2020. The elections for a new President will therefore take place during the 2020 Annual Meetings, specifically on May 28, 2020.
The President is elected by a majority vote comprising 50.01% of the total voting power of all the member states of the Bank, and 50.01% of the total voting power of the regional (African) member states.
The voting powers to be used for the elections are determined by the Board of Directors on the basis of payments actually received by the Bank on account of capital subscriptions. The voting powers are determined as at the close of business on the last working day in the month immediately preceding the month in which the elections will take place (in this case the elections are taking place in May 2020).
The Steering Committee on Elections for the Presidency, a subsidiary organ of the Board of Governors, administers the electoral process. It, among other functions:
- Verifies and publishes the list of persons eligible to contest the election and who fully satisfy the criteria defined in Article 36 of the Bank Agreement and the conditions for the deposit of candidatures; and
- Designates three Governors to act as Returning Officers for the election, two (2) representing African member states and one (1) representing non-African member states.
Governors who have either nominated or seconded a candidate for the election are not eligible to serve as Returning Officers.
Returning Officers are assisted by the Secretary General, General Counsel and one or more staff members capable of computing the votes.
The exact duties of Returning Officers are specified in Article 5(3) of the Rules of Procedure for the Election of the President.
To be eligible to contest for the Office of President of the African Development Bank, one must be a:
- national of one of the regional (African) member states of the Bank; and
- person of the highest competence in matters pertaining to the activities, management and administration of the Bank.
Any Governor of a regional (African) member state of the Bank may nominate a national of the country that s/he represents as a candidate for the Office of President. A Governor is the designated representative of a member state on the Board of Governors of the Bank.
Any Governor of a regional (African) member state of the Bank can second the nomination of a candidate for the Office of President.
A complete and valid candidature consists of a:
- Nomination in the form of a letter from the Governor representing the candidate’s country or by means of a Nomination Form duly completed by the Governor and addressed to the Secretary General of the Bank. The nomination must be accompanied by a detailed curriculum vitae of the candidate; and
- Secondment by one or more Governors from regional (African) member state(s) of the Bank in the form of a letter from the Governor or by means of a Secondment Form duly completed by the Governor and addressed to the Secretary General of the Bank.
It should also be recalled that for purposes of the 2020 election, each candidate is required to submit to the Secretary General, for consideration of the Governors, a vision statement in the two working languages of the Bank, English and French, not later than 5:00pm, March 20, 2020.
The Secretary General of the Bank is the official mandated to receive all candidatures for the Office of President.
The President is elected for a fixed term of 5 years, renewable once only.
Yes, provided s/he:
- Takes leave of absence without pay or resigns from the Bank’s employment; and
- Satisfies the eligibility criteria outlined in the Agreement establishing the Bank, in terms of competence and nationality, as well as the conditions of candidature set forth in the Rules of Procedure for the Election of the President.
The Chairperson of the Board of Governors is charged with announcing the name of the candidate who scores 50.01% of the total voting power of member states as well as 50.01% of the voting power of regional (African) member states as the President-elect. Following such declaration the Chairperson of the Board of Governors then invites the President-elect to present him or herself to the Governors as President-elect of the Bank.
Yes, it is possible for the Board of Governors to deliberate to decide whether or not to continue with voting for the President if after 5 rounds of balloting, no candidate has obtained 50.01% of the total voting power of member states as well as 50.01% of the voting power of regional (African) member states.
In the eventuality that the Board of Governors decides to stop the balloting, it may decide to convene a new meeting of the Board of Governors to continue with the elections or consult with the Board of Directors to take any other interim measure authorized by the constitutive instruments of the Bank.
In a multiple candidate election, if no candidate obtains 50.01% of the total voting power of member states as well as 50.01% of the voting power of regional (African) states in the first round of balloting, voting will continue until one candidate fulfills this double majority requirement.
In such an eventuality, the candidate who receives the lowest number of votes of member states in each preceding ballot will be required to drop out of the voting beginning from the second ballot, and all other subsequent ballots, until one candidate emerges with 50.01% of the total voting power of member states as well as 50.01% of the voting power of regional (African) member states.
No. If the Board of Governors decides to adjourn an election after 5 rounds of balloting, only candidates who took part in the adjourned election and who had not been eliminated as a result of their poor showing in any preceding ballot will participate in the reconvened election.