France, Qatar to contest in final round of election for UNESCO top position

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Paris –  The French and Qatari candidates will contest the final round of the election for Director-General of UNESCO later Friday after Egypt’s candidate was eliminated.

France’s Audrey Azoulay poled 31 votes at a run-off vote of the UNESCO executive board members against 25 for Egypt’s Moushira Khattab.

Azoulay will now face off against Qatar’s Hamad Al-Kawari in a vote due to be held at 6:00 pm (1600 GMT).

The proceedings have been overshadowed by the U.S. decision, announced Thursday, to withdraw from the agency.

In a swift reaction, Egypt has officially asked for a probe into alleged irregularities in the process to elect a new director-general for UN agency.

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry made the request at a meeting on Friday with incumbent UNESCO chief Irina Bokova, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Ahmed Zeid added.

Over the past few days, Egyptian media has accused energy-rich Qatar of buying votes for its contender,Al-Kawari. (dpa/NAN)

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