Rabat – Former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay is encountering fierce competition from a Qatari candidate to become the new president of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The French-Moroccan had 18 votes in the third round of votes, the same as Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari, the former Qatari minister of culture.
The two candidates were followed by Egyptian diplomat Moushira Khattab, who got 13 votes.
The Chinese candidate Tang Qian, who serves as UNESCO’s Assistant-Director General for Education, and Lebanese international law expert Vera El Khoury respectively had five and four votes only.
A candidate must collect at least 30 votes from the total 58 board members in order to win. The winner has then to be granted approval from the organization’s 195 member states in November.
A fourth round of voting is due to take place on Thursday. If no candidate gets the 30 votes needed, the top two candidates will go into a run-off.
Born in 1972 in Paris to a Moroccan Jewish family, Audrey Azoulay is the daughter of André Azoulay, who served as an advisor to King Hassan II and now to King Mohammed VI.
Audrey Azoulay was president François Hollande’s cultural advisor before she was appointed as minister of culture in 2014.