Seychelles' candidate for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation(UNWTO) Secretary-General elections, Alain Raoul Basil Marie St. Ange, is being forced to withdraw from the race claiming the African union has blackmailed his government into forcing him out of the race.
The livid St. Ange in an interview with www.touristswatch.com in Madrid where the conference is ongoing said, he received a statement from the Seychelles government recalling his nomination on Tuesday, which he claims was moments after the AU threatened to impose sanctions on seychelles.
It is unclear what those sanctions were or what warranted them but St. Ange believes it was the AU's intention to force Seychelles out of the race in favour of Zimbabwean candidate Hon. Dr. Walter Mzembi.
"Africa is today loosing because of the decisions taken by the African union with a list of measures that will be imposed on Seychelles, which people are saying can be considered as blackmail, knowing full well that Zimbabwe cannot take it."
He explains, "the sanctions on Zimbabwe by the European community ensures that the world will not accept a man of Mugabe to lead the world of tourism where the same people that have put Mugabe under sanction will be unable to work with him".
St. Ange is also calling for the UN to disqualify Zimbabwe in fairness. "We(UN) cannot accept a block of counties to exert pressure to remove a genuine candidate. This is blackmail, and blackmail cannot be tolerated. UN should sanction Africa as a whole."
Alain Raoul Basil Marie St. Ange, who was among the leading candidate after Georgian candidate H.E. Zurab Pololikashvili, said he is disappointed Africa has lost its only chance at leading the world body. "I believe it is a sad day for Africa because Africa had the chance for the first time ever to lead a world body, now they are loose the chance because of silly, domineering, dictatorial politics."
St. Ange is credited for the of revamping of the tourism industry in Seychelles after the country suffered major economic crisis in 2008. Based On His thirty-seven years of experience in hotel management and tourism development, St. Ange intended to build on the legacy of former Secretary-Generals with empasis on safety and security, sustainability and climate while ensuring the organisation represents tourism entirely. St. Ange was also to create a Secretary-General emeritus position if voted into office.
St. Ange is the second candidate to withdraw from the race after Mr. Vahan Martirosyan of Armenia withdrew his candidature on April, 10 2017.
This latest development leaves Brazilian Marcio Favilla and the Georgian Zurab Pololikashvili as the leading candidates for Friday's decisive election.
Nominees from Zimbabwe, Colombia, Republic of Korea, Georgia and Brazil have to win two-thirds of vote cast by delegates from member countries present at an executive assembly on 12 May in Spain
Whoever wins the election will serve a four year term renewable by the recommendation of the executive council at the 22nd UNWTO General Assembly in China in September