Egyptian candidate Moushira Khattab was eliminated from the race to become Director-General of UNESCO in a runoff vote on Friday against the French candidate.
The fourth round of voting took place on Thursday, determining Qatar’s Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari as the frontrunner, while Khattab and French candidate Audrey Azoulay tied for second place, leading to the Friday runoff vote.
Azoulay received 31 votes against Khattab’s 25, advancing her to compete against al-Kawari in the final round of voting.
“Egypt participated in the UNESCO race with honor, professionalism and dedication,” Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Abu Zeid, tweeted after the results. “We congratulate the French candidate and wish her success in the coming round of votes.”
Egypt, which has severed its diplomatic relations with Qatar in cooperation with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain has been vocal against its Arab UNESCO rival.
China, on the other hand, withdrew its candidacy for the position ahead of the fourth round, which was reportedly in support of Egypt’s candidate, prompting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to thank China.
The post of UNESCO’s director-general is determined over four rounds of voting or until a candidate receives the majority of votes. If this has not happened during the allotted rounds, the candidates with the two highest votes compete in a final round.