Col Gaddafi was elected by the heads of state of the 53-member union behind closed doors at a summit in Ethiopia. A BBC correspondent at the summit says Col Gaddafi was seen to be the obvious choice, but some delegates are uneasy about his nomination. Col Gaddafi replaces the Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete. Wearing a golden brocade robe and cap, Col Gaddafi sat with the traditional African leaders who accompanied him at the front of the room, rather than in the seat for the Libyan delegate.
"I shall continue to insist that our sovereign countries work to achieve the United States of Africa," he said in his inaugural speech. But he admitted that African leaders were "not near to a settlement" on the issue. He told fellow summit leaders that his unity project would be approved at the next meeting in July unless there was a majority against it, reports the BBC's Elizabeth Blunt from Addis Ababa.
The AU normally relies on consensus in reaching decisions, but Col Gaddafi introduced what he described as the Islamic concept that "silence is approval," she said. Under this principle, at least two-thirds of AU leaders would have to actively oppose Col Gaddafi's proposals, rather than simply ignoring his ideas, she added.
The Globe and Mail reported his arrival to take the chair of the AU:
Once ostracized by the West for sponsoring terrorism, Mr. Gadhafi has been trying to increase Libya's presence on the global stage and its regional influence — mediating African conflicts, sponsoring efforts to spread Islam on the continent and pushing for the creation of a single African government.
He attended the session dressed in a gold-embroidered green robe and flanked by seven extravagantly dressed men who said they are the “traditional kings of Africa.” Mr. Gadhafi told about 20 of his fellow heads of state that that he would work to unite the continent into “the United States of Africa.”
Mr. Gadhafi arrived at the summit Sunday with the seven men, one carrying a 4-foot gold staff, and caused a stir when security officials did not admit them because each delegation gets only four floor passes. All seven “kings” were seated behind Mr. Gadhafi when he accepted the chairmanship. “I think the coming time will be a time of serious work and a time of action and not words,” he said.
And can you imagine what our man Daffy will come up with next? Frankly, I'm stumped but how long before self-declared divinity comes next?