The UNWTO for sure should be transparent, media friendly, and an open house for the global travel and tourism industry.
More than 2 years into the new UNWTO leadership, the election process is renewed coming into the mind of global leaders.
The argument at that time that Africa was getting the short end of the stick was a major concern during the election, and it turned into a sad reality according to many.
Back in 2017, two African leaders we’re trying to bring Africa to the world tourism stage: Walter Mzembi, the longest-serving African tourism minister at that time from Zimbabwe, and Alain St.Ange, popular former tourism minister from the Seychelles.
The African Union endorsed Dr. Mzembi as the candidate for Africa, which was confirmed by the Seychelles as well at the time. With two candidates from Africa, the chances for Africa to assign one of their own as Secretary General became a real challenge.
Zimbabwe pushed the African Union to coerce Seychelles to not allow Alain St.Ange to run. The pressure on Seychelles was tremendous and threatened African sanctions.
The Seychelles government gave in just minutes before the election and forcefully withdrew St.Ange from the election.
In the end, Mzembi made it to the number two slot and defeated by Zurab Pololikashvili many say, because Zurab made promises and did favors to secure his votes.
It was a messy election that UNWTO candidates still talk about today.
Alain St.Ange felt he was treated badly by his own government and never stopped making his point. He sued his government and won.
The Supreme Court of Seychelles has today delivered a judgment in favor of the case of ex-tourism minister, Alain St.Ange.
St.Ange filed his case against the government 2 years ago after he was nominated by President Danny Faure to run for the post of Secretary General of the UNWTO. Two days before the election was set to take place in Madrid, Spain, the government decided to withdraw his candidature.
St.Ange, who campaigned tirelessly for the post incurring huge financial costs in the process, was tipped to win the election.
The decision to withdraw his candidature, was taken by the government, after severe pressure was brought to bear by the African Union which threatened economic sanctions against Seychelles, if it did not cancel the nomination of St.Ange. The government finally caved in and recalled St.Ange only 2 days before the election was due to take place.
St.Ange has been vindicated by the supreme Court, presided over by Judge Melchior Vidot, when he was awarded damages in the sum of Rs164,396.14 cents.
St.Ange has already instructed his lawyers to appeal against the quantum of damages only, as he feels that it does not reflect his expenses, pain, humiliation, and psychological damage that the decision caused him.