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THE PROSPECT of the International Bar Association electing its first female president by the millenium has been threatened by a surprise challenge to secretary-general Dianna Kempe QC.
Nutifafa Doe Kofi Kuenyehia, from Ghana, is standing against Kempe as she bids to win a second term as secretary-general.
The move follows Kempe's earlier agreement to do another stint in her present post after German lawyer Klaus Bohloff expressed a desire to run as vice-president, the position which follows the secretary generalship.
She agreed to remain secretary-general for a second term, only to find that that post too was to be challenged.
The vote takes place at the IBA conference being held in Berlin next week.
News of the unprecedented challenge led one IBA member to describe the organisation as "an old boy's club incapable of dealing with women".
But Kempe said: "Nutifafa is perfectly entitled to have his say. If I have enough of a track record, I should get the votes."
She said that she did not stand against Bohloff because: "he is a very senior member of the IBA. When he says he wants to run, the chances of being successful against him are not great."
Nutifafa is deputy general-secretary for West Africa. Kempe, from Bermuda, has a high profile in the IBA and has served on many committees.