Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - As the early morning sun pierced through the morning chill of the waking city, diplomats with flag lapels pinned to their suits filled the spacious lobby of the African Union headquarters in the heart of the Ethiopian capital. The diplomats and dignitaries were gathered following a night of intense lobbying and backroom deals to try to secure their preferred candidate for the AU's top job in the upcoming election. Security in front of the headquarters building, which is the tallest in the city and was built by the Chinese at a cost of some $200m, is tight. New and long-term AU heads of state have gathered in Addis Ababa to elect a new chairperson. Five candidates are competing for the top seat of the continental body.