Roger Nkodo Dang, Bouras Djamal clash over PAP leadership - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Roger Nkodo Dang, Bouras Djamal clash over PAP leadership

The Acting President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), Rt. Hon. Bouras Djamal has accused the President of the Parliament, Rt. Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang of being an imposter, usurping the powers of the PAP President.

In a letter to the President of the National Assembly of Cameroon Cavaye Yequir Djibril, Bouras requested him to inform Dang to desist from speaking for or on behalf of PAP. The letter was copied to the African Union Commission, and the Minister of External Relations of Cameroon.

Dang was also accused of issuing a press release on the situation in Mali in violation of AU position that PAP should refrain from commenting on political situations in member states.

Djamal contended that Dang lacked the authority to issue any press releases on behalf of PAP and therefore sought the intervention of the President of the National Assembly of Cameroon in getting Dang to conduct himself in accordance with the PAP Protocol and Rules of Procedure.

Djamal supported his position by referring to the Pan African Parliament’s Rules of Procedure on replacement in the event of a vacancy in the post of a member of the bureau and the expiration of Dang’s mandate in the National Parliament of Cameroon. He explained that Dang ceased to be the PAP President since March, 2020 following his re-election to the National Assembly of Cameroon.

Relying on Articles 5(3) and 12(3) of the PAP Protocol, Djamal wrote that Dang ceased to be a member of Cameroon’s Parliament as well as PAP President since March 18, 2020. Thus under Article 5(3) of the Protocol, the duration of the mandate of any Pan African Parliamentarian is linked to that of his/her mandate as a member of his home parliament or any other national legislative body.

Djamal also argued in the letter that Article 12(3) of the PAP Protocol states that “the term of office of the President and Vice Presidents is tied to that of the national parliament or of the legislative body which elects or appoints him”.

Djamel maintained that it was on the strength of those provisions that in May 2020, a press release was issued to the effect that Bouras Djamel who is the Third Vice President representing North Africa became the Acting PAP President following vacancies in the posts of President and two Vice Presidents.   

Nkodo requests for AU intervention, convening of PAP plenary

On Monday November 16, 2920 Nkodo Dang responded to Djamal, drawing the attention of the Foreign Ministers of the AU to what he described as “the excesses of the Third Vice President and a serious institutional crisis” at PAP and called for their intervention.

Rt. Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang, who insists that he is still the substantive President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), accused the Acting President of PAP Rt. Hon. Jamal Bouras of committing serious breaches of the PAP Protocol and Rules of Procedure.

He said: “I was elected on May 10, 2018 as the President of the Pan African Parliament for a three year term which runs till 2021. An acting president cannot remove a democratically elected president”.

Dang accused Djamal of breaching the provisions of the PAP Protocol because it is the ordinary plenary session that notes a vacancy and not an acting president and therefore called for the convening of an ordinary plenary session of the Parliament to address the issue.

“The authoritarian abuses of the Algerian Third Vice-President of the PAP, Jamal Bouras, who acts as President without rotation, have created a serious institutional and functional crisis within the Pan-African Parliament,” Dang’s letter reportedly stated.

Dang stressed that “all decisions and declarations taken in this context or actions outside the provisions of the PAP Protocol cannot be said to reflect the position of the PAP or its legitimate bodies”.

He added that the Pan-African Parliament did not hold a recent session, contrary to the provision of Article 28 (1) that requires PAP to hold at least two ordinary sessions during a period of twelve months. He asked the Foreign Ministers of the AU to “intervene immediately.”

In what may have been inferred as an affront to Moroccan interests, Dang condemned Djamal’s recent statement about the Guerguerat crisis. 

Morocco’s military acted on November 13 to end Polisario’s blockade of the vital Guerguerat crossing on the Moroccan-Mauritanian border. Djamal released a statement on behalf of the Pan-African Parliament concerning the situation. 

In what Dang alleged to be a unilateral statement, the Algerian politician said PAP, “which is the legislative organ of the African Union, is following with concern the recent and increasing tensions in Western Sahara, especially in the buffer zone in Guerguerat, which threatens the fragile truce that has been in place since 1991.”

Here is Djamal’s Full Statement:

“The Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the legislative organ of the African Union, has learned with concern the growing tensions in the Western Sahara, especially in the buffer zone of Guerguerat, threatening the fragile truce that has been in place since 1991.

The Pan-African Parliament supports the position of the African Union, as stated by H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, to request the Secretary General of the United Nations to accelerate the process of appointing his personal Envoy. The Parliament also echoes the sentiment by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission in lauding ongoing efforts by regional stakeholders and the United Nations to promote dialogue and maintain the status quo.

In line with its mandate to promote peace, security and stability on the continent, Africa’s Parliament stands ready to accompany efforts by the African Union to find long-lasting solutions to this conflict”.

The AU has formally committed to support the UN-led political process in Western Sahara rather than derail the process with independent efforts. Dang believes that Djamal’s statement in contradiction of African Union Decision 693 of July 2018, officially limiting the AU’s role to extending support to UN-led efforts in the political process.

Algeria is the key backer of the militant Polisario Front that created the Guerguerat crisis. The country finances and arms the Front and houses its leaders, and recently sent aid to militants in the Guerguerat region

Dang, who welcomed Morocco’s return to the AU in 2017 and whose country Cameroon supports Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, likely also deems it inappropriate for Djamal to make statements on the Guerguerat crisis on PAP’s behalf.

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