Pan African Parliament adopts rotational presidency - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Sunday, March 14, 2021

Pan African Parliament adopts rotational presidency

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) has adopted a change in its Rules of Procedure to allow for the rotation of the presidency of the continental parliament effective from the May 2021 Bureau election.

This was disclosed on Friday by the Rappporteur of the PAP’s Permanent Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline, Hon. Pupurai Tugarepi (Zimbabwe).

Hon. Tugarepi spoke at the end of a five-day meeting organized for members of PAP’s Permanent Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline (Rules Committee), Chairpersons of Regional Caucuses and Permanent Committees, Members of the Bureau as well as the PAP Secretariat who convened at the Parliament’s Headquarters in Midrand, South Africa from 8 to 12 March 2021 as part of technical and political activities aimed at the revision of the Rules of Procedure of the legislative arm of the African Union (AU).

He disclosed that the adoption of the principle of rotation with respect to the office of the President was in compliance with AU directive which “called on the Pan African Parliament to apply the African Union values, rules and regulations in managing all activities of the parliament including rotation of the Bureau and Presidency”.

The implication of this rule change is that only candidates from the Southern and Northern regions will be eligible to contest for election for the post of President of the parliament.

Hon. Tugarepi also disclosed that to ensure that there is continuity at PAP in the event of vacancies at the Bureau, as had witnessed under the current bureau, the rule was amended to allow the Chairpersons of the five regional caucuses to assist the remaining members of the Bureau to carry out its functions.

Consequently, since there is currently one member of the Bureau remaining (the Acting President Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira), the chairpersons of the five regional caucuses shall assist him to prepare for the May 2021 Bureau elections.

The Protocol to the Constitutive Act of the African Union relating to the Pan African parliament provides that the Bureau of the Parliament shall be made up of a President and four Vice Presidents representing the five regions of the continent.

African Parliamentary News recalls that the four other members of the current Bureau lost their positions due to the parliament’s rule which required members whose national parliaments were dissolved due to coming elections, to automatically lose their seats and positions at PAP. The four bureau members who lost their positions due to the application of that rule were from Cameroon (President), Tanzania (First Vice President), Mali (Second Vice President) all of who had elections in 2020 and Algeria (Third Vice President) whose election is due in June this year and therefore not eligible to participate in the May 2021 Session.

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