PAP Bureau, African Ambassadors parley on preparations for May Ordinary Session - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Friday, May 21, 2021

PAP Bureau, African Ambassadors parley on preparations for May Ordinary Session

The Bureau of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) on Friday, held a meeting with African Ambassadors to the Republic of South Africa at the seat of the parliament in Midrand, South Africa.

The meeting was convened to brief the Ambassadors on the preparations for a successful hosting of the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament of PAP.

In his opening remarks, the Acting President of the Pan African Parliament, Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira briefed the Ambassadors on how a five member Bureau was left with just a member as the other four had lost their positions when their respective National Parliaments were dissolved preparatory to parliamentary elections.

He stated that the vacancies created in the Bureau necessitated the invocation of the doctrine of necessity/force majeure to co-opt the Chairpersons of the Regional Caucuses into the Bureau to administer the affairs of the PAP till elections are held this month.

Charumbira stated that the session would have been held earlier in the month but was postponed in difference to our Moslem brothers and sisters who were undertaking their fasting in observe of the Ramadan.

According to Charumbira, the May Session is very significant in that “elections will be held to fill the various vacant positions in the parliament. These include election of the President and four Vice Presidents; election of the Chairpersons and bureau of the five regional caucuses; and election of the bureau of the eleven (11) Permanent Committees”.

He therefore pleaded with the ambassadors to communicate to their respective National Parliaments in order to ensure their attendance so that they will not be left behind because those elected will man the affairs of PAP for the next three years

In his speech, the Dean of African Ambassadors in South Africa and Ambassador of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), H. E. Bene M’Poko poured encomiums on the Acting President, Chief Charumbira and members of the interim Bureau for keeping the work of the PAP alive despite the stated challenges. “You have done a tremendous, fantastic job”, he said.

Amb. M’Poko stressed the importance of respecting the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure in all its dealings and then called on the Ambassadors to impress upon their respective governments to ratify the Malabo Protocol .

He announced that a Technical Working Committee will be constituted to support the work that PAP is doing and stressed that the Committee will be made up of Ambassadors who volunteer to assist especially those who had served at Ethiopia.   

African Parliamentary News recalls a similar scenario vacant Bureau positions played out before the May 2018 Bureau elections when three members of the Bureau lost their seats as a result of the dissolution of their National Parliaments to hold elections.

To avoid a repeat of such situations, there is a consensus opinion that during the elections, parliamentarians should not vote for any candidate whose tenure at the National Parliament will expire before the three year tenure of the Bureau.    

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