PAP Presidency: Modalities for election released - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

PAP Presidency: Modalities for election released

Election of the next president and four vice presidents to pilot the affairs of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) has been scheduled to take place on Thursday May 27, 2021 at the seat of the parliament in Midrand, South Africa.

This was disclosed by the Clerk of the continental parliament, Mr. Vipya Harawa during a virtual press conference announcing the programme of the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament on Wednesday.

Speaking on the modalities for the election, Mr. Harawa disclosed that “an ad hoc committee of five (5) members constituted by an elected representative from each Regional Caucus shall organize and preside over the election of the president”.

“Once the president is elected, he or she will immediately be sworn in and shall preside over the election of the four (4) vice presidents”.

“The election shall be by secret ballot and a simple majority of the votes cast is needed to win. Where no candidate obtains the required majority or in the event of a tie, a second ballot shall be conducted but shall be restricted to the two candidates who obtained the highest or equal number of votes at the previous ballot”.

“Where all the candidates elected as vice presidents are of the same gender, the candidate of the opposite gender with the highest number of votes shall replace the winner from that region”.

Mr. Harawa further disclosed that it is the Regional Caucuses that nominates a candidate from the region for election as president. For vice president, each region shall nominate a male and a female.

Newsmen report that three persons have so far indicated interest to contest for the position of president. The front runner is the Acting President of PAP, Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira who has been endorsed and nominated by the Southern Region. The Region has thrown its weight behind him and has also been crisscrossing the continent campaigning for him. Hon. Haidara Aichata Cisse (Western Region) has indicated interest to contest but has not been formally nominated by her region. Late comer Amb. Albino Mathom Aboug (East Africa) has also indicated interest but has not been nominate by his region.

Answering questions on the contentious issue of rotation, Mr. Harawa disclosed that the principle of zoning is an official African Union (AU) policy as per the Executive Council Decision and that PAP sometime in 2017 amended its Rules of Procedure to adopt rotational presidency. In essence “rotation is an AU law which PAP has in essence, domesticated in its rules of procedure”.

“There has not been a president of PAP from the Southern and Northern regions. How it plays out depends on how the honourable members interpret the principle of rotation”.

On how to avoid a situation where members of the Bureau lose their position due to dissolution of their national parliaments thereby creating vacancies in the Bureau, Mr. Harawa suggested that one of the ways to avoid such a scenario is that parliamentarians should be careful as to who they elect into the Bureau. “Before voting for a candidate, it is important to see how much time is let in the life of  their national parliament”.

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