More Parliamentarians call for PAP election session to be held in March - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



memfys hospital Enugu

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

More Parliamentarians call for PAP election session to be held in March

A number of African parliamentarians from the five regional caucuses have called for the proposed election session of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) to be held in the month of March 2022 when the parliament is statutorily supposed to hold Committee Sittings.

The parliamentarians argued that PAP Statutory meetings are held in March, May, August and October annually such that parliaments of member states and the AU are aware of this and make budgetary provisions for those statutory meetings in terms of travel and per diems, as a matter of routine. They therefore believe that the time for the March committee sittings should be devoted to the election of members of the PAP bureau.

Activities at PAP were suspended on June 1, 2021 following disagreements over the application of the principle of geographic rotation in electing the president of the parliament. Seven months later, the parliamentarians are getting restive over their inability to hold meetings  or perform their parliamentary functions.

The Executive Council met in October 2021 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where the issue was resolved in favour of geographic rotation in line established African Union customs, rules and regulation. The Council directed that election of the bureau of PAP should be held as a matter of urgency. But some forces who appear not to be uncomfortable with the Council decision are allegedly working to frustrate its implementation.

A parliamentarian from Kenya described the continued suspension of activities at PAP as a joke taken too far, and warned that the parliamentarians may have to resort to self help. “Yes, I have discussed with some of my colleagues about the possibility of organizing a session by ourselves”. He wondered why PAP is being treated with ignominy by a cabal in the African Union Commission. “PAP has been closed for more than eight months now and still counting because of disagreement over rotation of an office with three year tenure. Does it make sense, he queried. He observed that had the election taken place in May 2021, the winner would have finished his first year in May with two more years to go. “So why are we behaving as if the tenure will last for eternity or that hell will break loose if rotation is implemented? We are tired of fighting other people’s battles”.  

“My tenure at PAP will expire just before I go for election in August this year. Can you imagine how I feel, I mean the frustration of helplessly watching my tenure expire considering the fact that there has not been any activity at PAP for the past two years because some people have placed their parochial political considerations above the welfare of the African people whom we represent”.

Another parliamentarian from Algeria who lost his seat at PAP because he went for national parliamentary election in 2021 expressed sadness over his inability to be sworn in as a member of PAP after getting re-elected in June 2021. Meanwhile, his tenure at PAP is tied to membership of his national parliament and so running, although he is yet to be sworn in. The same goes for designated parliamentarians from countries such as Ethiopia and Zambia who went for elections in 2021 and are waiting to be sworn in at PAP.

There is definitely a strong feeling among the parliamentarians that it is time to close ranks and move on in the interest of African people. They are no longer interested in fighting other people’s causes and being used, having lost most of their time as a result of the crisis. Apparently some forces outside the parliament with hegemonic tendencies are bent on frustrating the implementation of the October 2021 Executive Council decision on PAP.

Under the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to the Pan African Parliament, the term of a Member of the Pan-African Parliament runs concurrently with his or her term in the National Parliament. The implication is that a member’s tenure terminates when his or her national parliament is dissolved prior to election and such a member must be sworn in again if he or she wins reelection and returns to PAP.

It would be recalled that the Southern Caucus in PAP had earlier condemned the unnecessary delay in the implementation of the decisions of the 39th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council held in October 2021 and had suggested that the election session should be held in March 2022.

Parliamentarians from the other regions have now joined the call for the election session to be held in March 2022 insisting that there is no reasonable basis to continue to delay the election.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disclaimer: Comment expressed do not reflect the opinion of African Parliamentary News