PAP members plot to hold session in May - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

PAP members plot to hold session in May

There are indications that members of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) are planning to converge in South Africa for the May statutory session of the parliament.

One of the leaders of the group of lawmakers planning for session disclosed this to African Parliamentary News. The parliamentarian who chose not to disclose his identity for now, disclosed that they have resolved to take the bull by the horn following the inability of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC Chair) to implement two previous decisions of the Executive Council to reopen the parliament.

“We are getting restive and rusty because we have not been able to hold plenary sessions and committee sittings since 2021. We also cannot sit and watch our respective tenures at PAP run out without engaging in parliamentary activities. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the other commissioners are enjoying their four year tenure. Why should ours be different”, he queried

“The issues that led to the suspension of plenary have been addressed and resolved by the Executive Council which met in October 2021 when it directed the reopening of the parliament as a matter of urgency”.

“The Executive Council also met in February 2022 and further directed that PAP should be reopened before the end of April 2022. We are almost at the end of April but the AUC Chair has taken no steps to convene the mandated session”.

“As far as we (parliamentarians) are concerned, there is no legal hurdle or impediment that can prevent us from convening our statutory session in May 2022. It has become obvious to us that some persons at the AUC would prefer to have PAP shut down indefinitely forgetting that it is the same Article 5 of the Constitutive Act that established all the organs of the African Union (AU) including the PAP and AUC. We shall no longer play into their hands and we sound a note of warning to their collaborators among us to stay clear of the planned May session”.

“We have resolved to comply with Article 12(2) of the PAP Protocol which requires that our sessions should be held twice a year, in May and October.  We are consulting with our members from across the regions to agree on the date for both the commencement and duration of the session”.

“As soon as the dates are sorted out, we shall promptly notify the PAP Secretariat and in this regard, we remind them that under Article 12 of the PAP Protocol, they are staff of PAP and not any other AU organ. As employees of PAP, their loyalty should therefore be to the parliament”.

“The planned May session of the parliament is statutory and being convened as a matter of routine. The PAP Protocol has authorized us to meet in May such that MPs do not need any other person’s approval or consent to meet. And any person or persons who engages in any act with the aim of interring with our meeting shall be treated as violating the PAP Protocol”.

When reminded that the Executive Council decision required the AUC Chair to attend the session, he responded that having failed to implement the Executive Council decision, that portion of the decision had been overtaken by events. “But we shall invite the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) to conduct and manage the election session and if they fail to honour our invitation, we shall proceed to elect an interim bureau so that parliamentary activities can resume. The interim bureau will then liaise with the OLC to arrange for election. But we shall not allow the AUC Chair to run PAP from his office as the PAP Protocol does not approve of that”.  

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