Pan African Parliament at crossroads - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Monday, June 27, 2022

Pan African Parliament at crossroads

By Hon Dr Tapiwa Mashakada

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) is the legislative organ of the African Union (AU) Parliament and was established on 18 March 2004 with Senator Chief Charumbira as one of the founding members back then.  The Parliament is administered by a Bureau whose Presidency is rotational.

There are 5 main regional caucuses which take turns to field a Presidential Candidate. In May 2021 the elections of a President of PAP were aborted after the Western and Central caucuses subverted the rotational principle and tried to field candidates against the Southern caucus choice who is Chief Charumbira.

This was in violation of the principle of Rotation. There was fracas at PAP leading to the suspension of business sine die. Thereafter the impasse was referred to the AU.

In October 2021 the Permanent Representatives Committee and the Executive Council reached the decision that PAP elections must be conducted before end of April 2022,  based on rotation. In May 2022 the AU Bureau of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government directed PAP to hold elections in May under the supervision of the Office of Legal Counsel.

Consequently the date of the PAP election was set for the 29th June 2022 in Midrand, South Africa. Modalities for the election were published by the Office of the AU Legal Counsel. The highlights of the modalities are that:

(1) Elections will be held following the rotational principle;

(2). Only the Southern and Northern caucuses are eligible to nominate Presidential candidates.

(3) The candidate will be elected by a simple majority.

A candidate from South Sudan in the Eastern Regional Caucus is contesting for the presidency of the Parliament in clear violation of the duly established Modalities for the election and insisting on open competition which is not based on rotation. His motive is not only unknown but baffling..

The impending danger is that if elections are disrupted again this time around, the AU may be forced to shut down PAP. This will offend citizens of Africa who are crying for PAP to deliver jobs, education, Health to the peoples of Africa. The people of Africa expect PAP to deal with the impact of the covid pandemic, conflict and climate change. With these expectations it is clear that PAP must rise to the occasion and not play micky mouse games.

PAP must justify her continued existence and why it is spending a budget of over $22 million per annum with a employment costs of $10 million per year. 

Under the protocol establishing it, PAP currently has Consultative and advisory powers and there is no provision of the parliament that suggests that PAP should not follow directives from the AU even after the Revised Protocol (Malabo Protocol) is ratified and PAP becomes a full Legislative Parliament.

Those countries which do not agree with AU decisions, in casu must simply withdraw rather than cause mayhem. The AU had to step in to ensure that there is sanity and order.  The said Election Modalities are consistent with the PAP Protocol and do not violate any part of PAP’s Rules of Procedure.

Only the Southern and Northern caucuses are qualified to nominate Presidential candidates. The Southern caucus's preferred Candidate is and has always been Chief FZ Charumbira who is now set to be elected the President of PAP on the 29th of June in fulfillment of the Rotation principle which is practiced by all Organs of the AU including the Chairperson of the AU.

Pan Africanism requires unity and solidarity. Machinations of imperialist forces on the African continent must be warded off. 

One Africa! One Voice.

The author, Hon Dr Tapiwa Mashakada is the Director of Maji-Marefu Institute of International Relations and Security Studies and a Member of the Pan African Parliament.

 # Pan-African Parliament    #PAP    #Fortune Charumbira    #African Union    #AU

#Permanent Representative Committee    #PRC

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