PAP Election Session kicks off as Charumbira emerges Southern Caucus Presidential Candidate - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

PAP Election Session kicks off as Charumbira emerges Southern Caucus Presidential Candidate

The much awaited election session of the Pan-African Parliament kicked off today with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) H. E. Moussa Faki Mahamat performing the opening ceremony which included the swearing in of new parliamentarians.

It would be recalled that the Bureau election session was convened by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission in compliance with the Decisions of the Executive Council of the African Union (EX.CL/Dec.1128(XXXIX)) where the Council directed the Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC) to conduct and manage the upcoming PAP elections process and elaborate the elections modalities in accordance with the Rules, Regulations and established practice of the Union as well as relevant decisions of the Executive Council on the principle of rotation and is conducted in accordance with the elections at the Pan-African Parliament.

Parliamentary activities were suspended on June 1, 2021 following the crisis that resulted from disagreements over the application of the principle of rotation in the election of the president of the parliament.

In his opening speech, Mahamat regretted that although established under Article 2 of the Protocol relating to the African Economic Community adopted in Sirte, Libya, on 2 March 2001, the Pan-African Parliament, despite the high hopes it raised, has remained in search of its true roots and efficient functioning.

“The Constitutive Act of the African Union has given it a privileged place in the institutional architecture of our Union. I recognize, however, that despite the declared will of our Heads of State to place it in third place after the Assembly of Heads of State and Government and the Executive Council, the Pan-African Parliament has remained essentially consultative, rather aloof from the requirements of an institution and law-making”.

“The full participation of African peoples in the development and economic integration of the continent through it has fallen short of expectations. Honorable Pan-African Parliamentarians, we and our governments have a long way to go so that you can, as reason and wisdom dictate, find yourselves in the best possible conditions to fulfill your noble mission”.

Mahamat noted that this noble mission is “precisely the one that dictates the ethics and moral virtues that must inspire your actions, your behavior, and your political strategies.”

“It is well known that parliaments throughout the world are important places for debates and confrontation of ideas. These debates can, from time to time, take on a heated character. Debating, not fighting, is the hallmark of parliamentary life”.

“In certain circumstances, the most established social codes and norms of behavior can be challenged in a sudden, brutal, and unexpected manner. It is worth reminding everyone of the duties of moderation, balance, restraint, and self-control that should always be the prerogative of those who belong to such an honorable and prestigious institution”.

“The unfortunate events that took place in this hemicycle on 27 May and 30 June 2021 on the aborted elections to the Bureau of the Pan-African Parliament have brought the image of this institution and that of the continent into great disrepute. The unbearable scenes broadcast on television and on social networks have moved African citizens who are dumbfounded by such a debasement of the parliament. These acts of transgression and dishonor have been condemned across the continent”.

“In my capacity as legal representative of the Union and guarantor of the proper functioning of all its organs and institutions, I then requested, without further ado, the suspension of the activities of parliamentarians until further notice. Of course, in this kind of situation, it is always necessary to sort out the facts and establish who is responsible for what”.

“Clearly, not all parliamentarians participated in the brawls of 27 May and 30 June 2021. Many of you have condemned and disassociated yourselves from these incidents. This is to be welcomed. It is worth recalling that this parliament includes some of the best African political elite”.

“They included presidents of national assemblies, presidents of senates, former prime ministers, former ministers, presidents of national parliamentary groups and many others. The scenes recalled above must have broken their hearts”.

“The time has come to turn these sad and dark pages of the history of the Pan-African Parliament once and for all and to start afresh. The time has come to return to the noble behavior that has long characterized Pan-African parliamentarians and that has made the African Union proud. The time has finally come for fraternal dialogue, in a calm climate, to take precedence over confrontation”.

“The resumption of parliamentary activities, so desired by most of you, obviously requires the election of a new bureau. Much has already been written about this election. The five regional caucuses have spoken at length during the consultations held here in Midrand for the Southern African caucus and in Addis Ababa for the Central, North, East and West African caucuses. The positions of the various parties are well known, particularly on the principle of rotation. The legal debate on this issue is healthy and useful”.

After a photo session which took place of at the conclusion of his address, the parliament went into a closed session where the Acting Director of the Office of Legal Council, read out the modalities for the election of the members of the Bureau of the parliament.

Thereafter, the five regional caucuses in the parliament went into their respective caucus meetings to nominate their candidates. For the position of the President of the Parliament, the Southern Regional Caucus unanimously endorsed Senator Chief Fortune Charumbira (Zimbabwe) as the candidate of the Region.

According to the Modalities for the Election of Bureau of the Sixth Pan-African Parliament prepared by the Office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission (OLC), it reaffirmed that the principle of geographical rotation is an established practice of the African Union that obliges the Union and its organs to ensure that each region is elected as a member of the Bureau on a rotational basis and therein stipulated that for this election, the Presidency shall be limited to the Northern and Southern Regional Caucuses.

While both the Northern and Southern Regions were the only eligible regions to nominate candidates for the position of President, the Northern Region opted not to nominate a candidate for president and instead nominated candidates for the position of First Vice President.

The implication is that Senator Charumbira will be standing as a sole candidate for PAP President while the other four regions nominated candidates for the four Vice Presidential positions with each region nominating two candidates (a male and a female).

A new Bureau for the Parliament is expected to be elected and sworn in tomorrow.

#PanAfricanParliament       #PAP         #PAPElection2022      #AfricanUnion            #AU  #ExecutiveCouncil      #AfricanUnionCommission   #MoussaFakiMahamat                #ChiefFortuneCharumbira          

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