PAP Amended rules will allow for sufficient and sustainable flexibility to adjust to global exigencies - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



memfys hospital Enugu

Monday, November 21, 2022

PAP Amended rules will allow for sufficient and sustainable flexibility to adjust to global exigencies

By Olu. Ibekwe

President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), H. E. Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, has said that the recent amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament (PAP) adopted on 03 November 2022 will create an enabling environment that will allow the Parliament to retain sufficient and sustainable flexibility to adjust to global exigencies, volatilities and prevailing political realities in the continent.

In a letter informing the Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC) of the African Union Commission (AUC) of the amendments to the PAP’s Rules of Procedure, H. E. Chief Charumbira wrote that the amendments have “brought the Pan African Parliament in compliance with established practices of the African Union and more particularly in line with the principle of rotation”.

According to the PAP President H. E. Chief Charumbira, the amended rules incorporated the modalities issued by the OLC on the basis of which the 29 June 2022 Bureau election was conducted including provision for the sequence of rotation, the implication of which is that the misunderstanding that led to the crisis which resulted in the suspension of parliamentary activities on 01 June 2021 has become a thing of the past. 

“The amended Rules also contain provisions that restructured the Permanent Committees from eleven (11) to fifteen (15), as well as elaborate Rules on Virtual Meetings of Parliament and its Permanent Committees” wrote H. E. Chief Charumbira.

H. E. Chief Charumbira disclosed that the process of amending the PAP’s Rules of Procedure was informed by Plenary Resolutions of the Parliament as well as Decisions of the African Union Policy Organs such as the Executive Council and the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

“The foundation of this process was first established in a Plenary Resolution of the Parliament PAP. 4/PLN/RES/08/MAY 17 of 18 May 2017, by which the Parliament resolved to amend its Rules of Procedure to incorporate the principle of geographic rotation of the Presidency of the Parliament”.

“January 2016 Executive Council decision EX.CL/Dec.907(XXVIII) that mandated the implementation of the principle of rotation by all organs and institutions of the AU irrespective of whether the principle of Geographical Rotation is mentioned in the relevant legal instruments establishing those organs, bodies and/or institutions”.

“Executive Council in Decision EX.CL/Dec.979(XXXI) adopted in June 2017, inter alia, that called upon the Pan-African Parliament, “to apply the African Union values, rules, and regulations in managing all activities of the organ, including rotation of the Bureau and presidency…”.

“Executive Council Decision EX.CL/Dec.1018(XXXII) adopted in June 2018 that requested “the PAP to comply with the principle of geographical rotation among the five regions of the Africa in future elections of the Bureau”.

Assembly Decision, identified as Assembly/AU/757(XXXIII) of February 2020 that directed the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) to examine and align legal instruments and Rules of Procedure of AU Organs and request OLC to review the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament and report back to the Executive Council”.

It would also be recalled that PAP Permanent Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline held meetings from 08 to 12 March 2021 during which the Committee considered the review of the PAP Rules of Procedure to align them with contemporary challenges. According to the Committee Report presented to the Plenary of 26 May 2021, the rules were reviewed to determine the gaps and areas of possible improvement.

H. E. Chief Charumbira observed that the Rules of Procedure of the Pan African Parliament were first adopted on 21 September 2004 and subsequently amended seven years after on 10 October 2011. “For the past eleven years (11) the Parliament has operated on the 2011 amended rules which in some instances is fraught with inconsistencies and contradictions with the PAP protocol and Executive Council decisions as it relates to organs of the African Union.”

On the procedure and process of the amendments, H. E. Chief Charumbira reported that from 22 - 24 August 2022, a three-day reorientation workshop was conducted for the members of the Parliament with the theme “Reviving, Renewing, repositioning and Reinvigoration the Pan-African Parliament”.

“In the workshop, Members of Parliament critically analyzed and interrogated the challenges faced by the Parliament in actualizing the objectives of its mandate and its effectiveness in the African governance matrix. The members, through their Regional Caucuses, unequivocally articulated a firm commitment to amend the Rules of Procedure as a necessary tool to actualize its mandate.”

“Continuing in that vein and as part of facilitating the process for the amendment of the Rules of the Parliament, the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline held a workshop from 05 to 08 September 2022 where they identified gaps and made specific recommendations including the adoption of the principle of rotation.”

“At the beginning of the October 2022 Session, the five (5) Regional Caucuses were availed with a Technical Report of the Gap Analysis and the Report of the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline on identified gaps. The Caucuses conducted lengthy participatory and strategic negotiations between and amongst themselves. In the process they adopted the imperative of the need to institutionalize relevant Plenary Resolutions of the Parliament and integrate the various decisions of the Executive Council and decisions of the African Union Policy Organs into PAP’s internal procedures and practices with a corresponding report to the Plenary on 26 October 2022.”

 “Consequently, a document that tracked and consolidated the interventions by Members of Parliament through their Regional Caucuses were synthesized and presented back to the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline on 01 November 2022, for further assessment and consultation with the Bureau.”

“After these series of meetings, a final consensus was reached by the members through their respective Regional Caucuses on the amendments to the Rules of Procedure.”

“On the 03rd of November 2022, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) adopted amendments to its Rules of Procedure by consensus pursuant to the Constitutive Act, the Protocol to the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan-African Parliament and the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament.”

The amendments and the consensus reached by the Parliament, incorporated the principle of geographical rotation and brought the Parliament in compliance with the Executive Council decision of October 2021 Doc. (EX.CL/1294XXXIX) as well as decisions of July 2017  EX.CL/Dec.979(XXXI) which was reaffirmed in EX.CL/Dec.1018(XXXIII) (June 2018).

H. E. Chief Charumbira concluded by stating that the “amendment process presented PAP with a unique and strategic opportunity to revitalize the fabric of its parliamentary institutional framework and reposition it for effective parliamentary practices. It was also a necessary step for PAP to actualize an effective and practical implementation of its mandate, ensure complementarities with PAP existing protocol and conform its practices to Executive and Assembly decisions”.

“The long-awaited process of amending the Rules of Procedure effectively addressed the historical challenges that had engulfed Parliament in respect of geographical rotation, the rotation sequence and other loopholes and legal ambiguities that had caused institutional dissonance over the years”.


No comments:

Post a Comment

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