AU clarifies decision on PAP as the hunter becomes the hunted - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

AU clarifies decision on PAP as the hunter becomes the hunted

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) on Wednesday transmitted some aspects of the Executive Council decision on the situation at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) adopted during the 44th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council held from 14 to 15 February 2024 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

According to the AUC Chairperson’s letter to PAP Acting President Hon. Lucia M. Dos Passos, Second Vice President, Hon. Ashebir W. Gayo and Clerk of PAP, Ms. Lindiwe Kumalo, dated 21 February 2024, the aspects of the Executive Council decision on PAP which require immediate implementation are:

1.      Convening of PAP session before the end of March 2024 at the seat of the Parliament in Midrand, South Africa to fill the vacancies in the PAP Bureau to be supervised by the Commission following the guidelines established by the Office of Legal Counsel.

2.      Until the election is conducted, the 3rd Vice President should immediately assume the role of the Acting President in accordance with Article 12(7) of the PAP Protocol.

3.      The Clerk of the Parliament should be immediately reinstated.   

The AUC Chairperson’s  letter above may have been prompted by a letter from the Second Vice President, Hon. Dr. Ashebire Gayo dated 20 February 2024 referenced PAP/Bureau/02/24/021 and addressed to Hon. Lucia Passos.  

In the said letter, Dr. Gayo maintained that he remained the Acting PAP President pending when “The Executive Council decision should be circulated and communicated to Member States and the Organs before it is executed according to Rule 33-34 of the Executive Council through the Bureau of the PAP. And the Bureau would need to meet to agree on the modalities of the application of the Executive Council decision. To the extent PAP was not even given opportunity to ask when the decision can be effective.”

“Therefore, I would like to remind everyone and recall that in his letter dated 5 October 2023 to the PAP, the Chairperson of the Commission indicated that I was the Acting President of the PAP according to the Protocol and the Rules of Procedure of PAP of 2011. In this regard, only legal instruments of PAP and an official correspondence from the Chairperson’s office can alter my status at the Acting President.”

“It's therefore, I would like to seek for your indulgence to consider our bilateral meeting that took place today, guide and support staff to unite and collaborate with the bureau as we moving forward to have bi-election to fill vacant positions of PAP.”

“Regarding the issue of Clerk, Bureau will resolve in its next bureau meeting considering the outcome of investigation and also taking into consideration the unity and solidarity of Parliamentarians and member countries” concluded Hon. Gayo’s letter.

The AUC Chairperson’s letter transmitting some aspects of the Executive Council decision on the situation at the PAP effectively poured cold water on Dr. Gayo’s plan to prolong his hold on power. This also put paid to Hon. Gayo plan to hold a manipulated election on 28 February 2024 in Ethiopia in defiance of the Executive Council decision.

The implication of the letter from the AUC Chairperson is that there is now, a reversal of roles at PAP between Hon. Dr. Gayo  and Hon. Lucia Passos wherein Hon. Hon Gayo who since 23 August 2023, become  accustomed to outmaneuvering his adversaries, has suddenly found himself in a precarious position where he is now at the receiving end. It is Hon. Lucia that will now be calling the shots as the new sheriff in town!

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