Rotational principle election saga under the scope

Martin Endjala

The fifth Pan-African Parliament session following last year’s chaotic and aborted event are meeting this week in South Africa to among other elect a President, which was fiercely fought last year.

The South and West caucuses fought for their candidates and the election was postponed and the African parliamentarians will again be meeting with an agenda of electing a new president and a vice-President during which all five caucuses will root for their candidates.

With the embarrassing pandemonium election still fresh in some minds, the parliamentarians will try and put all of it behind and hope to speak with one voice as a united house in order to find solutions and to advise the African Union on issues afflicting the continent.

The Pan-African Parliament Presidential Candidate Chief Fortune Charumbira from Zimbabwe PF has the support of the Southern African caucus.

Mchenry Venaani leader of the Popular Democratic Movement, made a call last year in May in the chamber for the parliamentarians to respect each another, while pointing out that the AU principle of rotational leadership be respected.

“Give a chance to others to lead, you cannot be the only one to be leading every time, there must be a rotation”, Venaani adviced.

Perhaps the presence of Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and incumbent Chairperson of the African Union and Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, who is expected to preside over the proceedings of the opening ceremony of the Ordinary Session of the fifth Parliament on 28 June 2022 will in some way keep the chamber’s boiling temperatures at bay.

The Chief Executive Officer and Legal Representative of the African Union will also chair the plenary
session dedicated to the election of the President of the Pan-African Parliament scheduled to take place on 29 June 2022.

Close to 72 Parliamentarians were sensitised on the PAP’s rules of procedure, functions of the PAP,
structure of the institution, and their role as representatives of the African citizens. The new
Parliamentarians originate from different countries and regions of the continent following elections in a number of African States and rotation within delegations.

The Parliament is composed of five members per member state that has ratified the Protocol
establishing it, including at least one woman per delegation. These members are selected by their national legislatures.

Peter Ezekiel, who is the leader of the Malawi delegation, told SABC News that all other three caucuses namely West, East and Central held PAP’s presidency, except for the South.
He said that it is only reasonable that the other caucuses pave way for a new president either from
the Northern caucuses or Southern caucuses.

He pointed out that it was exactly due to the rotational principle election fallout that saw the PAP not having a president in the first place, hence both the Northern and Southern caucuses are in support of the southern caucus candidate, Chief Charumbira from Zimbabwe.

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