Pan African Parliament sets roadmap to restore normalcy as Charumbira is tipped to retain Presidency

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A roadmap to restore normalcy at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has been set in motion following recommendations of the 44th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council with Hon Chief Fortune Charumbira tipped to retain the presidency of the continental legislative body in elections earmarked for this month.

Hon. Lucia Dos Passos, Acting President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), has urged members of the legislative arm of the African Union (AU) to demonstrate the spirit of Pan-Africanism and a sense of duty towards African citizens to support efforts to restore full normalcy to the continental body.

The message was conveyed on the occasion of a consultative session held on Friday last week between the Bureau and the Southern African Caucus of the PAP. The meeting was part of a consultation process to be conducted with all regional caucuses to ensure that all stakeholders are kept informed of the latest developments as the Parliament prepares for an elective session to fill the vacancies in the Bureau. In her opening remarks, Hon. Dos Passos noted that the current context on the continent requires the contribution of a fully functional PAP.

“The African Union’s focus on education this year presents an opportunity to advocate for the right to education for young girls. Youth unemployment remains a critical issue and needs urgent attention. The continent also faces a food security challenge that has been exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine. The peace and security situation, underscored by unconstitutional changes of government, is worrisome. These are issues that demand African Parliamentarians remain engaged to contribute to solutions as expected by the citizenry and in accordance with our mandate,” said Hon. Dos Passos.

The virtual meeting with the Southern African Caucus included an update by the Acting President on the implementation of the decisions of the 44th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council regarding the situation in the Pan-African Parliament. The Secretariat also made a presentation on guidelines for candidacies, while possible dates for an Extraordinary Session to fill vacancies were discussed.

In addition to the constructive deliberations that ensued on the various items on the agenda, members of the Southern Caucus congratulated the Honorable Dos Passos for assuming the role of Acting President of the Bureau ahead of the elective session, and they welcomed the resumption of duty by the Parliament’s Clerk—two key decisions that emanated from the recently concluded 44th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council.

The Bureau of the PAP is scheduled to hold consultations with the remaining four regional caucuses on the same agenda. This process will be followed by the finalization of dates for the elective session and the establishment of modalities for the elections. As a reminder, the positions of President, First Vice President, and Fourth Vice President of the Bureau are currently vacant. In line with the principle of rotation that has been in effect since June 2022, these vacancies will be filled, respectively, by the Southern Caucus (President), Northern Caucus (First Vice President), and Central Caucus (Fourth Vice President).