Tension Heats up at Pan African Parliament
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
There was tension at the Pan African Parliament (PAP) yesterday morning 19th May, as members haggled over whether to hold elections first or prioritise a discussion on the institution’s protocol.
While the draft programme highlighted that parliament would have a presentation and debate on the report on a review of its protocol for three days from Tuesday, a Ugandan parliamentarian, Mary Mugyenyi moved a motion that there be an election of a new bureau, in line with the African Union (AU)’s recommendations
The AU summit in
“The African Heads of States said we must hold an election”, Mugyenyi said amid wild applause and cheering. “We only have two weeks here and seeing that we are already in the second day, I appeal that Madam President treats this matter as one in the public’s interest.
But the current Pan Africa Parliamentary session only provided for the election of the fourth vice president, a post which became vacant following the defeat of Ghana’s Malik Yakubu in that country’s election. PAP members should be members of parliament in their respective countries. A speaker from the West African caucus, which was supposed to nominate candidates for the fourth VP’s post, said they did not do so in their Monday meeting as they lacked clarity over the elections issue.
“If we do not discuss the protocol it will be seen as if we do not understand it. We have to show an example to the continent that we can run our business according to the rules.”
However, after almost three hours adjournment due to this controversy, the parliament resumed with an order that the day’s sitting be held in close doors, leaving waiting journalists to pack up and leave.
Speaking at the opening of the 11th Ordinary Session of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in
“A large chunk of our people are in danger of slipping back below the poverty line if we do not collectively strategize to deal with this crisis”, said Mahama, who is also a former PAP Member.
“This crisis poses a danger to
Among others, Mahama said, governments must assist farmers to modernize and increase productivity in order to feed
He said the continent can also shield itself against the crisis through generating its own resources for development by being more cost effective in public financial management, avoiding waste in public expenditure and eliminating corruption, while creating a conducive legal and financial environment for the indigenous private sector to grow.
According to him, the era of political dinosaurs who consider their countries as their bonafide property and pillaged the resources for the comfort of themselves and a small political elite is probably over.
“Leaders who have stashed away in foreign banks money equivalent to the entire budget of their countries are becoming a rare breed on the continent. This pleasant wind of change has often been attributed to the so-called new crop of transformational leaders with a vision and determination to lead their people out of poverty into a society of prosperity for all,” he asserted.
Author: Baboucarr Senghore in Johanesburg