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Pan African Parliament makes history by adopting Rules of Procedure

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The Pan African Parliament is on a drive to reinvigorate and revive the AU organ to make it more relevant and effective. Image credit: Pan African Parliament

Pan African Parliament makes history by adopting Rules of Procedure

History was made last week when a motion on the amendments to the Pan African Parliament’s (PAP) Rules of Procedure was moved, seconded, and adopted in the First Ordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) held in Midrand, South Africa.

The long-awaited process effectively addresses loopholes and legal ambiguities contained in the Rules of Procedures and has caused disagreements among Parliamentarians over the past few years.

Among other amendments, the principle of rotation for leadership positions across all organs of the Pan-African Parliament has been adopted and entrenched, with immediate effect. The milestone is in line with the commitment of the new leadership of the Pan-African Parliament and previous decisions by African Union policy organs, calling for the examination and alignment of rules of procedure to create a conducive environment for the operation of the Organ.

“The amended document on the PAP’s Rules of Procedure is the result of consultation and collaboration between the five regional caucuses and all the members of PAP. The discussions and debates started at workshops held in September 2022 and again in October 2022,” said H.E. Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira.

Amending the Rules of Procedures is part of the PAP’s new roadmap to revive and reinvigorate the PAP. “The PAP Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline started the process to evaluate the Rules of Procedures to access whether there were gaps started four years ago. The Committee then identified that amendments were required,” said Hon. Thembekile Richard Majola, chairperson of the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline, when he presented the paper in the Plenary this morning.

Regional Caucuses agree to move a motion (Pan African Parliament makes history by adopting Rules of Procedure)

The five regional caucuses agreed last night on 99.9% of the rules put forward for amendments. There were minor differences on seven rules (7.4%) and nine material differences (9.5%), which prompted the discussions and eventual collaboration.

After Hon. Majola’s presentation, the five regional caucus chairpersons were called upon to confirm the content of the report was correct and to move the motion.

According to Hon. Alhagie Mbow, Chairperson of the Western Caucus, the report is the foundation to start building a stronger institution. “We have made history today. We have tried to amend these rules before and failed. Through collaboration and under strong leadership, we have made it a reality,” Hon. Mbow said.

“We are moving forward and putting the PAP back on the map. We were very impressed by the political maturity that member states have displayed throughout this entire process,” said Hon. Pemmy Castelina Majodina, the Chairperson of the Southern Africa Caucus.

East African Chairperson Hon. Terrence Mondon from Seychelles concurred that it was an inclusive and participatory process to get to a point where the PAP now had a tool for the transformation of the institution.

According to Hon. Sen. Azzeddine Abdelmadjid, the Northern Caucus’ chairperson from Algeria, the debate between member states were rich and alive. “Although the end result is not perfect, amending the Rules of Procedures is something that had to be done and we are in full agreement with the new document,” said Hon. Sen. Abdelmadjid.

“Although we did not agree on all amendments, we eventually reached a consensus and now speak with one voice,” said Hon. Jaynet Kabila, the Central Caucus’ Chairperson from the DRC. “The Central African Caucus is in agreement with this report,” she concluded.

“The Caucuses have spoken!” exclaimed H.E. Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira at the conclusion of the sitting. “We have agreed as the PAP that the Rules of Procedure will be amended,” he added.

The PAP is sitting under the African Union theme for 2022: “Building resilience in nutrition on the African continent: Accelerate the human capital, social and economic development.”

Pan African Parliament makes history by adopting Rules of Procedure

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