The Extraordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) kicks off in South Africa

The Extraordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) kicks off in South Africa

The Extraordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) commenced yesterday at the Parliament’s Headquarters in Midrand, South Africa. The occasion was marked by the swearing-in of approximately 45 new members of Parliament who were deployed to serve in the Continental Legislature.

The gathering served as a prelude to the by-election for the three vacant positions in the PAP Bureau, scheduled for the 25th of March 2024. In her keynote address to the Plenary, Hon. Lucia Dos Passos, Acting President of the PAP, reiterated a poignant message of unity and urged all members to seize this pivotal moment to rejuvenate the PAP’s operations, ensuring they effectively serve the diverse interests of the African citizenry.

“I firmly believe that the recent leadership crisis has offered us a unique opportunity to chart a new path. I therefore call on all Members of Parliament to put aside their differences and unite for the greater good of our institution and the continent. Let us learn from the experiences of the past and make sure we do not return to the events that previously led to the suspension of Parliamentary activities. By proposing that delegations to our Parliament be comprised of the ruling and opposition parties as well as women and the youth, the founding fathers believed that the motto “One Africa, One Voice” is possible,” said Hon. Dos Passos.

In her first interaction with the Plenary of the Pan-African Parliament following her appointment as Clerk, Ms. Lindiwe Khumalo expressed her gratitude towards the members of Parliament for the trust they placed in her. She then led the proceedings for the swearing-in of new members who had been deployed to the Continental Parliament.

Officiated by Hon. Lucia Dos Passos, Acting President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), new members deployed to the Continental Parliament were sworn in on the opening day of the Extraordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament. The swearing-in ceremony followed elections in several African Union member states and rotation within delegations.

The new members hail from Benin, the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Eswatini, Ghana, Lesotho, Mauritania, Nigeria, the Saharawi Arab Republic, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

The Parliament has up to 275 members representing the 55 AU Member States that have ratified the Protocol establishing it (five members per Member State, including at least one woman, and representing the diversity of political opinions in their own national parliament or deliberative organ).

Under Rule 7(2) of the PAP Rules of Procedure, a parliamentarian’s tenure of office begins when he or she has taken the oath of office or made a solemn declaration during a PAP plenary session.

A parliamentarian’s term corresponds to his or her own national parliament term or to that of any other deliberative organ that elected or designated the parliamentarian. This proportionate representation ensures that smaller countries have the same rights, access, and opportunities to be heard and to participate in African affairs (source: PAP social media).

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Chief President, Hon. Senator Chief Charumbira, is running as a sole candidate nominee for the Presidential seat unopposed. Hon. Senator and Deputy Chief President Charumbira will be ordained for his second term as PAP President. He became President of PAP after he won the polls but his membership of PAP together with others was terminated by operation of the law after he temporarily ceased to be a legislator when Parliament was dissolved to pave the way for the August 2023 harmonized elections.

The official announcement of his return is expected to be proclaimed on Monday.

The extraordinary summit is expected to end on the 30th of March after it commenced on the 22nd of March.

GI4nGOJX0AAQ3O1-1024x390 The Extraordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) kicks off in South Africa

Tapiwa Rubaya

Tapiwa Rubaya is the current affairs, fashion and sports reporter at My Afrika Magazine.

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