“Parliamentarians must unite to safeguard PAP’s relevance”: Acting President warns


Hon. Lucia Dos Passos, Acting President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), has issued an urgent call for unity among members of Parliament to prevent the diminishing of the institution’s influence, during an address to the Joint meeting of the Bureaux of the organs of the PAP earlier today.

The leadership structures of the continental Parliament, including the Bureau of the PAP, Bureaux of the Permanent Committees, Regional Caucuses, Women, and Youth Caucus, convened on the eve of the Official opening of the Extraordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament to review and adopt the program of proceedings.

"It's imperative that we unify and direct our full attention towards advancing legislative solutions across the continent to address the concerns of our citizens. The divisions and internal conflicts only undermine the significance of our Parliament. Now is the moment to return to our core mission and focus on the common ground that binds us,” said Hon. Dos Passos.

Considering the extraordinary nature of the session set to commence tomorrow, March 22, 2024, the meeting also featured a presentation by Prof. Hajer Gueldich, Legal Counsel of the African Union. Prof. Gueldich provided the Bureaux of the PAP organs with an overview of the modalities for the upcoming by-elections scheduled for March 25, 2024. Additionally, she reiterated the Executive Council's directives mandating the African Union Commission to supervise the electoral process for filling the vacancies within the PAP Bureau.

The positions of President, First Vice President, and Fourth Vice President of the Bureau are currently vacant following elections and unconstitutional changes of government in some AU Member States. The Extraordinary Session of the PAP is in line with the deliberations of the 44th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, held in Addis Ababa, from February 14 to 15, 2024, concerning the situation at the Pan-African Parliament. The Council also directed the Office of Legal Counsel to devise guidelines for the election process. In line with the guidelines and 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).