Published: Thursday, 18 March 2021

 

PAP sets up an interim Bureau to lead Parliament into the next Ordinary Session

The Permanent Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline (Rules Committee) has adopted a resolution to set up a team comprised of Regional Caucuses Chairpersons to act as an interim Bureau of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) with immediate effect.

Chaired by the Acting President of the PAP, the interim Bureau will be responsible for running the affairs of the Parliament until the next Plenary Session of the PAP, when a full Bureau is expected to be reconstituted.

The resolution was adopted at the recently concluded meetings on the revision of the PAP Rules of Procedure and the Joint Bureau and Bureaux of Committees and Caucuses, which took place at the seat of the continental Parliament in Midrand, South Africa from 8 to 12 March 2021.

Currently, there are four vacant positions in the Bureau of the PAP. The Bureau is composed of five members, one President and four Vice-Presidents, elected for a three-year term. They represent the five regions of Africa: North Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa. The PAP Rules of Procedure also provide for each of the five geographic regions to form a regional caucus composed of its members.

The interim Bureau will therefore assist the Acting President in leading the Parliament for the next two months. The resolution is pursuant of Rule 84 (1b) of the PAP Rules and Procedure which stipulates that “a regional caucus performs any other function as assigned to it by the Bureau or Permanent Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline or by resolution of Parliament.”

Accepting the resolution to incorporate the Regional Caucus Chairpersons into the Bureau, the Acting President, Hon. Chief Charumbira urged African legislators to empower the new provisional team that comes into effect immediately until elections are held. He also commended the Rules Committee for a “job well-done in invoking rules of Procedure in the best interest of the institution”.

“I am glad that you have agreed to bring PAP to life by sanctioning an interim Bureau. I am appealing to you as parliamentarians to support and empower this working group for it to achieve its mandate. The objective was to ensure that everyone is represented in the decision-making process through the Regional Chairpersons. I believe with equal representation we will deliver without fail and with legitimacy. There is more work to be done ahead, with your efforts we will surely succeed,” said Hon. Charumbira.

Hon. Adv. Djibril War, Chairperson of the Rules Committee stated that “the Regional Caucuses would ensure greater legitimacy in the management of Bureau matters for the continuity and regularity of service within the PAP by supporting the Acting President.

Meanwhile, the PAP Rules Committee also adopted a motion to use virtual meetings as a way forward. This came after the secretariat confirmed its readiness to host virtual meetings through ZOOM. Overall, the five-day meeting accorded an opportunity to  define the substantive and procedural direction for an effective and fruitful revision of the Rules of Procedure of the PAP; and enabled the Rules Committee and the PAP Bureau and Bureaux to review and determine the gaps and areas of concern in the current Rules of Procedure. Proposals made in this regard will be presented at the next plenary session of the PAP in May 2021.