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Pan African Parliament’s first ordinary session opens

Oct 10, 2012, 9:44 AM

Midrand, Johannesburg – The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Monday opened the first ordinary session of the Third Parliament in Midrand, South Africa, with a call from Hon. Bethel Nnaemeka Amadi, president of the PAP to the current chairperson of the African Union (AU) Dr. Thomas Boni Yayi, president of the Republic of Benin, who came to the PAP as its guest of honour, to support the efforts of the PAP in getting the proposed amended protocol of the PAP adopted.

“We call on Your Excellency to prevail on your colleague heads of state and government to approve the granting of legislative and oversight functions to the Pan-African Parliament by adopting the draft amended protocol in its entirety, as approved by the Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General of member states”, Hon. Amadi said.

He added that the PAP was “convinced that the time has come for the Pan-African Parliament to begin the gradual and phased acquisition of legislative functions in clearly defined areas to enable it meet its mandate.”

The PAP president complained that, “the Pan-African Parliament as presently constituted has advisory and consultative functions, and yet it is neither consulted nor is its advice sought in the process of decision making by the African Union. The resolutions of the Pan-African Parliament when submitted through the African Union Commission are never tabled for discussion by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government. We therefore seek your support in ensuring that the resolutions of this Parliament are given the visibility and political relevance they deserve.”

President Boni Yayi pledged his support to the PAP in its endeavours to achieve gradual legislative functions and powers. He asked why the PAP could not share decision making with the AU’s Executive Council. He also asked why the PAP could not share oversight power over the AU budget with the Executive Council and the Assembly of Heads of State and Government. 

The current protocol of the PAP gives it only advisory and consultative powers. A process to revise this protocol was started by the African heads of state and government in 2010. The proposed amended protocol is scheduled to be discussed by the heads of state and government at their forthcoming AU Summit in January 2013.