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PAP Urges Resignation of President

May 21, 2009, 7:49 AM | Article By: PAP Urges Resignation of President

Dr Getrude I. Mongella, President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) is currently facing intense pressure from members who are calling for her and the entire bureau including four vice presidents to step down for what they described as a 'lack of confidence' in her administration.

The resignation of Madam Mongella, 65, has been at the centre of the debate in the ongoing 11th Ordinary Session of the Pan African Parliament, which started in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa since Monday.

This call follows a decision by the African Union in its 12th Ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa early this year requesting that the Pan African Parliament amend its rules of Procedure to conform with the legal instruments of the Union and also for the Parliament to urgently fix a term limit for its bureau and to immediately hold new elections to renew the mandate of the current bureau or elect a new one.

According to the members of the Pan African Parliament, this decision by the African Union is a clear indication that the Union has lost confidence in the current bureau and thus calls for their immediate resignation.

Contributing to the debate on the report of the decisions of the African Union in its 12th Ordinary Session which was tabled in parliament yesterday by Hon. Muhammed Lufti, second vice president of the Pan African Parliament, Hon. Gitobu Imanyara from Kenya called on the whole bureau especially the president to tender their resignation inorder for the parliament to regain what he described as the confidence of the AU. "Just tender your resignation Madam President so that we can elect a new bureau to regain the confidence that the African Union has lost in us", he said.

For his part, Hon. Sedia Jatta from the Gambia and NAM for Wuli West constituency said whenever the obvious is stated, there is no need for it to be repeated and thus the decision of the AU should be respected. According to him, the Pan African Parliament should begin to reconcile itself to the fact that it is a parliament in the making. "We are not a parliament in practice. We don't have an oversight function; of all the organs of the African Union, this parliament should be vying to be a parliament to be emulated. We have to begin to respect rules of procedure, regulations and law", he said, adding that it is disheartening that others are telling the Pan African Parliament to respect laws and orders.

Also contributing to the debate, Hon. George Wesseh Blamoh from Liberia said that there is no good relationship between the African Union and the Pan African Parliament. "Our relationship is not good at all taking into consideration the decision of the African Union. They have lost confidence in us as one of their organs and as a result I would like you Madam President and the entire bureau to resign immediately," he said.

"The decision of the African Union is a clear and urgent indication that we should renew our bureau as soon as possible but the fundamental question is how do we go about this. What we need to do is to look at ways of setting up a new bureau", Hon Bocar S. Kane from Senegal told the parliament.

Speaking earlier, Hon. Kaweesi Ndawula from Uganda said as much as the parliament got such a decision from the African Union, it is clear that there are some weaknesses in the bureau. "The summit was compelled to take this direction because of certain misconduct and we should not even wait for them to tell us to hold elections or renew our bureau when it is in our protocol to be able to do so. It means that there is a problem and as such the bureau should endeavour to tender its resignation with urgency", he said.

"It was really bad enough to be told by the African Union that we need term limits in our bureau. This should be taken as a matter of priority. By show of respect to our leaders, we need to answer to their call and take it as a matter of urgency and elect a new bureau because they have lost confidence in the current one", Hon. Mary Mugyeni from Uganda told the parliament.

Also for his part, Hon. Mano Aghali from Niger said it is regrettable as far as the bureau is concerned to be faced with such a situation at the Pan African Parliament. He pointed out, "We are going through a process that is too ridiculous. We should adhere to the decision of the African Union so that we can have elections", he said.

In response, Dr. Mongella said the issue about the Pan African Parliament is not about her but about the African continent. "I can die today and somebody leads this parliament; I will do just what you want but not now as we should deal with the principles of the parliament," she added.