PAP set to elect new President
The Pan African Parliament (PAP) is expected to elect a new President this week, when the continental legislature convenes at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, South Africa.
The last session failed to elect a leader of the PAP as regions could not agree on an election system.
The Southern African group called for rotational basis when leaders are elected. But not all other regions have yet accepted southern Africa’s insistence that the presidency should rotate among Africa’s five regions, despite the African Union apparently officially backing this principle.
The east African PAP caucus has largely backed South Sudanese MP and former child soldier Albino Aboug as its candidate, though the support of some Ethiopian Members of Parliament(MP) remains uncertain.
To further complicate the election, Malawian and PAP MP Yeremiah Chihana has challenged the southern caucus’s nomination of Charumbira as its official candidate and has thrown his hat into the ring.
Like this year, the southern African region insisted in June 2021 that only the south and the north could stand for election as the west, central and eastern regions had already held the post. Some other regions rejected the principle and insisted on a contested election.
That led to physical battles to seize the podium, verbal abuse, bodily assaults and an exchange of death threats between South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters leader and PAP MP Julius Malema and the Malian MP who was trying to run for the presidency as the candidate of West Africa.
After last year’s embarrassing pandemonium, the African Union (AU) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat directed the AU’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) to examine the principle of rotation. It decided the rotation principle which applies to other AU elections should also apply to the PAP.