By Mkhululi Chimoio | 2018-05-17
PAN African Parliament (PAP) legislator, Senator Mike Temple from the Kingdom of Eswatini and other legislators are lobbying and urging African Union to reserve a permanent seat for Pan African Parliament president at African Union Summit. Speaking during the ongoing sixth Ordinary Session of the fourth Parliament that is taking place in Midrand, South Africa, Temple articulated that this is a way of improving working relations between the mother body and its organ. Currently only the heads of state and governments have a seat at the AU Summit and the PAP president attends on invitation according to unconfirmed reports. “It is high time that the head of PAP gets a seat at the AU Summit, this will enable our leader to directly interact and engage with all leaders from across the continent pertaining our issues as African parliamentarians,” said Honourable Temple. “Our mother body must start realising that we are an instrumental organ and treat us as such. We must be treated as an independent legislative body by AU; they must understand that we represent the people of Africa directly from the communities, what we do is for our people. They must be a good progressive working relationship between PAP and AU. For PAP to carry out the AU’s mandate and achieve it, we must never be undermined. As legislators we need to form an ad-hoc committee that will push this mandate of getting that seat at the AU Summit as this is an important matter for our organ and people from across the continent.” Another legislator Hon. Manga from Senegal also shares Temple’s sentiments. “PAP is undermined. We need to be given complete legislative powers by AU. This can be achieved only by having a representative within them and this will guarantee their appreciation on our efforts,” he said. Meanwhile, speaking at the official opening ceremony of the sixth ordinary session of the fourth parliament, Pan African Parliament President HE Honourable Roger Nkodo Dang applauded his organ for “progress it has achieved so far”. President Dang chronicled the events that have seen PAP transforming itself into a relevant organ within the continent and world. “Enhancing the visibility and the credibility of the Pan-African Parliament has not been easy,” he said. “As a result of it’s current higher profile, PAP has transformed from a little-known or, indeed, unknown institution into one that is known and recognised,” he said. Ghananian legislator Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka urged African Union to consider PAP seriously.
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