President Deby of Chad addresses the opening of the seventh ordinary session of the PAP

The President of the Republic of Chad, H.E. Idriss Deby Into, who was Guest of Honour at the Opening of the Seventh Ordinary Session of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), today called for the transformation of the PAP into a legislative body. “A parliament such as the PAP will remain toothless as long as it does not have legislative powers”, he said.

Later, in a press conference, he spoke about his dismay that the “committee of eight” that was formed at the last African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, in which Chad is a member, failed to resolve the deadlock over the election of a new Chairperson for the AU Commission. He hoped that African leaders would come to an agreement before the upcoming Summit in Malawi next month.

Earlier, the Seventh Ordinary Session of the Second Pan African Parliament was opened in Midrand South Africa by Hon. Dr. Moussa Idriss Ndélé, the President of the PAP. In his opening speech, Hon. Ndélé highlighted the work that has been done by the Second Parliament since its election in May 2009.

In his speech, Hon. Ndélé spoke about the objectives of the Pan African Parliament in promoting peace, security and stability in Africa. He said the Pan African Parliament was supporting the efforts of ECOWAS in restoring constitutional order and integrity of Mali, further asking for the commitment of each of the regional and pan-African institutions in bringing peace and stability to Mali and Guinea Bissau for the good of their people and Africa.

On her part, H.E. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa validated the importance of the PAP saying that it was “an important organ of the AU that has a critical role in the democratization process of the continent”. She added that it was “a key player in peace-building, promoting socio-economic development, and enhancing the unity and integration of the continent”.

The Minister praised the PAP for launching and embarking on the campaign to encourage AU member states to ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, encouraging more Member State to sign and ratify the Charter.

A number of messages of Solidarity were delivered in the House by the Speaker of the National Constituent Assembly of Tunisia, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of South Sudan, Vice President of the National Assembly of the Cote d’Ivoire, the Representative of the President of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the CEO of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, who represented the Chairperson of the AUC.

Twenty four new Members of Parliament representing Gabon, Zambia, Liberia, Algeria, Malawi, Tunisia, the Gambia, Ghana, and Egypt were also sworn-in during the sitting.

Source: Pan-African Parliament (PAP) – Press Release – 22 May 2012