MIDRAND, SOUTH AFRICA – Cameroonian legislator, Roger Nkodo Dang, has been re-elected President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP). Nkodo, who becomes the fifth PAP President, beat his competitors Fortune Charumbira (Zimbabwe) and Mustapha El Gendy (Egypt), garnering 133 votes out of 224 votes cast.
This is the third time the Central Africa Region, and in particular Nkodo Dang, is serving at the helm of the presidency having been President of the foregoing 4th Parliament and Vice President in the 3rd PAP Parliament. This brings to nine years the Central Africa Region will be at the presidency of the 14-year old continental Parliament.
“I would like everyone who supported my candidature to receive my thanks and gratitude. You have demonstrated that I am capable to fulfill functions of President of PAP,” Nkodo said shortly before taking oath of office where he vowed to “serve with loyalty and allegiance to the African Union…and promote principles of good governance.”
Charumbira conceded defeat saying: “This is a process in a democracy. The will of the people has been seen through the numbers. I congratulate Hon. Nkodo Dang for being trusted to head Parliament for another term.”
While some MPs welcomed the election result for being transparent, they still referred to the need for rotation.
“The incumbent has won and that means he has the confidence and support of the Members,” Hon. Felix Okot Ogong (Uganda) said, adding: “the unwritten law in the PAP is that the presidency should be rotational. I think we now need to amend our rules to make the Presidency rotational so that other regions get to the helm of leadership at the PAP.”
The PAP also held elections for its Vice Presidents. The Bureau of the Pan African Parliament consists of the President and four Vice Presidents elected to represent the North, Central, and Eastern, Western and Southern regions.
Hon. Stephen Julius Masele from Tanzania was elected First Vice President representing the Eastern Region. The others were Hon. Haidara Aichata Cisse from Mali (Western Region) elected Second Vice President and Hon. Bouras Djamal from Algeria, representing the Northern Region, as PAP’s Third Vice President.
While there were originally eight candidates contesting for Vice President, two candidates from the Central Africa Region could not continue the race because the newly elected President comes from the same region.
The Southern Region however, did not submit a candidate. The PAP will conduct elections at a future date to elect the Fourth Vice President of the Southern Region.
The Pan African Parliament is one of the organs of the African Union. It was inaugurated on 18 March 2004 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and has its seat in Midrand, South Africa.
Member States of the African Union are represented at the PAP by five MPs whose representation must reflect the diversity of political opinions in each national parliament.
Uganda’s Members to PAP include Felix Okot Ogong (Dokolo South) Prof. Ogenga Latigo (Agago North), Anifa Bangirana Kawooya (Sembabule Woman MP), Babirye Kadogo (Buyende Woman MP) and Jacqueline Amongin (Ngora Woman MP).