PAP's new president to strengthen democracy in Africa

Friday, May 29, 2009
By: 
Chris Bathembu

Midrand - Newly elected Pan African Parliament (PAP) President Moussa Ndele Indris has promised to redouble the institution's efforts of strengthening democracy in Africa.

President Ndele, who contested the position of president with Egyptian Member of Parliament El-Gendy Abdelaziz Mostefa and Sawadogo Lessanw of Burkina Faso, won with a decisive majority during an election held on Thursday night.

A Member of Parliament in Chad, Mr Ndele succeeds Gertrude Mongella of Tanzania, who had held the post since PAP's inauguration in 2004.

Bethel Amadi from Nigeria, Mary Mugyenyi of Uganda and Algeria's Laroussi Hammi were elected as vice presidents.

As a host country, South Africa opted not to put forward any names for the presidency.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Ndele called for an African parliament that wouldd be more accountable to the people of Africa.

"We need to strengthen democracy in Africa and we need to resolve our conflicts and be accountable to the people of this continent. What Africa needed was a united front to fight the current global economic meltdown. I stand here as an African representing the African continent."

He further vowed to turn the finances of PAP around and improve its administration.

The parliament came under severe criticism under Ms Mongella's leadership with regards to PAP's finances. The African Union had sent a team of financial experts to PAP headquarters to look into its finances.

Earlier this year the AU, Heads of State and Government Summit in February had also requested PAP to amend its Rules of Procedure to conform to the legal instruments of the AU and to urgently fix a term limit for its Bureau drawing inspiration from other AU organs as well as to immediately hold new elections to renew the mandate of the current Bureau or elect a new one.

The term of office for the new office bearers will be determined by a new protocol to be decided at the next AU Summit.

PAP was inaugurated on 18 March 2004, by an Act of the AU, as one of its Organs provided for in the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community signed in Abuja, Nigeria, in 1991.

The establishment of the institution, which has 45 member states, was informed by a vision to provide a common platform for African people and their grass-roots organisations to be more involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent.