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Leadership Crisis: Pan-African Parliament Issues Cautionary Letter to the AU Commission

Leadership Crisis Pan-African Parliament Issues Cautionary Letter to the AU Commission

An institutional crisis at the Africann Union appears to be building as the Regional Caucuses of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), also known as the African Parliament has issued a cautionary letter to the African Union Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat over alleged disrespect and non-compliance with AU Policy Organs by the organisation’s Second Vice-President, Hon. Dr. Ashebir Woldegiorgis.

In a letter dated Wednesday, 7th of February, 2024 titled: “RE: CONTINUED VIOLATION OF THE AUC DIRECTIVES, PAP PROTOCOL AND RULES OF PROCEDURE AND DISRESPECT FOR AU POLICY ORGANS BY THE SECOND VICE PRESIDENT,” the African Parliament – a legislative body within the African Union – expressed a sternly worded position on the matter, as part of its remit to exercise oversight, advisory and consultative powers.

The letter reads:

As Regional Caucuses of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), we wish to draw Your Excellency’s attention to the unabated and flagrant disrespect of the AU Policy Organs as well as the sustained defilement of Your Excellency’s directives, the PAP Protocol, the PAP Rules
of Procedure, the AU Staff Rules and Regulations, and the tenets of good corporate governance by the 2nd Vice President, Hon. Dr. Ashebir Woldegiorgis.

Furthermore, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) also brought to notice the attention of Mahamat (AU Chairperson), that the Task Force on the Situation at PAP, which he mandated to conduct a fact-finding mission to PAP and present its reports to the policy organs for determination as duly presented to the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) on Thursday, 1st of February, 2024.

PRC TASK FORCE REPORTS

Following the fact-finding reports, the PRC endorsed the task force reports that states;

“The PAP plenary session should be convened before the end of March 2024 at the PAP precincts in South Africa to fill the vacancies in the PAP Bureau.

Also, the Commission should oversee the election process of Bureau members to ensure transparency and independence, following the guidelines developed by the Office of the Legal Counsel.

Lastly, some of the administrative decisions unilaterally taken by the Acting President without following rules and established due process should be reviewed and potentially reversed to safeguard the Union from considerable legal and financial risks.

The Bureau is to comply with the requirements outlined in Article 12(7) Of the PAP Protocol and Rule 19 of the 2011 PAP Rules of Procedure. Specifically, to adhere to the practice of serving as an acting president on a rotational basis between the Second
and Third Vice Presidents.”

While the PAP acknowledged the endorsed PRC findings seem as a means to pronounce a clear roadmap towards resolving the leadership crisis at PAP, it also points out that several issues had emerged from the directive of the Executive Council and the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, Hon. Dr. Gayo who has proceeded to dispatch a letter to national Parliaments, inviting PAP Members for an elective session to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 28th February 2024.

Pan-African Parliament Concern Over AU Commission’s 2nd Vice-President

Some of the issues PAP raised were that Hon. Dr. Gayo, who is the 2nd Vice-President should be restricted by His Excellency, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

In light of the Pan-African Parliament stands, it urges the AU Chairperson, Mahamat to take decisive action against the excesses of Hon. Dr. Gayo and immediately put a stop to these actions which, if left unchecked, will not only undermine the credibility of the African Union, but will further deepen the crisis at PAP and leave the Union vulnerable to potential litigation.

Also, the members of the Western, Southern, Nothern, and Eastern Caucus Chairpersons who approved of said letter made clear their stance of non-participation in any activity initiated by the 2nd Vice President, while advising Parliamentarians to refrain from doing so until the Policy Organs give a conclusive determination on the matter.

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