Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ghana’s Mahama wants Pan-African Parliament given lawmaking powers

President Mahama wants the Pan African Parliament (PAP), an organ of the African Union, move from a deliberate to legislative organ. (Photo Credit: PAP)
Ghana’s President, John Dramani Mahama, has said “It is now time for the Pan-African Parliament to make its own transition, from that of a deliberate body to that of a legislative one”. 
This transition will solidify the energy of solidarity and hope that is sweeping across Africa, Dr. Mahama said during the second ordinary session of the Pan-African Parliament held in Midrand, South Africa from 6 – 17 May, 2013.  

His proposal was brought home to Banjul, The Gambian capital, by the Parliament’s Minority Leader, Hon. Samba Jallow, who as head of delegation presented a report of the Midrand event on June 26 to the second Session of the 2013 Legislative Year.

“If this [the transition] is granted, it will power our nations to face the challenges that have no regard for national boundaries such as effective enforcing laws to end the trafficking of drugs and the trafficking of human beings,” Mahama said.

Hon Simon Osei-Mensah, the Fourth Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, agreed. The Ghanain legislator said “It is time the Pan-African Parliament is given full legislative powers and its members elected by universal suffrage”.

“The time is due for Africa’s continental and regional bodies such as the African Union and ECOWAS, the West African regional bloc, to build strong democratic institutions for the promotion of the rule of law, good governance and effective utilisation of resources,” he said.

Dr Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, also urged the Pan-African Parliament to position itself on the continent to lead on issues of policy making, democratisation and governance by giving greater voice.

Written by Modou S. Joof
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