The Pan-African Parliament adjourned indefinitely after members clashed on the election of its presidency. A vote on the parliament’s presidency was consequently suspended on Tuesday after it had already been delayed by days of altercations and heated disputes among members.
The delay is seen as a victory for the southern African caucus, who refused to proceed with the election unless the process was reformed to a rotational presidency. But the west and east African caucuses disagree.
No southern African country has had its representative take up the presidency of the parliament, since its creation in 2004.
Zimbabwean legislator Barbara Rwodzi, explained the objections raised by the southern caucus:
“Our main argument as southern caucus together with northern region caucus is that since inception the Pan African Parliament had directives from the AU that the presidency has to rotate after every term, which is a 3-year term.
“The leadership has been with the west, east and central and they pledged to recognize the rotational policy this year, now come 2021 they put up their CVs again from the west and the east, yet the competition was between the south and the north.
We said no we can’t continue like this, so the fight did not start in the plenary as may be perceived through social media and television. The fight started last week when we opened the session.”