January 31, 2004
Outline of the PRESIDENCY of the PAN AFRICAN PARLIAMENT
Regarding the status of the President of the PAP:
The president supercedes the AU Commission, and therefore retains privileges as Head of State of the AU, as guaranteed by previous treaties of the OAU (Including 1979 Decision Broadening the Mandate of the Secretary-General; the Protocol of the AEC on the PAP; and Article 33 of the Union Act), and also consistent with the spirit and intent of the founders of the OAU, as well as other Pan African leaders of the past
The role of the President is to set the priorities for his/her term, mediate between conflicting member states, serve as an honest broker between the institutions of the AU, the communities and the people, and recieve instructions from the PAP.
The president’s duty would ensure “coherence in political initiative” together with “a lead role in crisis management”. The presidency would harmonize the network of diplomatic delegations. The president’s task would be to mobilize the PAP, the Assembly and other institutions of the AU in order to expedite decisive action. The president of the PAP has the main responsibility to appeal to the popular sentiments and give direction to political forces in Africa, especially those forces that are concerned with African unification, good governance and international diplomacy.
The president of the PAP proposes the strategic goals for the African Union, invites the public to debate them, asks the Parliament to endorse, modify or reject them, and tells the Commission, the Assembly, and other African institutions (NEPAD, CSSDCA, ACDS, etc) to examine how to achieve them.
The purpose of the PAP president’s cabinet (Council of State) would be in assisting the president to achieve the goals listed above, and to liaise with the PAP committees, the AU Commissioners, the Heads of State, regional leaders and parliaments, as well as all other community leaders, NGOs, municipalities etc. The role of the cabinet and presidency would be political mobilization, and they would be assisted in their bureaucratic tasks by the Commission, and by advisors who can master complex policy dossiers.
The presidency is an important requirement because the AU cannot work if authority is fragmented. If people want the AU to protect their interests effectively, they have a right to know who is in charge, to be told who is doing what on their behalf, and to use their votes to change the leadership if it does not perform. Anything less would be unworthy of a democratic society and there is no reason not to demand of the Union the same democratic standards that we expect from the member states.
The Union government should be built around five strategic goals:
- An elected leader of the Union – a president universally recognized as the authoritative voice and spokesperson of the Union, democratically chosen, indirectly through a proportionally representative parliament.
- An executive headed by the president (Cabinet/Council of State), with full and continuing responsibility for the management of all AU affairs within the limits of Union Act, including full budgetary responsibility. In other words it would be an executive more democratic than the Commission, with greater flexibility than other organs of the AU, and directly answerable to the PAP.
- A clear line of democratic control to make the leadership accountable to voters, so that people can recognize that what the Union does reflect is the choices voters have made. The feeling of remoteness and alienation from AU decision-making must come to an end.
- Substantial policy and structural commitments to ensure that the African Parliament can win the confidence of voters and become the true focal point for AU policy debates.
- Equal rights for all Union citizens, based on the Banjul Protocol, and the political structure of the African Union and rights of the people to be set out in a document in terms that every voter can understand.
The STRUCTURE of the COUNCIL OF STATE [PARLIAMENTARY CABINET]
The president shall be the chair of the executive committee of the PAP, which shall be the parliamentary cabinet, with the designation of the “Council for State”.
The Council of State shall be the executive committee of the PAP, and shall consist of the Vice Presidents of the PAP and others appointed by the President from among the members of the PAP. As well the Council of State shall consist of persons responsible for All-Union ministries, leading agencies (which do not have the status of ministries) and commissions created by the PAP. Ministers, advisors, agency administrators and Commissioners need not be members of the PAP although members of the PAP may nominate them, and their appointments confirmed after hearings by the PAP.
The Chair of the AU Commission, which is the secretariat of the PAP, shall be the Secretary of the Council of State (cabinet). The Secretary of Cabinet shall coordinate the activities of the ministries, institutions and agencies, as well as the AU Commission, conduct policy research, and prepare materials to be discussed at cabinet meetings, and advise cabinet members on drafting the legislation to be proposed to the PAP and the Assembly. The Secretary of the Council of State is appointed by the Assembly of Heads of State, along with other members of the AU Commission.
The Council of State (Cabinet) shall have the following administrative functions, in addition to other general functions:
 Administer the resolutions of the PAP faithfully
 Conduct affairs of state, and assist the President prepare his/her annual State of the Union address
 Present to the PAP a National Interest Analysis before binding treaty action is taken, conclude treaties, and nominate ambassadors and high representatives
 Administer the civil and military services, in accordance with standards established by the PAP
 Prepare a report on the state of union finances, and prepare the union's budget and present it to the PAP and the Assembly and the people at regular intervals and at least annually
 Enact cabinet orders in order to execute the decisions of the PAP
 The Cabinet may determine to convoke extraordinary sessions of the PAP and the Assembly
 The President representing the Cabinet, submits bills to the PAP and to the Assembly
 The Council of State (Cabinet) has to resign en masse when the post of PAP president becomes vacant or when the first session of the PAP is convoked after a general election of members of the PAP.
 If the PAP passes a no-confidence resolution or rejects a confidence resolution the Cabinet (Council of State) shall resign en masse.