Chief Fortune Charumbira has been elected as the new president of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), becoming the first lawmaker from Southern Africa to win such a post.
He garnered 161 votes out of 203 votes cast. There were 11 spoilt papers while 31 abstained.
The elections were held during the fourth ordinary session of the fifth parliament which runs from June 27 to July 2 in Midrand, South Africa.
In his speech after garnering the top post, Charumbira preached unity among the regional caucuses.
“I want us to come together; we need to immediately fight and destroy the divisions caused by these foreign languages in Africa imposed on us by outside continents, resulting in us identifying one another as Anglophones, Francophones and Lusophones,” Chief Charumbira said.
“I am a President for everyone despite how you voted, it is high time we put our African people forward and do away with unnecessary conflicts.
“Together we can achieve more, we will only develop our continent when united and this is an essential thing for our people to see and experience in our lifetime.”
The election of Charumbira is a victory of the Southern Africa caucus region caucus which last year disrupted the polls arguing that PAP should adhere to the principles of leadership rotation among regions like what is happening at the African Union.
In his speech at the fifth ordinary session of PAP, African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat bemoaned the aborted elections saying this tarnished the image of this institution and that of the entire continent.
“The unbearable scenes broadcast on television channels and social networks have afflicted African citizens who are dumbfounded by such a debasement of the Parliament.
“These acts of transgression and dishonour have been condemned across the continent,” he said.
Mahamat said the time had come to turn these “sad and dark pages of the history” of the PAP once and for all and to start afresh.