African Press International (API)

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African Political Parties Form Continental Council, Elect Zambian as Chair

Posted by African Press International on April 30, 2013

  • By Dickens Wasonga,
A two-day conference of major political parties from 34 African Countries came to a close in Khartoum, Sudan, with the formation of a continental body -The Council of African Political Parties – as a platform for a more active engagement in the continent’s social, economic and political initiatives and challenges.
The constitutive conference formally launched the Council at the end of the marathon meeting and break away committees and formed a 30 member Executive Committee consisting of six members each drawn from Eastern, Central, Southern, Western and Northern Regions of Africa.
Zambian Justice Minister Winter Kabimba who is also the Secretary General of the ruling Patriotic Front was elected the first chairman of the Council for a four-year term.
The Council’s headquarters and secretariat will be in Khartoum, Sudan with the country providing the Secretary General to steer the organization in realizing its goals and objectives , which they said will include complementing the efforts of the African Union in building peace, security and continental integration.
President Omar Al-Bashir formally opened the Conference with a call to African states to choose its global partners carefully adding that some had shown unchecked greed for the continent’s natural resources.
Al-Bashir, who is also the leader of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) recalled the struggles by the founding fathers of Africa adding that it was time the political parties to mobilize the people towards peace and sustainable development to ward off unwarranted external influence.
The conference, which was attended by representatives from the two major parties from 34 African countries discussed and adopted recommendations contained in 4 key working papers prepared over the lasts even months since the initiative was mooted.
The presentations dwelt on four key areas: The conceptual framework of the Council outlining the nature and objectives of the conference, the role of African political parties in enhancing democracy, development and integration, Africa and the
technological revolution and Statute of the Council of African Political parties.
The issue of the International Criminal Court (ICC) dominated the conference with both direct and indirect references to it as “a tool by the Western Countries to intimidate” African leaders and states.
The Deputy leader of the Sudanese ruling party NCP Dr.Nafie Ali Nafie said ICC had been rejected by Africans adding that the recent polls in Kenya, which saw two indicted politicians Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto elected president and deputy president respectively was “a vote against ICC”.
The conference was attended by observers which included a powerful delegation from the Chinese Communist Party along with representatives of the Asian Political Parties Council, representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean African Union and diplomats from different countries accredited to Sudan.



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