The Pan-African Parliament has only itself to blame for The Third Umpire’s criticism (June 3).
One problem lies with the indirect election of the MPs having too weak a link to voters. While SA’s electoral system also has problems, direct elections are far better. The Pan-African Parliament, inaugurated in 2004, was supposed to move to direct elections after five years, so this reform is overdue by a decade.
Pan-Africanists can learn from the mistakes of the EU. There, separate elections for the European Parliament (EP) have such low percentage polls that they weaken the legitimacy of the EP.
What SA should do is add a third voting paper, for the Pan-African Parliament, to our general elections for parliament and provincial legislatures. Voters will naturally vote for their favourite party at the same time on all three papers, so our percentage poll for the Pan-African Parliament will be good.
The five Pan-African Parliament MPs elected directly by SA voters will then remain on standby until the appropriate session of the Pan-African Parliament, when they will be called up for their five-year term.
Keith Gottschalk, Claremont
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