Ping warns Mugabe, vows to defend AU supremacy

Sharm El Sheikh- Egypt (PANA) -- African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Jean P ing has vowed to protect the supremacy of the organisation, saying he would not a llow any state to abuse AU supremacy and undermine its credibility.
In one of his toughest statements since taking over the continental organisation , Ping said the AU would remain the supreme organ and watchdog of the democratic developments in Africa, which is the job for which he was elected.
"We are going to play the guardian role because I am avoiding using the term wat chdog.
When we see any violation of the democratic ideals for which the African s tates have agreed to abide by, we shall take action," Ping said here Friday.
Speaking hours after voting closed in Zimbabwe's maligned presidential run-off e lections, Ping said the AU would remain strict in the implementation of democrat i c principles.
He warned "These ideals are not my own principles.
We agreed in the constitution that we shall not accept any undemocratic change of government.
It is prohibite d to regain power through force and that when we get power through other means, w e are not recognised.
" The constitution, which acts as a guide for member states of the continental org anization, was signed by African leaders in Lome in 2001.
Ping, who spoke at an Egyptian resort where the continent's 53 ministers of fore ign affairs were meeting to prepare the agenda for the heads of state, due to me e t here 30 June-1 July, said all attempts to seize power through military means r e main illegal.
"We had an attack against the authorities in N'Djamena and we said if the people would be in power, we excluded them," Ping said, without linking the events of t he February power hijack bid in Chad early this year to the presidential polls i n Zimbabwe.
African leaders have termed as 'sham', the elections in Zimbabwe which saw leade r, Robert Mugabe as the sole contestant.
Ping said Zimbabwe was not excluded from the good governance aspects contained i n the Lome Accord in democratic elections.
He said the constitution also had the backing of a series of other documents on the need to sustain Africa's democrati c principles.
"We are the guardians and we did not invent them, they are democracy, the rule o f law and human rights, all these were accepted.
The states share these values a n d we are the guardians," he said.
The new AU chief, who addressed a news conference, at which journalists pressed him to announce some tough measures against Zimbabwe, said the organisation was a waiting the action of the "appropriate authorities of Zimbabwe" after its presid e ntial polls.
"The AU is supreme, you cannot ignore it.
We need to wait for the decisions to b e taken by the appropriate authorities of Zimbabwe.
Once that has been done, the n you will tell me to go further," he told the journalists.
He emphasised if anybody took power by force, the AU's supremacy would not be ov erlooked.

28 june 2008 08:25:00




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