South African opposition welcomes AU parliament

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) -- South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed the African Union's decision to locate the seat of the Pan African Parliament in South Africa.
The country's financial contribution towards the construction of the continent's parliamentary complex is a good investment that will have positive spin-offs for local job creation and economic growth, the party argued.
"However, South Africa should not be saddled with the operating costs of the PAP.
Other sources of funding, including funds from other African states and international donors, should be sought," DA chairperson Joe Seremane said in his reaction Thursday.
Seremane also said that PAP should concentrate on the Promotion of democratic institutions, strengthening human rights, encouraging economic reform and cultivating a pan-African identity.
Meanwhile, the privately owned Citizen newspaper on Thursday also welcomed the decision taken by the AU to choose South Africa to host the PAP, saying the country has the best infrastructure on the continent.
"Even those who are critical of government, as we frequently are, must acknowledge South Africa has the capacity to lend credibility to a PAP," the paper said.
However, the Citizen noted that there would be groans from taxpayers over footing the bill to house and run the parliament whose size has yet to be determined.
"Along with the honour of hosting the PAP will come obligations to take the right moral decisions," the paper added.

08 july 2004 13:47:00




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