LUANDA, The future Regional Parliament of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a 15-nation sub-regional grouping, will be an organ devoid of a supranational character and with no absolute powers.,

It will evolve according to the process of regional integration of the SADC, says the Speaker of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, who is the President of the National Assembly of Angola.

Any proposal to transform the parliamentary forum into the SADC Parliament needs to be ratified at the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government whose next meeting will take place in Namibia next August, he said at the second ordinary plenary meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.

Responding to the chairman of the CASA-CE Parliamentary Group, Andre Mendes de Carvalho, on the relevance and importance of establishing the SADC Parliament, at a time when national parliaments still “have things to solve”, Fernando da Piedade said the intention dates back to 1997 and has been presented four times at Summits of Heads of State and Government of the SADC between 2004 to 2015.

He explained that the deadlock for the transformation was the fear of the Heads of State and Government, as well as the national parliaments, of the loss of their sovereignty and the supervisory function, following the creation of a regional parliament.

So far, the proposal has won the approval and suppor of the Presidents of Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia and the King of Eswatini (former Swaziland).

As a first step, the future SADC Parliament will be concerned with the drafting of model laws on situations that concern the whole sub-region, but its legislative powers will evolve in line with the regional integration process and with the approval of the Summit Heads of State and Government.

Source: NAM News Network