Democracy, Role of French-Speaking MPs Highlighted at APF’s 28th Regional Assembly

French-speaking parliamentarians stressed, Thursday in Rabat, the need to respect the principles of democracy to ensure peace and stability in French-speaking African countries, highlighting their role in the dedication of democratic values. Chairing a panel discussion, part of the 28th Regional Assembly of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF), the President of the National Assembly of Côte d’Ivoire, Adama Bictogo said that French-speaking parliamentarians have an important role to play in ensuring respect for democratic principles. Francophone parliamentarians have a responsibility to ensure governance and regional stability within the continent, especially in the process of political mediation, he said, noting that 95% of political crises in Africa arise from electoral disputes. For his part, the chargé de mission for Africa at the APF, Sansan Tilkouété stressed that the notion of democracy is closely linked to other concepts such as elections, alternation, law, individual freedom, freedom of the press, security, equity, equality and so on. “Democracy is a desirable practice and its globalization is more than desirable for a better consideration of all the aspirations of peoples,” he said. This meeting, held in the presence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rachid Talbi Alami, was an opportunity to showcase the experiences of several African countries such as Benin, Gabon, Cameroon, Guinea, Morocco, Senegal, Ivory Coast and the Central African Republic. The Moroccan Parliament hosts until June 24 in Rabat, the 28th Regional Assembly of the APF which covers several topics including democracy; African Continental Free Trade Area; women’s participation in political, economic and social life; the involvement of parliamentarians of French-speaking Africa in environmental issues and climate change as well as the political, social and health situation in French-speaking African countries. The participants shall also examine the activity report of the regional assembly and the restructuring of the leadership positions of the African region within the APF bodies in preparation for the 47th Session in Kigali (July 2022). Founded in 1967, the APF seeks to reflect the multiculturalism of the French-speaking world and its people. It brings together delegates from nearly 90 parliaments or interparliamentary organizations on five continents. The Moroccan Parliament joined the APF in 1979 and has hosted the works of some regional assemblies in Africa (19th in 2011, 25th in 2017, and 27th in 2019).