Dr Tulia Ackson: Most qualified candidate for IPU Presidency

On 17th May, 2023, The Citizen published an article titled: Why I think Tulia is unsuitable to lead the IPU’. In the article, the writer, Mr. Andrew Bomani, an acting Publicity Secretary of United Democratic Party (UDP), concocted several reasons seeking to justify the presiding Speaker of the Parliament of United Republic of Tanzania, Honorable Tulia, and unsuitability for the presidency of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

In this article, Mr Bomani opined that Dr. Tulia offered no original perspectives and thinking when she was teaching at the University of Dar es Salaam’s Faculty of Law (now School of Law).

He further, rather irresponsibly insinuated that Dr. Tulia has hitherto, not commented about the debate to write a new constitution for Tanzania. As far as he attributed Dr. Tulia’s unsuitability for IPU presidency due to her purported attempt to agitate for the split of Mbeya Urban Constituency, fearing political competition.

He went further to pile ad hominem attacks and uncalled-for criticism insisting: “Dr. Tulia is the sad epitome of all that has gravely gone wrong in Tanzania over the years.” Besides, he dwelt, albeit with obscurity on what he termed as political darkness in Tanzania that among other things, propelled Dr. Tulia Ackson to the National Assembly in 2015 and her subsequent election to the position of Deputy Speaker.

Strangely enough, the writer associated Dr. Tulia’s candidature with the presidency of Tanzania.  He concluded his article by calling on other women on the continent to vie for the position of IPU President instead of Dr. Tulia Ackson: This is an act that confirms Mr. Bomani’s apparent lack of Patriotism and animosity towards Dr. Tulia’s charisma and acceptance on the world stage.

While the writer executes his Constitutional right to express his opinion, he should be reminded of an old Chinese aphorism that goes, “No research, no right to speak.” It seems to me that Mr. Bomani wrote this article out of sheer ignorance. The article is by and large, a knee-jerk attempt to justify his perceptions and perhaps those of his political Party. He has inordinately dwelt on trivial issues irrelevant to the position of presidency of IPU. Had he done a little research he would have spared himself the wrath and humiliation of writing the article.

The Presidency of IPU

It is appropriate at this juncture, to cast light on the position of IPU president and what it entails. The position of IPU presidency rotates among the six geological groups of the IPU and the incumbent holds office for three years.

The current holder of the office is Hon. Duarte Pacheco, a legislator from Portugal whose term of office expires in October, 2023. In a nutshell, the president of the IPU is elected by the Governing Council in which every member of the IPU is represented. The president chairs the General Assembly as well as the Governing Council. Moreover, he/she represents the IPU in global events and gatherings.

Why Dr Tulia is most qualified for IPU Presidency

On 11th May, 2023, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr. Stegomena Tax held a meeting with Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Dar es Salaam to flag off Dr. Tulia’s bid for IPU Presidency.

ALSO READ: Tulia’s to-do list if she wins IPU presidency post

In that meeting, she described Dr. Tulia as a remarkable leader and distinguished politician who has served and continues to serve our country with utmost distinction. The Minister noted that her long and distinguished leadership career, richly informed by her track record in the academia and public service, coupled with her engagement in international fora makes her most suitable candidate for the position of IPU President. She therefore requested Ambassadors and High Commissioners to lobby and support her candidature.

It is worth noting that, Dr. Tulia Ackson is the President of the Africa geopolitical Group within the IPU, the position she was entrusted by her colleagues from 53 countries in Africa at the 145th IPU Assembly held in October 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda.

For IPU to be in the position of addressing global existential crises, Dr. Tulia has promised to spearhead reforms within the IPU, for peaceful coexistence and global prosperity, ensuring effective participation and representation of Geopolitical Groups in the IPU Organs as well as follow-up on implementation of IPU’s resolutions and decisions.

Other issues in Dr. Tulia’s to-do list, if endorsed, are fostering women representation in the National Parliaments, strengthening IPU cooperation with United Nations, Regional inter-parliamentary organizations and other stakeholders as well as ensuring regular consultations within and between the Geopolitical Groups of IPU.  To her, IPU’s effectiveness, transparency and accountability are the benchmarks for the rest to be materialized.

Who is Dr. Tulia Ackson

Briefly, Dr. Tulia is a Member of Parliament and the Speaker of the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania. She is also the current President for the Africa Geopolitical Group of the IPU. She is an advocate of the High Court of Tanzania who holds a PhD in Law. Indeed Dr. Tulia’s rich Profile as well as her track record of service in national, regional and International arena speak for themselves. As Such, Mr. Bomani is sailing against the wind.

Edmund Burke, an Anglo-Irish Statesman, Economist and Philosopher once remarked, “For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men and women to do nothing.” The multiple challenges facing the world today, such as climate change, food shortage, Insecurity, massive impoverishment and youth unemployment call for leaders of the caliber of Dr. Tulia Ackson to come to the fore to address them.

The writer, Daniel Eliufoo, is a director of communications unit at the Parliament of United Republic of Tanzania



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