Somali Magazine – Tanzania’s National Assembly speaker Dr Tulia Ackson has been elected president of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU). She succeeded Portugal’s Duarte Pacheco.
The speaker is a PhD holder in law and the 31st leader of the umbrella body representing legislators from across the world.
Dr Ackson will serve a three-year term as per IPU’s regulatory requirements.
Her election followed a secret ballot by the IPU Governing Council during the Union’s 147th Assembly in Luanda, Angola in which she won 57 percent of the vote in a single round, beating three other candidates: Adji Diarra Mergane Kanouté of Senegal, Catherine Gotani Hara of Malawi and Marwa Abdibashir Hagi of Somalia.
All the candidates were women MPs from Africa, marking a historic first for the IPU.
Dr Ackson has led Tanzania’s parliament since January 2022 after serving as deputy speaker for seven years. She initially joined the legislature as a presidential nominee in 2015 and was elected MP for the Mbeya Urban constituency in 2020.
Her new role entails posing as the political head of the IPU, representing the organization at global forums and events.
She pledged to serve with transparency, “humility” and full commitment to the Union’s core values and mission.
The IPU, established over 130 years ago, is a global organization of national parliaments formed to foster cooperation and dialogue between nations towards promoting democracy.
It comprises 180 national member parliaments and 14 regional parliamentary bodies.
This year’s 147th Assembly also saw the formal adoption of the Luanda Declaration on Parliamentary Action for Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. The declaration emphasizes good governance principles that enhance citizen participation and representation, especially for women, youth, and marginalized groups.