Dr Tulia Ackson elected new President of the IPU at 147th IPU Assembly in Luanda
Tulia Ackson of the United Republic of Tanzania has been elected as the 31st President of the IPU by the IPU’s Governing Council, its main decision-making body made up of parliamentarians from around the world.
She takes over from Mr. Duarte Pacheco, a parliamentarian from Portugal, who concluded his three-year mandate at the end of the 147th IPU Assembly in Luanda, Angola.
Ms. Ackson became a parliamentarian in 2015. She is currently the Speaker of the Bunge, the National Assembly of Tanzania, a position to which she was appointed in 2022 after a period as Deputy Speaker. Ms. Ackson also served as Deputy Attorney General in 2015.
Ms. Ackson has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Law from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and a Doctorate from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is an advocate of the High Court of Tanzania and a member of the Tanganyika Law Society. Ms. Ackson also taught at the Faculty of Law at the University of Dar es Salaam.
Following her election, Ms. Ackson said: “Thank you for the confidence you have bestowed on me by electing me. I accept this position with humility while recognizing all the responsibilities that it brings. I reaffirm my commitment to work hand in hand with you all to make the IPU the most effective, accountable and transparent organization.”
The parliamentarians voted in a secret ballot. With four candidates on the ballot, the new IPU President was elected with 57% of the vote after a single round of voting.
Hundreds of parliamentarians from 130 IPU Member Parliaments voted in the election. To encourage gender equality, each IPU Member Parliament was entitled to three votes on condition that they have a gender-balanced delegation. Single-sex delegations were entitled to just one vote.
In a historic first, the three other candidates on the ballot – Ms. Adji Diarra Mergane Kanouté of Senegal, Ms. Catherine Gotani Hara of Malawi and Ms. Marwa Abdibashir Hagi of Somalia – were all women MPs from Africa.
Ms. Ackson is only the third woman President of the IPU after Najma Heptulla from India (1999–2002) and Gabriela Cuevas from Mexico (2017–2020). She is also the first African woman to hold the position.
The IPU Governing Council elects the IPU President for a term of three years. The IPU President must be a sitting Member of Parliament for the duration of his or her term in office.
The President is the political head of the IPU, who chairs its statutory meetings and represents the Organization at global events.
The principle of regional rotation is generally observed. Over the past 25 years, the IPU presidency has been held by prominent parliamentarians from Spain, India, Chile, Italy, Namibia, Morocco, Bangladesh, Mexico, Portugal and now the United Republic of Tanzania.