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IPU prepares to elect a new President during its 147th Assembly in Luanda

The IPU Member Parliaments will elect their 31st President at the forthcoming 147th IPU Assembly to be held in Luanda, Angola from 23 to 27 October.

The IPU President is the political head of the organization. He or she chairs its statutory meetings and represents the organization at major global events. The President is elected for a term of three years. He or she must be a sitting Member of Parliament throughout the term of the presidency.

To date, four candidates have come forward for the position, all women MPs from Africa – a historic first.

Below is a brief summary of each candidature, in the order in which the IPU received them.

Ms. Adji Diarra Mergane Kanouté, Senegal

Ms. Kanouté has been an MP since 2017. She has been the Vice-President of the Presidential Majority Group in the National Assembly of Senegal for some seven years. Ms. Kanouté is also the current Vice-President of the IPU Executive Committee until March 2023.

Ms. Kanouté studied Modern Literature at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, and then went on to obtain a master’s degree in business communication and a bachelor’s degree in specialized marketing management from SUPDECO in Dakar. Ms. Kanouté has held positions of authority in both the public and private sectors, including in the Port Autonome de Dakar.

Read the full candidature of Ms. Adji Diarra Mergane Kanouté (Senegal)

Ms. Catherine Gotani Hara, Malawi

Ms. Hara was first elected as an MP in 2009. She became the first woman Speaker of the Parliament of Malawi in 2019, a position she still holds. Ms. Hara has held key cabinet portfolios in government and has also worked for the UK Department of International Development where she was responsible for vulnerability programmes in Malawi and Mozambique.

Ms. Hara has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the Chancellor College of the University of Malawi. She also received further professional training in International Development in the UK. Ms. Hara is an entrepreneur who has run successful enterprises in agriculture, energy, retail, confectionary and transport.

Read the full candidature of Ms. Catherine Gotani Hara (Malawi)

Ms. Tulia Ackson, United Republic of Tanzania

Ms. Ackson became a parliamentarian in 2015. She is currently the Speaker of the National Assembly, a position she acquired in 2022 after a period as Deputy Speaker. Ms. Ackson also served as Deputy Attorney General in 2015. Ms. Ackson is the current head of the IPU African geopolitical group.

Ms. Ackson has a bachelor’s and master’s degree of 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.

Read the full candidature of Ms. Tulia Ackson (United Republic of Tanzania)

Ms. Marwa Abdibashir Hagi, Somalia

Ms. Hagi has been a member of the Somalian Parliament since 2022 where she is also Deputy Chairperson of the Resources Committee. She has over 15 years of professional experience working with the Somali Government including preparing reports on projects for the World Bank.

Ms. Hagi studied Business Administration at Algonquin College/University in Ottawa, Canada where she obtained a bachelor’s degree. She also has Information Communication Technology training. Her experience includes supporting consultants, monitoring project activities, conducting value chain assessments and delivering training and technical assistance.

Read the full candidature of Ms. Marwa Abdibashir Hagi (Somalia) 

The successful candidate will replace the outgoing President Mr. Duarte Pacheco from Portugal who was elected in 2020 in the first IPU online election during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past 25 years, the IPU Presidency has been held by prominent parliamentarians from Egypt, Spain, India, Chile, Italy, Namibia, Morocco, Bangladesh, Mexico and Portugal.

IPU Secretariat, Geneva