The African Union has released a press statement, denouncing the elections held by the Pan African Youth Union (PYU), the body officially recognised by the AU as representing the interests of youths in Africa, at the AU Assembly. This comes amidst calls and petitions that have been made by various groups, candidates and country representatives with regards to the outcome of the elections and the electoral process generally.
Following the elections held from the 19th to the 21st of December 2017 in Sudan, there were series of complaints and allegations of bias, misconduct, malpractices and unconstitutional decisions adopted in the course of the electoral process, selection of the electoral committee and the screening, approval and invitation of candidates and delegates for the elections. Only 29 country delegates out of the 55 African countries and the diaspora, were invited to send representatives.
As a result of these and other irregularities and perceived bias by the current executives of the PYU, who were virtually running for another term in office, 10 country representatives boycotted the elections and various candidates pulled out of the race, prominent among which was Ibrahim Ceesay, who was vying for the position of Chairperson of the PYU, and who has been a vocal critic of the present administration. The 10 countries that boycotted the elections subsequently filed a petition in January 2018, to the African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki, the AU HRST Commissioner, the Youth Minister of Sudan, which is the Country hosting the PYU Secretariat, the AU Sudanese Ambassador, and the Chairperson of the STC Bureau on Youths, Sports and Culture. This petition outlined in detail, the arguments and complaints of the member countries and candidates that boycotted the elections.
In a press release dated 19th January 2018, the AU stated that upon inquiry to these allegations and the events of the PYU elections, it established that the electoral process was not credible. The AU has subsequently dissociated itself from the PYU and has further stated that it would not recognised the electoral executives that emerged from the exercise. It is uncertain whether this affects the observer status of the PYU in the AU Assembly as representing the interests of the youths. The PYU through its Chairperson, Francine Muyumba or other executives, is yet to release an official statement with regards to this development.