Apr 2024

For several months, we have observed an unprecedented mobilization of Cameroonians to register on the electoral lists. This is proof, if any were necessary, that the Cameroonian people have become aware of their irreplaceable and therefore decisive role in shaping the destiny of our country and are now ready to fully bear their responsibilities before History.

I bow to this great, enthusiastic and determined mobilization. I congratulate all the many volunteers travelling through villages, markets and neighborhoods to raise awareness among their compatriots and get them registered on the electoral lists. I exalt the remarkable involvement of men and women of culture and the media, from the oldest to the youngest. Their visits to the registration sites, their own registrations, their messages of encouragement on social media constitute for each of them a salutary civic commitment, but also a catalyst for massive mobilization during the next elections.

The Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) has, since its creation in 2012, as its credo: PEACEFUL CHANGE THROUGH THE BALLOT BOX. We have opted for peace, convinced that nothing great and lasting can be built through war. Each regime brings to the country what it can. The present regime must let the next one bring to our country what it can, and in peace. It is the deep love we have for Cameroon, our common homeland, which binds us in this concept of change of power and regime. Change through the ballot box reflects our choice of election as the only viable mode of devolution of political power in a context of the functioning of the institutions of the Republic. Because we are in politics for the Cameroonian people, they alone, through fair, free and transparent elections, must designate those who exercise power on their behalf.

The mobilization of Cameroonians to register on the electoral lists constitutes a decisive step for the realization of our fundamental option of peaceful Change and through the ballot box in Cameroon. We believed that, like the other actors in the electoral system, ELECAM, which has been struggling in this area for a decade, welcomed as good news this enthusiasm of Cameroonians to register on the electoral lists, and their desire to participate finally significantly in the elections; all things which give credibility to the Cameroonian electoral system and establish the legitimacy of the political institutions of our country. This is how we understood and welcomed the availability of the ELECAM teams who were already working on Saturdays and Sundays, and who have recently been deployed in the field on working days, sometimes until around 6 p.m.

However, in recent days, we have learned from several teams on the field that local ELECAM officials, in accordance with the instructions of the Director General of ELECAM, Mr Eric ESSOUSSE, will henceforth reject the registration of Cameroonians on the electoral lists on Saturdays and Sundays, and after 3:30 p.m. on working days.

While we thought it was a bad joke, our teams on the ground confirmed to us the following days that this instruction had actually been applied since the weekend of Saturday 20 April and Sunday 21 April 2024, and Monday 22 April for working days.

I firmly denounce this umpteenth act of misconduct by ELECAM. Furthermore, according to media reports, Elecam and West Region police officials are involved in a criminal network organising pre-electoral fraud in Massangam by clandestinely issuing NICs and registering voters on Elecam’s electoral registers. Such crimes cannot go unpunished: not only must those involved be brought to justice immediately, but they must also be severely punished in accordance with the law. To show its usual indifference would be tantamount to the government taking direct and full responsibility for these despicable acts, which ruin any credibility one might have in public institutions.

Officials of this institution, at all levels, must immediately measure the disastrous consequences of their bad behaviour and other undemocratic practices on social peace. They must be well aware that, when the time comes, they will have to fully bear their individual responsibilities before the Cameroonian people.

In the face of the suffering of a bruised people, abandoned by the current leaders, languishing in massive unemployment, deprived of resources to feed themselves in an acceptable way or to care for themselves in the case of illness, deprived of water and electricity, they cannot push arrogance to the point of depriving the people of the only glimmer of hope that remains, namely the right to vote, to choose the leaders this people intends to elect to resolve vital problems.

We had: the refusal to publish the national electoral list in accordance with the electoral law; obstacles to registration on the electoral lists for dubious reasons of unavailability of kits; proof that ELECAM is actively working to maintain the same electoral register with a number of registered voters that fell between 2011 and 2023 despite the registration campaigns carried out during this period. Here, through its General Director, ELECAM is openly opposed to the registration of Cameroonians on electoral rolls. ELECAM therefore openly becomes an active agent of pre-electoral fraud. Let all those who still doubted the partiality of ELECAM, or who pretended not to see, note that this institution and its current leaders are working to stop democracy in our country.

I am asking the Cameroonian people to remain mobilized for PEACEFUL CHANGE AND THROUGH THE BALLOT BOX.

We are approaching the crucial elections for the destiny of Cameroon and pre-electoral fraud is in full swing. The major maneuvers have already begun. But nothing and no one can stop the great wave of unprecedented mobilization which is coming to us from the remote areas of our country, the big cities and the countryside.

In the forthcoming weeks and months, you will see the forces of change and national renaissance on the field to allow the Cameroonian people to freely choose their leaders during the next legislative, municipal and presidential elections.

You will also see the forces of Cameroon’s political status quo and regression, who work openly or secretly for the regime in place, trying to distract you from the fight while the Cameroonian people has never been closer to taking control of his destiny. I am counting on you not to let yourself be fooled by those who want to discourage you by telling you that change through elections is impossible in Cameroon. Each one of us, as voters, will be accountable for the future of Cameroon from 2025; through our vote, we would have contributed to its collapse or its recovery.

Done in Yaoundé,

26 April 2024

President Maurice KAMTO.