Sep 2016

Presidential, senatorial, legislative, regional and municipal elections

Warning of potential threats to electoral aftermath in Cameroon if the government remained deaf to the request of a consensual reform of the electoral code, and the risk of postponement in such elections.

The Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) has learned important lessons of serious shortcomings in our electoral system after the twin elections of 30 September 2013. These were serious failures on both the quality of certain provisions of the Electoral Code and in the application of others. Convinced that the Constitutional Council could declare the law, our party brought the case to the high jurisdiction. Unfortunately, despite multiple and abundant evidence, and clarity of the law, it has made some curious decisions.

In a patriotic and constructive approach, our party sent to the President of the Republic, in an appropriate manner, a comprehensive report on the serious fraud that marred the twin elections, so that using his constitutional prerogatives and as principal decision maker for our common future, he draws all the political consequences in the best interest of our people and nation.

In December 2014, playing the institutional game, the CRM has introduced in Parliament a bill amending the electoral code as enacted in  Law No. 2012/001 of 19 April 2012 on the Electoral Code,  amended and supplemented by law n ° 2012/017 of 21 December 2012.

In violation of the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly, after more than four sessions, the CRM private member’s bill has never been examined by any instance of this House of Parliament.

On 4 February 2016 in Douala, the CRM launched, under police threat as useless as negative for the image of the country, a petition for the consensual reform of the electoral code to prevent a post-election crisis in our country as a consequence of complaints on the results.

Our members have been,  several times and in presence of  various media cameras, molested and humiliated by security forces manipulated for partisan purposes, while trying, peacefully and in strict compliance with the Constitution and laws of the Republic, to educate members of parliament and the public on this crucial issue of reform of the electoral Code.

Our party and militants have so far refused, courageously, to give in to successive administrative provocations and to multiple police violence, but continued the awareness campaign. The results of this petition will soon be made public. Meanwhile, the CRM once again urges the regime to engage in a genuine national dialogue for a consensual reform of the Electoral Code in order to prevent our country the throes of electoral disputes.

Indeed, preserving post-election peace in Cameroon translates into stopping the Supreme Court, sitting anachronistically as the Constitutional Council, to vote, instead of Cameroonians, in the secret of their offices in 2018 or before.

To avoid this chaotic situation, unfortunately regular in Central Africa, where the democratic will of the people is violated through elections whose results are always truncated, the CRM reiterates its call for a consensual reform of the Electoral Code in force, which carries the seeds of political conflicts that our party does not wish to our People.

Carrying out that reform will be the expression of the political wisdom of our leaders, also proof of their sincerity in the quest to preserve peace and harmony in our country, beyond declarations the Cameroonian people would like to believe in.

Without being exhaustive, the points to discuss reform on are:

  1. Introduction of the single ballot;
  2. Election records with counterfoil, all original and authentic, thus binding on all parties in the event of dispute;
  3. Two round electoral system for the presidency;
  4. Limiting presidential terms to two;
  5. Conditions for a strict application of Article 96 (4) which prohibits the opening of polling stations in places closed to the public;
  6. Physical tour of polling stations by stakeholders before Election Day;
  7. Conditions for a strict compliance with Article 97 which requires the voters’ lists to be posted at least eight (08) days before the election date;
  8. Ban on the distribution of voters’ cards on Election Day; consensual electoral boundaries that take into account the demographic weight and equality of electoral areas;
  9. Establishment of the voting age to 18;
  10. Conditions for bailiff’s reports on Election Day without requiring the order of a judge;
  11. Equal access of political parties and qualified candidates to public media during the election campaign;
  12. A new composition of ELECAM so that it stops being a section of the CPDM.

And beyond the Electoral Code, the permanent respect for freedom of association, freedom of public meetings and freedom of expression severely hampered by outrageously partisan administrative authorities.

To prevent postponement of any future elections that the CMR and Cameroonians reject with all their strength, it would be good for political governance to get started with that reform now.

If the national dialogue leading to the reform of the electoral code – that we believe in and are asking in accordance with republican manners since October 2013 – was organized and that the upcoming polls were to be conducted in compliance with the revised electoral code and in transparency of the electoral process, the CRM and its militants would democratically accept the verdict thereof, whatever they are.

So together, the government, political parties, civil society, populations, friendly countries and other international partners of Cameroon, in mutual respect, for the love of this country and to save the Cameroonian People from violence that would remind us of very painful historical events, let us do everything to avert the spectre of such a tragedy, let us take action for the consensual reform of the electoral Code.

Any politician’s call for dialogue after elections are held without the consensual reform of the electoral code, which would inevitably be made different by the usual fraud, would be pointless and not engage the CRM, its militants and Cameroonians who have expressed support for our program.

Peace has no price, but it has a political cost which all politicians, of the regime and the opposition, must consent to bear. So, let the President of the Republic, Head of State,  not forget that he is the only one accountable to the history  and for the fate of Cameroonians  and  should save  peace in our dear and beautiful country by taking into account this patriotic call from the CRM, its members and millions of other Cameroonians.

National President
(e) Pr. Maurice KAMTO

September 25th, 2016