Elecam hit by huge voter’s apathy

Elections Cameroon has been confronted by a major challenge, to distribute the already printed voter’s cards, forcing the Director General Mohaman Sani Tanimou to opt for desperate measures to make sure that a good number of Cameroonians finally vote on elections day, an act which some opposition parties have been quick to criticize.

Decision No 0703, of the Director General of Elections Cameroon, of 22 July to lay down the organization of polling stations, on the occasion of the election of members of parliament and municipal councilors in section 7 (2) states that “However, any voter not in possession of the voter’s card, but whose name appears on the list of that polling station, shall be authorized to take part in the vote”

This measure has been interpreted by observers as a desperate means to get the maximum number of voter’s without voter’s or National Identity cards to vote on Election Day.

SDF chairman Ni John Fru Ndi in a press outing on July 29, described the decision as means to "marred by massive fraud" the upcoming election.

As of June 16, 2013 less than 750 000 voter’s card of the 3 040 203 printed and dispatched have been collected, representing a mere 14.9%, numbers of cards collected of a total number of 500 105 cards already printed.

At a press conference in Bamenda on July 13, the President of Elecam, Fonkam Azu’u said mobile teams have been put in place to speed up the distribution exercise, which was previously only done at the Council branches of Elecam.  

Yet this measure seems to have failed to spur Cameroonians to collect their cards, and perform their civic responsibility.

Statistics from Elecam (www.elecam.cm) presents a very appalling situation on the ground.  Below is the situation per region as of June 16, 2013 presented by Elecam.

Adamawa: 344 610 cards already printed, 171 721 cards dispatched and 76 962 cards distributed.

Centre:  812 818 cards already printed, 509 826) cards dispatched and 66 183 cards distributed.

East: 242 257 cards already printed, 235 510 cards dispatched and 55 049 cards distributed.

Far North: 905 119 cards already printed, 419 624 cards dispatched and 144 598 cards distributed.

Littoral: 678 486 cards already printed, 572 959 cards dispatched and 93 442 cards distributed.

North: 557 879 cards already printed, 325 564 cards dispatched and 123 564 cards distributed.

North -West: 455 511 cards already printed, 156 799 cards dispatched and 34 877 cards distributed.

South: 184 753 cards already printed, 140 637 cards dispatched and 57 633 cards distributed.

South-West: 286 708 cards already printed, 143 489 cards dispatched and 26 845 cards distributed.

West:  531 964 cards already printed, 364 074 cards dispatched and 65 178 cards distributed.

   At national level, the state of voter card production and distribution as of June 16, 2013 stands at 5 000 105 cards printed; 3 040 203 cards dispatched and only 748 091 withdrawn.

By Abongwa Fozo

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