The duration of the term of office of the first twelve members of Elections Cameroon – ELECAM – is not in issue. But the law does not spell out the date of commencement and the date of expiry of the term in issue. The “decree of application” however does specify the said commencement. Since the duration is specified by the law, it is sufficient that the decree does specify only the commencement for the necessary inference to be drawn.


 It follows that the term of office of the first twelve members of ELECAM expires on the date of the fourth year corresponding to the date of the taking of the oath of office four years earlier on. It seems improper to contend that the term of office in issue took effect from the date of appointment, being December 30, 2008. Logically then do I subscribe without reservation to the contention of the board chair of ELECAM, Dr Fonkam Azu’u Samuel, that the computation of time has to coincide with the date of the taking of the oath of office.


 By contrast, I beg to differ sharply with Dr Fonkam in his contention that,as the decree provides, it is competent of the members of ELECAM to continue to hold office until the new members replace the out-going members. Dr Fonkam does know very well that, on the hierarchy of laws, a law in the technical sense is higher than a decree. In the event of a conflict between the two, therefore, the law does prevail. It is total illegality then for a decree to purport so to provide when the law provides to the contrary.


 Even as Mr. President of the Republic has refused, failed or neglected to put in place the Constitutional Council that should check this and similar illegalities, Dr. Fonkam as a jurist is expected to abstain from sanctioning those illegalities. Citing approvingly the illegal provisions of the decree should be enough reasonable ground for some moral jurists to interpret Dr Fonkam’s conduct as sacrificing legality in the furtherance of sordid personal interest.


 One finds it difficult to hold otherwise in that Dr Fonkam, with a terminal degree in law, should not, in all fairness, even remotely be considered as being ignorant of basic elementary notions of the law like the hierarchy of laws. All in all, therefore, Dr Fonkam’s credibility, neutrality and impartiality is seriously eroded for promoting personal interest to the detriment of the general interest. Doing the reverse should be the least that the office he holds exacts from him.


 Oberimae fidei!


 Communications & Public Relations,

 People's Action Party, PAP

 National Working Secretariat,

 Buea, South West Region,



 Motto: Work – Peace – Justice


 Tel: (00237) 78 35 80 29 / 94 99 87 43


 *E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]

 *Official Website: OR

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