Opposition Leaders Reject Draft Electoral Law

A grouping of opposition political leaders known as ‘The Group Of Seven’, has rejected the draft electoral law tabled by Government in the Glass House. They also call on Members of Parliament and Cameroonians to take charge of their destiny like Senegal did.

The call is contained in a declaration made after a meeting in Bamenda on April 8 and signed on behalf of the group by the National Chairman of the SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi. The group, which was formed after the heavily flawed October 2011 Presidential election, comprises Fru Ndi, Kah Walla, Paul Ayah, Ben Muna, among others who were all candidates.

The declaration states, “We, the political leaders of the group of seven, meeting in Bamenda on April 8: Completely reject this draft electoral law and request patriotic parliamentarians who are concerned with the future of this country to abstain from the denial of democracy in our country.”   

The group; “Calls on the Cameroonian people to take charge of their destiny just like their counterparts in Senegal. “As for us, the seven political leaders, we will assume our responsibilities,” it further sates.The declaration begins with the preamble: “The Group of Seven political leaders takes note of the current bad faith of the ruling regime in Cameroon.”

It further asserts: “The general observation regarding the Presidential election of October 2011, has highlighted the inability of Elections Cameroon, ELECAM, to organise free, fair and transparent elections.”

The declaration states, “In spite of the obvious illegitimacy of the President as known to all, the Group of Seven, after having had recourse to legal procedure, after having drawn the attention of the international community and the Cameroonian people, decided to suspend its call for protest in the interest of peace in the nation.

 

The group had hoped that” it continues, “after more than thirty years in power, Mr. Biya would at least have that call of conscience to endow the country with institutions and laws that are in conformity with international norms in democracy.” Coming back to the Electoral Code, the group states, “We regret to observe that the draft law on the electoral code submitted to the National Assembly does not tally with the modern norms on elections and is a mockery to the Cameroonian people.”

The group declares that the Cameroonian people have, for the past 20 years, yearned for: “The limitation of the Presidential mandate to five years renewable once; a two round presidential election; the creation of single constituency for legislative elections; the institution of a single ballot; the establishment of voting age at 18 years; a redefinition of the electoral constituency; the use of biometric technology with the delivery of the voters’ card immediately upon registration; the establishment of an electoral calendar; the dissolution of ELECAM followed by the creation of a truly independent election management body as a condition sine qua non.”

It notes that political parties, civil society organisations, religious societies and the international community, among others, have called for these changes for the last 20 years.

 

By Bouddih Adams

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