Rulings on pre-electoral litigations end in disarray -SDF lawyers stage walkout

 The premises of the Supreme Court sitting in for the Constitutional Council was on August 22, temporally transformed into a seemingly rowdy market when final rulings on the 266 pre-electoral litigations relating to the September 30 municipal elections were passed by the Administrative Bench of the court.

The bone of contention was “unfair judgment," decried by many political parties whose nomination papers were rejected by Elections Cameroon on August 1, and who petitioned the Supreme Court hoping it will rule in their favour.

Prominent among all the 266 rulings was the reinstatement of the CPDM list in Tiko; a decision which rendered the SDF defense lawyers furious compelling them to stage a walk out of the court room. “It is a very sad case. This is a shame to the Supreme Court,” the lawyers grumbled among themselves as they deserted the court room in anger. “I have had two disturbing cases that have proven the partiality of this court.” Stated Joseph Mbah Ndam, SDF legal adviser, referring to the reinstatement of the CPDM Tiko list and the rejection of SDF petition calling for the invalidation of CPDM list in the Douala II council.

Daniel Moukondo Ngande, head of SDF Tiko Council list could not hold his peace; “It is very sad because on several occasions, the learned judge was reminding us that we are in the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land. We thought we had come to a better place, but today we saw justice being buried by the court we so much believe in.”

However, on the side of the CPDM, the ruling party, it was all happiness and jubilation. The party’s Tiko list was rejected by ELECAM on grounds that it was submitted on July 18, a day after the July 17 deadline given by the electoral code. “We deposited on July 17,” insisted Peter Ikome Mesoso III, CPDM Tiko Council list leader as he thumbed his chest.

 The dream of the SDF, Cameroon’s main opposition party to easily get a clean sweep of the Douala II and Tiko Councils has been flushed down the drain as they will have to beat Biya’s ruling CPDM to achieve that goal. Political pundits believe it should be a hard nut for Fru Ndi’s party to crack.

It took the Administrative Bench of the Supreme Court four days to rule on all 266 petitions which saw about 30 lists from about 10 political parties reinstated. Clement Atangana, president of the bench, presided over the four-day marathon session.

The court had since the start of the rulings on Monday flushed out the petition submitted by Ayah Paul Abine, leader of the People’s Action Party which sought the cancellation of the September 30, parliamentary and council elections in the country owing to what he termed irregularities and illegalities in the electoral process.