Officials of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) have expressed satisfaction at the way the October 11 presidential election was conducted, with much delight that the whole process have been characterised by peace and security. This was during the first post-voting press conference organised by the National Campaign Coordination Commission for the CPDM candidate in Yaounde last October 15.
The press conference was presided over by Professor, Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo, a member of the technical committee and spokesperson of the National Coordination Commission for the campaign the CPDM candidate in the October 11 presidential election, incumbent President Paul Biya. He was joined in the panel by the Assistant Secretary General of the CPDM Central Committee, Grégoire Owona, the Minister of Communication, Jacques Fame Ndongo and the Minister of Special Duties at the Presidency of the Republic Elvis Ngolle Ngolle. The leaders of the main parties represented in the National Assembly that supported the candidacy of incumbent Paul Biya were equally present in the panel, notably the UPC Secretary General, Augustin Fréderic Kodock and the NUDP National President, Maigari Bello Bouba.
It was an occasion for the CDPM officials and its allies to rejoice that following the trends of partial results of the election given by the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, their candidate has 75.24 per cent of the votes. Considering that that results filed in by the Divisional Vote Counting Commissions still have to be verified by the National Vote Counting Commission and the results proclaimed by the Supreme Court sitting in for the Constitutional Council, the CPDM top brass called on their militants and allies to stay calm while waiting for the final results. They expressed satisfaction that even international observers testified to the transparency of the entire process. Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo said that the CPDM was not worried with information said to be circulated by the SDF claiming to have won the election and with threats that if the SDF candidate is not proclaimed winner, they will form their government. He stated that the CPDM will respect the verdict of the Constitutional Council.
Responding to journalists who called for the dissolution of the UPC and NUDP political parties with claims that they were already part of the CPDM, Mr Kodock and Mr Bello Bouba said they were convinced in their decision to ally with the CPDM. Augustin Frederic Kodock said that the UPC remains an independent party explaining that their decision to support incumbent President Biya was because of his achievements at the helm of State for 22 years. Bello Bouba on his part stated clearly that " if political parties are created with the ambition to get to power, it is not also stated that all parties must participate in all elections". As such, he said that the NUDP supported incumbent President Biya to ensure that peace, stability and security keep on reigning in the country and the current economic growth maintained and sustained.
All Eyes Focus On Vote Counting
The National Commission for the Final Counting of Votes effectively started work last October 16. This came after the official commissioning of the members at a solemn ceremony at the Library of the Supreme Court on Friday, October 15 presided over by the Commission’s president Clément Atangana.
The president stated that the commission is determined to finish its work by Thursday this week for onward transmission to the Supreme Court that is sitting in for the Constitutional Council.
The Commission is a link in the nation’s democratic chain. Presided over by a Judge, appointed by the President of the Supreme Court, its members include representatives of the administration and one representative of each candidate appointed by the political party. The principal mission of the national commission for the final counting of votes has to do with the verification of polling operations on the basis of reports and documents. It is a vital link between work on the field and the Constitutional Council that ensures the regularity of presidential elections. In a democratic dispensation, the national commission for the final counting of votes cross checks and examines in detail, at a national level, all what takes place at the divisional or provincial level. It throws more light on the quality of transparency of the entire electoral process, given that all stakeholders and contestants are represented.
Observers of the nation’s political scene see the national commission for the final counting of votes as a vital gate keeper of democracy. By assembling vital facts and figures in the electoral process, they contribute in providing the Judges of the Constitutional Court the relevant material to proclaim the results of an election that reflect the Corporate will. The final Counting Commission records comments on the conduct of operations although it is not empowered to declare them void. It can rectify any counting errors made, carry out a final vote count and draw up a report on all the said operations. The report and appended documents from divisional supervisory commissions are forwarded to the Constitutional Council with copies to the Minister in charge of Territorial Administration and to each candidate.
During the final vote counting exercise which takes place in public and at the seat of the Constitutional Council, representatives of candidates have a right to submit comments or claims. All these are forwarded alongside the final tally to the competent authorities. The national commission for the final counting of votes therefore plays an important role in the conduct of free and fair elections in Cameroon. Alongside other structures like the National Elections Observatory, the Constitutional Council, and so on, the Commission for the final counting of votes is another sterling referee of the nation’s democratic process. It adds the flesh of credibility to the nation’s growing democratic experience and gives it the stamp of transparency. The resolve of the New Deal to build lasting democratic structures in the fatherland continue to take root. All observes of the October 11 Presidential election come out with the conclusion that Cameroon has come of age. It can be said loud and clear today that Cameroon’s electoral process meets all the norms pegged on the "free and fair" aphorism. The national Commission for the final counting of votes adds spices to this menu of transparency.