News / Africa

Cameroon Human Rights Group Criticizes Weak Opposition Participation in Recent Vote

Cameroon's President Paul Biya departing meeting at Elysee Palace, Paris, Jan. 30, 2013.
Cameroon's President Paul Biya departing meeting at Elysee Palace, Paris, Jan. 30, 2013.
Peter Clottey
The Chairman of Cameroon’s National Commission for Human Rights and Freedom (NCHRF) has expressed disappointment at the low level of participation by opposition parties in the September 30 parliamentary and local elections.

“There was an absence of the opposition in over two thirds of the areas covered by legislative elections, which means that right from the beginning, it was clear that the ruling party was going to form the next government,” said chairman NCHRF Divine Chemuta Mbanda. “The commission would like to see the opposition organize and position itself better in future to be able to provide an alternative.”

Mbanda however said the country’s electoral commission (ELECAM) showed improvements in the administration of the vote. The NCHRF released its report after its poll observer group ended its work.

“Compared with previous elections; with the setting up of ELECAM and with the introduction of biometrics for the registration a lot of progress has been made,” said Mbanda. “We were able to point out where we expressed our satisfaction where a lot of progress has been made, and we also indicated areas where improvement or more effort needs to be made.”

The NCHRF’s participation in the elections, Mbanda said, was meant to instill confidence in the country’s democratic process.

The NCHRF together with other international poll observers monitored the elections which were overwhelming won by President Paul Biya’s ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM).

The CPDM won 148 of the 180 seats in parliament while the opposition parties took the 32 remaining seats.  Both local and international poll observers said the process was peaceful and credible.

They added that an improvement in the administration of the poll could be an example to other African countries interested in improving organization and transparency, said Mbanda.

He outlined his organization’s recommendations to the electoral body for improving the credibility of future elections.

“Foremost, we recommended that ELECAM strive towards ensuring that the biometrics is complete,” said Mbanda. “Because they used the biometrics only for [voter] registration.  [But] we indicated that it would be desirable to include the voting and the vote counting modules because they are available in the market place. It will certainly facilitate and further improve upon the conduct of elections in Cameroon.”

Some political analysts were concerned about possible violence in the run up to the poll amid opposition charges of potential rigging by the ruling party. But, Mbanda says the NCHRF embarked on a nationwide campaign to educate voters about the need to ensure peace during and after the vote.

“[Cameroonians] demonstrated some maturity, and it is not surprising to me because of the programs that we’ve put in place for over five years now. We’ve been educating people [and] we’ve made a lot of progress with the national program for the teaching of human rights at all the [school] levels; the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. And so people are quite aware of their rights and seek to protect them,” said Mbanda.
Clottey interview with Divine Chemuta Mbanda,Cameroon's NCHRF chairman
Clottey interview with Divine Chemuta Mbanda,Cameroon's NCHRF chairmani
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid