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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid