News / Africa

Cameroon Opposition Says Biya Manipulating Elections

FILE - Cameroon President Paul Biya speaks at the presidential palace in Yaounde, April 19, 2013
FILE - Cameroon President Paul Biya speaks at the presidential palace in Yaounde, April 19, 2013
Cameroon's Supreme Court is indicating it will not follow election laws that give it 10 days to rule on complaints and petitions concerning next month's parliamentary and council elections.  Opposition political leaders charge that President Paul Biya's party is manipulating rules to ensure it stays in power. 

Consistent inconsistencies have so far marred the electoral calendar in Cameroon.

First, the mandates of parliamentarians and councilors were extended several times by Biya, and elections that were supposed to be held last year were postponed until September 30.

Second, the Supreme Court, sitting as the Constitutional Council, had to examine complaints and petitions submitted by political parties within a maximum period of 10 days.  Not enough time, the court said.  

Supreme Court Justice Clement Atangana said extra days were needed to review the 265 petitions for council elections and 76 petitions for parliamentary elections the court received.

"It is not possible to study this number," he said.

However, some political parties said that decision disrupted their plans for fielding candidates for the election.

Paul Pufong, deputy secretary general of the Alliance of Progressive Forces, accused the court of not doing its job.

"Our party has lawyers and the lawyers are very busy at the Supreme Court and by the end of the day, I think they will come back with useful information," he said.

Some of the petitions are calling for the polls to be delayed again, saying the president violated the electoral code when he postponed the voting several times.

Lawyer Joseph Mbah Ndam, who is legal adviser of the main opposition party, the Social Democratic Front, has a rundown of some other complaints the court is handling.

"The vast majority of the petitions are centered around members of some political parties being on the lists of other political parties, there are so many.  There are cases that are baseless in law, and there are some that are founded, well grounded in the law," he said.

The ruling Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement, CPDM, has been accused of rigging the elections.  The party is sure to win about 100 out of 180 parliamentary seats and about 250 out of 360 councils in constituencies where they are unchallenged or are competing with very weak parties.

One of the people defending the ruling CPDM is professor Ngole Ngole Elvis.

"All the 30 political parties running have an equal chance of winning something, but because the balance of forces in this sort of inter-associational competition is always asymmetrical, some political parties will gain more than the others, and in this case the CPDM party has an edge because in organizational terms, in financial terms, political ideology, the CPDM is in all local constituencies with the exception of one," he said.

The elections body also rejected some 100 candidates filing for the two elections.  An official of the electoral board in Cameroon said they turned down the nomination papers because a majority of political parties did not respect provisions of the electoral code.

The elections are firmly set for September 30.  However, the Peoples Action Party of Ayah Paul, who left the ruling CPDM, has called for the total cancellation of the election, calling it a joke.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs