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

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid