News / Africa

    Top Cameroonian Official Dismisses Concerns About October Vote

    Cameroon President Paul Biya is favored to win the October presidential vote
    Cameroon President Paul Biya is favored to win the October presidential vote

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Clottey interview with Samuel Fonkam, chairman of Cameroon’s electoral board (ELECAM)

    Peter Clottey

    The chairman of Cameroon’s electoral board (ELECAM) says opposition concerns that October’s general elections will be rigged are unfounded.

    The opposition also complains that all of the board’s members come from the ruling Democratic Rally of the Cameroonian People (RDPC).

    Samuel Fonkam said ELECAM policies and practices have been revised to ensure the polls will be free and fair within the context of the country’s constitution.

    He said some of the electoral changes suggested by the opposition exceed the guidelines of the constitution. He said critics would have to work to have the document changed if they want to see the enactment of further reforms.

    “The electoral commission in Cameroon is only applying the rules as they exist, not the rules as they ought to be,” said Fonkam. “More and more political party leaders agree with us that until the legal framework is changed, we cannot do the things that they are canvassing that we should do.”

    But the leader of the main opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF) party, John Fru Ndi, says the playing field is not level and the electoral commission is not independent, which he said will undermine the credibility of the vote.

    “The opposition has for years been calling for an independent electoral body that will conduct elections that will be free, fair and transparent. But, they ignored all of [the calls],” said Fru Ndi.

    He also said the top leadership of the electoral commission is made up of former members of the ruling Democratic Rally of the Cameroonian People (RDPC), a charge the party denies.

    Fonkam said it would be a mistake for the opposition to judge the performance of the electoral board before the polls are held. And he rejected claims that the current composition of the ELECAM favors the ruling RDPC.

    “At all the levels of the [organization], political parties and opinion leaders are involved in the process as witnesses,” said Fonkam. “The system is such that if the political parties participate as they should, at all the levels, they should be able to control what is happening.”

    The opposition SDF has threatened to disrupt the upcoming vote, citing what it calls irregularities in the ongoing voter registration drive.

    But Fonkam insists ELECAM is working to ensure transparency.

    “There are a number of things we are doing to be ready by the time the elections come up in October,” said Fonkam. “Orders have been placed for electoral material and our staff in the field [has] been given some instructions as for their own preparedness for the exercise.”

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora