News / Africa

Voter ID Card Controversy Mars Cameroon Campaign

A man searches for his voting card at a polling station in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde (file photo).
A man searches for his voting card at a polling station in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde (file photo).
Campaigning for parliamentary and local elections is officially underway in Cameroon, amid controversy over the alleged fabrication and buying of fake voter cards ahead of the September 30 poll.

Loudspeakers placed at strategic locations and in populous neighborhoods of Cameroon’s capital blare campaign messages by 35 political parties running in council and parliamentary elections this month.

This message by one opposition party, the National Union for Democracy and Progress, promises to unite the country and keep it out of conflict.
 
Meanwhile, Denis Kemlemo, a candidate with the main opposition Social Democratic Front, tells VOA he will focus on reviving the economy.  “Our economy is failing due to the adoption of unrealistic budgets, absence of true social justice and snail pace development.  It is for this reason that we are begging for your support during these upcoming parliamentary and council elections to help bring the change that we desperately need,” he said.
 
But the campaigns have been overshadowed by a simmering controversy over voter registration.  
 
The Social Democratic Front and other opposition parties have lodged complaints with the country’s elections management body, Elections Cameroon, known as ELECAM.  They allege that voter ID cards have been falsified and note that one such case has been uncovered in the  town of Kumba, in the southwest.
 
Emmanuel Njang, the southwest regional delegate for ELECAM, acknowledges there have been problems, and says his group will take corrective action.  “They will not be allowed to vote, and individuals will be prosecuted for bringing in unauthorized material into the polling station,” he stated.
 
ELECAM’s officer in charge of preparing election materials, Thadeus Menang, said the incident was isolated.  He said the biometric registration system will make it nearly impossible for a person to vote more than once.
 
“We have come across cases, [where the] same voters go around with several ID cards, and who on the basis of these several ID cards register in several places.  And when initially you see a case like that it is difficult to determine that it is duplicate," Menang said. "But that is what biometry is trying to help us deal with.  With the biometric voter registration system, those cases have been reduced to minimum.”
 
But some of the opposition parties are also accusing the ruling Cameroon's Peoples Democratic Movement of buying voter cards.  John Fru Ndi is the leader of the Social Democratic Front. “Ministers have come from Yaounde and are buying voters' cards from people.  We are saying that we will not tolerate any rough game again.  We are doing this because we want justice before, justice during and justice after [the elections].  And justice will bring peace,” he said.

President Paul Biya’s party denied the allegations.  Fru Jonathan is campaigning for the CPDM ticket in Cameroon's northwest.  “The CPDM is not relying on giving material or money to militants for them to vote.  I think the CPDM has all the arguments to win the electorate,” stated Jonathan.
 
The ruling Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement, CPDM, looks set 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.
 
Some five million registered voters go to the polls on September 30.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: emmile from: douala
September 16, 2013 2:41 PM
I wonder why voting when its clear cameroon is a one party state. Actualy there is no opposition in cameroon but paul biyas franchises all governed by the cpdm. All the claims and complaints are mere propaganda.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid