For Coverage Without Clashes

In the beginning was the media, is now and ever shall be  in all the processes of the December 6, 2020 election of Regional Councils in Cameroon. The media,  be it the traditional print, audiovisual and  online outlets and now the social media networks that have become more prominent in  the political life of all countries, elections inclusive  have a determinant role to play.
Before the President of the Republic, Paul Biya in the decree of September 7, 2020 convened the electoral colleges  for the election of Regional Councillors on December 6, 2020, the media had started speculating on the timing and doing analysis on the potential candidates. When the election day was finally declared, the media entered full swing into the political game , reporting on a daily and detailed basis on the different phases of the pre-electoral process, giving the opinions of the different political stake holders in the country and the international community.  Some media organs have allotted spaces and airtime for the proper coverage of the electoral process with more space to be added  for campaigns.
At the moment, the nomination of candidates by political parties pertaining to the category of the delegates of divisions is over and traditional rulers have also submitted to Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) the list of candidates who will be representatives of traditional rulers in the Regional Councils. Attention is now focused on the Electoral Board of ELECAM that is currently scrutinising the nomination papers in view of  publishing the lists of retained candidates.
The media at this stage of the electoral process has the duty to report on the various stages and actors in respect of professional ethics and norms. The Electoral Code that regulates all elections in Cameroon has detailed out all the processes of the different elections and makes provisions for ample media coverage within the ambit of the law. The Ministry of Communication  and the media watchdog institution in Cameroon, the National Communication Council during every election do come up with rules and a guide for media coverage of all the phases of the elections. The Electoral Code,  the coverage guide and the Code of Conduct adopted for the media all have to be applied both by the traditional media organs and the social media networks. In any election, there are usually rivals and protagonists. The role of the media is not to favour one candidate, political party or one protagonist over the other but to do a fair reporting within the framework of the law. The media should not therefore be the platform for people to settle scores, express their differences, call for uprising   but the instrument to remind the various actors of the electoral processes of the provisions of the law for peaceful and harmonious elections. 



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