Key actors in the electoral process are busy strategizing on ways of making the December 6, 2020 election of Regional Councillors a success.
Since October 2, 2020 when the Electoral Board of Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) published the lists of candidates retained and those rejected in the December 6, 2020 first-ever election of Regional Councillors in Cameroon, mobilisation for the remaining phases of the electoral process is gaining full steam.
ELECAM retained lists of candidates for seven political parties to run in the election. Even in the candidature lists of Delegates of Divisions the Electoral Board rejected only seven lists mostly of the UPC in Vina, Nyong and So’o and Wouri Divisions which also correspond to electoral constituencies. In the West Region the lists of BRIC were rejected in Mifi and Bamboutos, that of FDC rejected in Mefou and Akono while that of NDP was rejected in the Mifi Division. Pending the filing of petitions in the competent administrative courts and the ruling on the petitions, the parties whose lists were not rejected already know the constituencies where they will compete for the seats of Delegates of Divisions. With this clarity, the political parties are already strategizing on how to carry out the campaign for the election taking into account aspects such as funding, campaign gadgets, manifestos and teams. The parties that have filed or will subsequently file petitions are preparing for the defences.
Traditional rulers whose lists were retained are also mobilising for campaign and those whose lists were rejected should be preparing the defences and necessary documents to submit in the competent administrative courts. In all, eight lists of traditional rulers were rejected, four of them in the North West Regions.
The competent administrative courts at this phase of the electoral process become key actors. This is in compliance with Section 259 of the Electoral Code which provides that, “Any decision to accept or reject a candidature or list of candidates may be challenged by the candidate concerned, any representative of the list concerned and/or any other list, and any other member of the electoral college. The petition shall be lodged with the competent administrative court, within no more than five days of the notification of the rejection or acceptance decision.” Considering that the decision of the Electoral Board of ELECAM was taken on October 2, 2020, all petitions must be filed today, October 6, 2020. The courts on their part shall give a ruling on the petitions within seven days of lodgement.
The elections organising institution, ELECAM henceforth have key missions to fulfil. It has to organise the printing of electoral materials ranging from the campaign materials, voters cards and ballot papers. The two categories of the electoral colleges such as municipal councillors for Delegates of Divisions and traditional rulers who would have to elect their peers who will be representatives of traditional rulers have not only to check and correct their names in case of mistakes but more importantly collect their voter cards when they will be available.