Pre-electoral Petitions: Crucial Phase Of The Electoral Process

As deadline for the submission of petitions elapsed yesterday, competent administrative courts would begin hearing and eventually rule on matters brought before them.

Competent administrative courts nationwide would begin hearing and subsequently give a ruling on pre-electoral petitions lodged before their courts. The Courts according to the law have seven days to give a ruling on different petitions submitted for their consideration. Simply put, administrative courts in which petitions have been filed have till October 14, 2020 to render judgement on the different complaints and the decision communicated to the Electoral Board of Elections Cameroon. October 7, 2020 midnight was the deadline for the lodgment of petitions. This is in accordance with the Electoral Code in Section 259 which states that any decision on the acceptance or rejection of a list of candidates can be challenged before any competent administrative court with the petition expected to be filled not more than five days from the date of the notification of the said decision by Elections Cameroon (ELECAM). With ELECAM having published the list of retained candidatures for the regional elections on October 2, 2020, contesters of the decision therefore had till October 7, 2020 to file their complaints.

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Petitions have already been lodged in the different regions of the country by both traditional rulers and political parties. At press time yesterday, the Douala Administrative Court in the Littoral Region had received three petitions, two filled by traditional rulers and one from the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (UPC). The traditional rulers are praying the Court to reject the list of their peers in the Moungo and Nkam Divisions on grounds that the said accepted lists by ELECAM do not respect the sociological components of the constituencies concerned. UPC, on her part, is calling on the Court to order for the reinstating of their rejected list in the Wouri Division of the Littoral Region.

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The Yaounde Administrative Court has some six complaints to be ruled on. Three of the petitions are from traditional rulers who are contesting the rejection of their lists. The UPC is also calling for the rehabilitation of their two rejected lists. Meanwhile FDC( Front démocratique des camerounais) calls on the Court to reject the list of the Cameroon’s People Democratic Movement (CPDM) in the Nyong and So’o Division in the Centre Region on grounds that the accepted list has a woman who has dual nationality. Six petitions have equally been deposited at the Bafoussam Administrative Court in the West Region. Hearings are therefore expected to begin today (October 8, 2020) and rulings given within the time limited stipulated by the law.

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