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Voters’ Registration:Urgent Need For Improvement

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Emmanuel KENDEMEH | 07-09-2017 15:26

 Slightly over six million potential voters have enrolled in the electoral registers ahead of the expected 2018 elections in Cameroon.

Cameroon’s elections and referenda governing body, Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) on September 4, 2017 published the total number of newly enrolled citizens on the electoral registers for the 2017 revision period to stand at 403,069.
The figure indicated that there were 159,154 women compared to 243, 915 men. The Director General of Elections in ELECAM, Abdoulaye Babale, in the same press release equally gave statistics on the production of voter cards  by the National  Centre for Election Biometric. Beginning from the biometric recompilation of electoral registers that was introduced prior to the 2013 municipal and legislative elections, the Centre has produced 6,073,530 voter cards and 5,826,046 of the cards have been issued to their holders. Judging from the number of voter cards already produced, there are slightly above six million potential voters who have enrolled on the electoral registers so far. The number from every indication is below expectation for a country that has over 23 million inhabitants. Should the electoral calendar be respected, potential voters will have less than six months in 2018 to register considering that once the electors are called to the polls, registration automatically stops.
Elections stakeholders have a daunting task and must go back to the drawing board to work on the appropriate strategies on how to improve the voters’ registration situation in the few months they would have  for the registration operation in 2018. Elections Cameroon during the last two weeks of the revision of the electoral registers adopted an all out strategy that targeted certain groups of  people in society.  Many political parties that will be contesting for votes  in the upcoming elections are increasingly present on the field.  Their priority action now is to reorganise their party grassroots organs, putting in place the most credible leaders in order to increase their winning chances in future elections. The ruling Cameroon People’s  Democratic Movement (CPDM) is  present in all regions of the country now, mobilising party militants and supporters, educating them on the party texts, encouraging the militants to enrol their names on the electoral registers in order to vote and consolidate the CPDM leading position in  Cameroon. More political parties are expected to join the  bandwagon  and prepare their unregistered supporters so that when the electoral registers would be opened beginning from January 2018, they  would register. The voters’ registration campaign would have to be one of the key activities of civil society organisations.

La parole aux acteurs

Yves Touna: « Je n’ai pas encore trouvé le temps »

Mécanicien-auto

« Je ne me suis pas encore fait inscrire sur les listes électorales parce que je n’ai pas encore trouvé le temps pour le faire. Je suis encore préoccupé par la rentrée scolaire compte tenu du fait que je ne gagne pas assez d’argent. Il faudrait que les agents d’Elécam se mobilisent un peu plus dans tous les quartiers de la ville. Néanmoins, je compte aller m’inscrire dès que les opérations vont reprendre et voter aux prochaines élections. Il faut bien que chacun puisse s’exprimer et faire son choix. Raison pour laquelle, nous citoyens, devons aller aux urnes».

Germaine Ayissi: « Mon problème, c’est la distance»

Commerçante

« Mon problème, c’est la distance. Je ne peux pas me déplacer facilement pour aller me faire enregistrer. Elecam est trop loin de nous. Pourquoi ne pas instaurer une carte électorale comme la carte nationale d’identité ? Ainsi, on ne sera plus obligé de nous faire enregistrer à chaque fois qu’il y a élection. C’est fatiguant pour nous qui devons à la fois vaquer à nos occupations professionnelles, familiales et personnelles. Elécam doit nous comprendre et prendre la peine de venir aussi vers nous».

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