Hereunder is a statement of René Emmanuel Sadi, Minister of Communication during a jont MINCOM – MINAT Press Briefing in Yaounde yesterday December 2, 2019.
“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
On February 09, 2020, legislative and municipal elections will take place in Cameroon.
On November 10, 2019, the PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC, His Excellency Paul BIYA, in strict compliance with the legal provisions thereof, convened the electorate. It should first and foremost be recalled that the mandate of the Members of Parliament and that of Municipal Councilors was extended twice, in keeping with Article 15 of the Constitution.
First, for twelve months, starting on October 15, 2018, then, for close to four months, taking effect on October 15, 2019 until February 09, 2020.
Moreover, it should be emphasized that the Constitution of Cameroon clearly lays down the conditions and modalities for the extension of the mandates of Members of Parliament, notably in case of serious crisis or where circumstances so warrant.
With regard to Municipal Councilors, the Electoral Code clearly states in its Section 170, that: “if need be, the President of the Republic may, by decree, extend or abridge the term of office of municipal councillors for a period not exceeding 18 (eighteen) months.”
That is to say, the HEAD OF STATE, when deciding to set the twin legislative and municipal elections for February 09, 2020, in his Very High discretion, took into account all these parameters and all the background information related thereto.
It is therefore surprising, that some leaders of political parties are today putting forth various considerations either to boycott the upcoming elections or to simply demand their postponement, or better still, to set conditions for their participation as though they were not aware of the fact that the extension of the mandates of MPs and Municipal Councilors are defined by the law, and may not therefore be infinite.
ln addition to such considerations related to lawfulness, a vast majority of Cameroonians are also legitimately and impatiently aspiring to take part in the twin elections, whose importance is secret to no one.
The convening of the electorate for the upcoming legislative and municipal elections is therefore and above all, a response of the HEAD OF STATE to the aspirations of a Cameroonian People that is conscious and jealous of its sovereignty.
It is therefore appropriate today, to hail the timely decision of the PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC, which fully takes into account the aspirations of his fellow citizens, in keeping with the legal order and prerogatives vested in him, which opens new avenues in the democratic game, with the imminent election of a refreshed National Assembly and new Municipal Councils.
It is obvious that the successive extensions took into account the socio-political context and, consequently, the concerns raised by the national political class, particularly with regard to the security situation prevailing in the North- West and South-West Regions.
ln the same vein, it is commendable for everyone to acknowledge that the PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC, from his High position and based on background information in his possession, has duly considered the current developments in the concerned regions, and that he will prescribe the measures that are necessary to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections in these Regions.
The Government is therefore calling on the leaders of political parties to demonstrate good faith, civic responsibility and national civic and republican conscience, to devote their efforts to mobilizing militants to honourably take part in the upcoming polis, which are the only instruments to confer the legality and legitimacy needed to conduct public affairs. ln this respect, it should be indicated that all the candidates called upon to take part in the twin legislative and municipal elections of February 09, 2020, were under the same constraints, they faced the same difficulties, and they all had to comply with the requirements of the law. It therefore appears that the statements of some political party leaders, tending to hold the powers that be responsible for their difficulty complying with the regulatory provisions, and therefore being up to date within the deadlines set for the various actors, are totally ungrounded.
The Government therefore urges the leaders of the political parties to be responsible, to take into account the collective destinies of their respective political families, as well as the individual aspirations of their supporters, whose enthusiasm and determination to take part in the upcoming twin legislative and municipal elections were felt as soon as the electorate was convened. Meanwhile, the Government condemns all manoeuvres that amount to blackmail and onemanship, and denounces the various foreign attempts to interfere, which are in violation of our laws, and which are advocating further postponements, indefinite postponements, of announced legislative and municipal elections.
Considering the great national excitement, the keen interest and great enthusiasm aroused among Cameroonians of all walks of life, by the call to vote launched by the HEAD OF STATE,
And mindful of the resolve and commitment of several political actors to participate in the twin legislative and municipal polls;
The Government, for its part, calls on the entire Nation to positively and actively mobilize themselves for the success of these elections.
The Government also reassures national and international opinion that all security conditions and all measures to ensure the reliability of the electoral process will be taken, in order to enable voters to exercise their civic duty by voting freely and in complete peace of mind.
Finally, the Government appeals to the civic and patriotic conciousness of everyone.
With regard to the leaders of political parties, it is not redundant to remind them that an electoral process codified and standardized by law makers cannot be traded off against special interests.
The Government therefore invites each and everyone to refrain from any pernicious act likely to jeopardize this major operation of national interest.
To the electorate, the Government recommends that they get set to accomplish, in good conscience, their duties towards our fatherland, by massively turning out on February 9, 2020, to express their democratic choice, in discipline, calm and peace. Thank you for your kind attention.” Yaounde, December 2, 2019