Before the various legislations governing elections in Cameroon were compiled into the Electoral Code in 2012, Cameroonian citizens settled or residing abroad for the first time participated in voting the President of the Republic in the presidential election of October 2011.
According to Law N° 2012/001 of 19 April 2012 relating to the Electoral Code, amended and supplemented by Law N° 2012 of 21 December 2012, Cameroonian citizens settled or residing abroad are progressively becoming gaining interest in the political evolution of their country most especially when it concerns elections.
This is in accordance to Section 271 of the Electoral Code whose provisions clearly stipulates that Cameroonian citizens settled or residing abroad shall exercise their right to vote through their participation in the election of the President of the Republic and in referendums.
It is in this respect that presidential aspirants for the 2018 presidential elections are spreading their campaign to the Diaspora to convince electors to for vote them. This is the reason why the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) is permanently abroad with sections of the party spread in continents across the globe.
Local CPDM officials have been on permanent mobilisation campaign and many of the sections called on President Biya to stand as their candidate in the October 7 poll. Senior CPDM officials from the party headquarters have often been dispatched to the various sections abroad to mobilise the members and also raise funds for party activities.
As concerns opposition party officials gunning for the presidency, Djapa Charly, the aspirant of the Socialist and Ecologists Party of Cameroon (PSEC) is currently in France canvassing for support. Akere Muna, the aspirant of the Popular Front for Development (PFD) had also toured a series of countries explaining his vision for Cameroon.
Also to be noted is Libii Lingue Cabral of the Univers Party who had also gone to many countries seeking for support. Other aspirants such as Joshua Osih of the Social Democratic Front (SDF), reports say, are also planning to meet some voters resident abroad.
Elections Cameroon on its part, according to its Director General of Elections, Erik Essoussè has just rounded off a tour of Cameroonians diplomatic and consular missions abroad. The envoys came back with recent statistics on the state of registration into the voters’ registers and challenges that need to be tackled.
By the time of convening electors to the poll on October 7, Mr Essoussè said, there were 13,061 registered voters abroad. He also disclosed that there are 56 polling stations abroad located at diplomatic representations and consular posts. Cameroonian citizens settled or residing abroad have become major stakeholders in presidential elections in terms of voting, funding and influence.