Electoral Process. Respect of Human Rights to Be Factored in

As the October 7 presidential election rendezvous draws near, stakeholders are in the electoral process have been meeting to sharpen skills on including the respect of human rights in the process.

Shawn-Nathan EPANG

Cameroon under the dynamic leadership of President Paul Biya, is a State of Law and ensure the respect of all rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which Cameroon is  signatory.  Given that Presidential election is the most important national poll, stakeholders have been acquiring skills to master the respect of human rights during such electoral process.

This explains why the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms organised a workshop to this effect on the civil and political rights of policy makers as well as their role in ensuring a peaceful electoral process. This was to put all stakeholders including political parties, the election management body (ELECAM), the Constitutional Council, civilv society actors as well as the population on the same wave length as far as respect of electoral process rights are concerned. The seminar covered areas of pre and post electoral periods. Organised at the National Assembly, the forum was chaired by the Senior Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon Hilarion Etong.

The objective of the workshop was to guarantee the respect of civil and political rights of persons during the presidential election in Cameroon while adopting strategies at promoting credible, free and transparent elections in the country. Hon Hilarion Etong noted in his opening address that the challenge of organising peaceful and credible election is the responsibility of every citizen. He said collective efforts are needed for the organization of such election to select the country’s leader.

The Chairperson of the National Commission of Human Rights and Freedoms, Dr. Divine Banda Chemuta, on his part said elections provide people the opportunity to express their political rights and this should not be taken for granted. He added that social media users need to be sensitised on the negative effects of violence in the country coupled with the acute security challenges some regions are facing at the moment. Dr. Banda said his outfit is an independent institution for consultation and concerted action for the protection and promotion of human rights. On that note, he said they will continue to educate the public on the respect of the rights of everyone.

For Hon. Paul Emah Etoundi, the President of the Yaounde School of Politics and Citizenship, the training will serve as a platform for the promotion of modern democracy.

Cameroon’s Electoral Code adopted in 2012 provides guidelines on the organisation of different national elections in the country and the legislators took into account the respect of electoral rights in the instrument which was enacted by the Head of State to guarantee free, fair and transparent elections in the country. The law gives equally chances for all and sundry to participate in different elections defined by the legal instrument.

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