More than 100 observers interested in the Cameroon electoral process

A day to the deadline for interested structures to deposit files for the demand of an authorization to monitor elections in Cameroon, MINAT takes stock.

Cynthia EFOPA

Elections monitoring is primarily aimed at assessing the conduct of an election process on the basis of national legislation and international election standards. Election observers play a very prominent role in shaping perception about the quality and legitimacy of an election process. Criticism of monitors, provided that they themselves are seen as unbiased can devour the elections result of its credibility. It is therefore obvious that to attain appropriate results, election experts and long-term observers begin their works before the Election Day; observing the legal framework, media tendencies, the work of the electoral administration and the campaign environment in general. On the Election Day, they monitor the opening of polling stations, the vote cast and the counting and tabulation of results. They record and report electoral fraud if any. All these is vital for the credibility of the electoral process.

It is against this backdrop that as Cameroon prepares to organize the forth coming 7th October 2018 presidential elections, the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji, made public a press release on July 7th 2018, calling on all national and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil societies, human right groups and interested structures with an intent to monitor the electoral process in Cameroon to submit in their files latest date tomorrow September 14th 2018.  One day to the deadline of submission, the service in charge of electoral issues at the Ministry of Territorial Administration has received some 108 documents from national and international associations, amongst them are8 files from international observers and 96 from national observers demanding for an accreditation to monitor elections in Cameroon.

To hope for an accreditation, the press release precise that the organ must provide a legal document to justify its existence and previous competence, the list of observers and the desired observation zones. If granted, Minister Atanga Nji spelled out that they shall respect the code of good conduct and the laws of Cameroon. During their stay in Cameroon, lodging, transportation and all other expenses is at the responsibility of the organizations and not the Cameroon government. More still, a deposit for an authorization is not synonymous to obtaining an authorization, for the Ministry of Territorial Administration will select the files and the list of organizations retained will be made public for effective work to start on the ground.

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