Pre-electoral litigation. Constitutional Council Begins Examining Petitions

The structure created by President Paul Biya early this year in fulfilment of constitutional democratic institutions has received some 12 files tabled by presidential aspirants whose candidature papers were disqualified by Elections Cameroon. The Electoral Board validated some nine candidacy files among the 27 examined.

Shawn-Nathan EPANG

The recently created National Constitutional Council whose functions among other things include electoral litigations has begun scrutinizing some 12 pre-electoral cases tabled to it by some presidential aspirants whose candidacy papers were rejected by Elections Cameroon for irregularities. As at midnight on August 9, deadline for the submission of complaints after the publication of the list of candidates by ELECAM, the 4th floor office of the Yaounde Conference Centre where the Constitutional Council is lodged, had received 12 files from the disqualified hopefuls.

Kum Ane Ihims, Chairman of the Bilingual Yaounde Political Party (BIYA Party) is asking the Constitutional Council to declare “the ineligibility of the candidate Paul Biya” and to “consider him as the eligible candidate because to him, there cannot be two Biya in the October 7 poll. Like him, Léopold Steves Ndjoumou thinks that the candidacy of Paul Biya must be invalidated.

One of the reasons for the two files of the declared candidate of the Union for the Economic Recovery of Cameroon (UREC). “His case was not scrutinized by the Electoral Council,” he writes. Bertin Kisob, National President of the Cameroon Party for Social Justice, is also in the logic of the “rejection” of the candidacy of the President of the Republic, in his three appeals filed.

Vincent-Sosthène Fouda, candidate of the Cameroon Movement for Social Democracy is requesting for the validation of his candidacy. According to him, contrary to the reasons for rejection mentioned by ELECAM, notably the absence of a certificate of payment of the FCFA 30 million caution and that of a certificate of nationality, his file did indeed contain these documents.

On his part, Olivier Bilé prays the Council to reinstate his candidacy. The notification of ELECAM is precise on the ground of rejection of his file “absence of certificate of payment of the caution”. The concerned indicates his disposition “to correct this gap”.

Rev Rigobert Gaban Midanha requests the requalification of his candidacy for the presidential election. According to him, the Council must examine it on the merits though he would not talk about the payment or not of the caution of FCFA 30 million, one of the reasons for the rejection of his file as well as the absence of the list of 300 signatures of the personalities from the ten regions required by the law.

To Geneviève Zeh Amvene “If you declare war on God, you will have problems,” she wrote in her petition. She speaks more of her call received from the Lord than of the required documents that are lacking in her file. In addition to the reason mentioned above, Leopold Steves Ndjoumou and Bertin Kisob, in other actions, contest the rejection of their applications. Bertin Kisob also demand for the cancellation of the decree convening the electorate for the October 7 presidential election because of the prevailing insecurity in the country.

While Valentin Egono of the Cameroon Union for Democracy and Innovation considers that the silence of ELECAM on the motives for the rejection of his file means he was in order and thus it should be restored. While Aboubakar Kamaldine, the first to file his petition on 7 August, considers that he was a victim of ELECAM Douala staff maneuvers which might have resulted to non-transmission of his file to the Directorate General of Elections. The Constitutional Council has 10 days according to the Electoral Code to proclaim the final verdict.

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