Presidential Elections 2018. Persons with Disability Taken into Consideration

Since the convocation of the electorate, the activities have redoubled ardour among the various actors. Taking into account this category of people is not to be neglected.

Emmanuel NGOTA

In 2011, approximately 8,500 persons living with disability registered on the electoral lists. At the beginning of 2018, many initiatives were taken to increase this figure given by a platform of organizations of people living with infirmity. By then, it was mobilization to register them on the electoral lists.  But with the convocation of the electorate on July 9, in view of the presidential election scheduled for October 7, 2018, measures have been instituted in order to for better integrate these citizens both at home and abroad.
A mobilization to this effect is observed on the field by political parties, candidates aspiring to the presidential chair, the Cameroon electoral board (ELECAM) institution in charge of organizing elections, civil society actors and organisations protecting the rights of handicaps.
To this effect, following a decree signed on July 26 by the Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, concerns the implementation of the law of April 13, 2010 on the protection and promotion of people with disabilities. Indeed, this text devotes a chapter to the access of persons with disabilities to politics, sports, artists, culture and leisure activities. Section 23 of this decree states that “the State and the decentralized territorial communities encourage the participation and presence of persons with disabilities in the various instances of political and social life”. As such, the section adds that, “People with disabilities benefit from support and capacity building for participation in the decision-making process; election procedures, equipment and materials must be appropriate and of a nature to ensure a good understanding and easy use of persons with disabilities “. On the ground, initiatives have already been taken by associations. In February 2018, the NGO Sight savers and the Inclusive Society for Persons with Disabilities platform campaigned for the inclusion of these persons in the electoral process.

It is also a time to include the concerns of people with disabilities in their actions. Starting with their mobilization as they are already on the ground. People with disabilities have the same rights and the same duties as people in Cameroon. At the political level, provisions are made by public authorities so that there is no discrimination against them. Indeed, a decree of the Prime Minister, head of government, signed on July 26, 2018, sets the terms of application of the law of April 13, 2010 on the protection and promotion of disabled people. The text provides for the access of these persons to political activities. To this end, Article 23 of the decree stipulates that the State and decentralized territorial authorities encourage the participation and presence of persons with disabilities in the various instances of political and social life. In concrete terms, the decree specifies that persons with disabilities receive support and capacity building for participation in the decision-making process.

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